Middle-Class Woman Tracked Taxes And Fees She Owed For A Year To See If She Paid Her Fair Share

Maryland resident Alice Scanlon meticulously tracked all the taxes and government fees she paid for a year to find out the typical expenses of a middle-class household. While listening to a speech by President Barack Obama last year, she began to wonder what constituted her fair share. The tedious recording task allowed Scanlon to figure her taxes and fees down to the last penny.

Armed with an Excel spreadsheet, the middle-class woman inputted information garnered from her tax filings and receipts in labeled columns. The Dundalk resident noted during her interview with The Blaze that she had to expand her list multiple times and eventually created a document with 18 columns of distinct expenses. She was shocked to find out that 27 percent of her family’s income was devoured by taxes and fees.

The Maryland couple discovered that they paid just over $26,000 in taxes and fees in a single year. Although individual line items often amounted to small change or a few dollars, the overall amount paid in taxes and government fees obviously added up to a significant sum.

Costs associated with cell phone usage were one of the more infuriating revelations for Scanlon. Alice had this to say about her mobile phone expenses:

“Telephone fees include a Maryland 911 fee, Federal Excise Tax, local tax, Federal Universal Service fee, Gross Receipts Tax surcharge, Telecommunications Access of Maryland fee, Federal Subscriber line charge, Maryland State sales tax, PEG Grant fee, Regulatory Recovery Fee, and a Federal Video Franchise Fee.”

The fact that welfare recipients in at least 20 states can receive a free cell phone with a specific number of monthly minutes and, in some cases, free texting also infuriated the middle-class taxpayer. Once the lengthy review was completed, Scanlon had almost 1,500 entries in her report.

Scanlon had this to say about her tax review:


“There is a much bigger picture than most taxpayers know. Once you add them up it is sickening how much you are really paying and the levels of bureaucracy is borderline dysfunctional.”

Alice noted that her tax review was not a political endeavor, just a quest for information that she and her husband felt would be very beneficial. Fiscal responsibility was presumably important to her before compiling the information and was reportedly even more of a concern after tallying up how much her family paid to the government during a typical year. Scanlon did note at the end of the interview that she is voting for Mitt Romney.

Her husband Michael lost his job last year when a local steel plant closed its doors. After nearly four months of searching for new employment, he found a job at a crane company.

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