Nickeled and dimed by big government | AspenTimes.com

Nickeled and dimed by big government

Dear Editor:

Can’t let the editorial from Friday, Sept. 9, stand without comment (“Beyond the bag fee debate,” The Aspen Times).

You can Google taxes and see how much money is flying out of my (our) collective wallets, so to suggest I should just pony up and shut up on such a tiny new tax for plastic bags is curious at best, insulting for certain.

From my income goes maybe 20 percent for housing, 20 percent toward various insurances, then food, transportation, and other consumables. Then the various governments take 25 percent in federal taxes, 6 percent to Colorado, 4 percent to property taxes, and 15 percent if I was lucky enough to actually get a capital gain.

Then there is a plethora of ancillary (tiny) taxes: gasoline, sales, telephone, cable, vehicle licensing. I just spent more than $100 to license my 17-year-old Explorer. After all this, is it any wonder why us middle-incomers are putting the brakes on discretionary spending?

While the government spending includes $2,000 toilet seats, $80 PVC pipes, and $16 muffins, I am brown-bagging it instead of enjoying a lunch at Annie’s or Cantina. When is it right to call into question the role and responsibility of local governments? For my local and national tax contributions, I want police, fire, and military protection, reasonable roads and public works, education advancement, retirement and Social Security, a safety net for the disadvantaged.

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That’s about it. No social engineering projects like plastic-bag controls, composting programs, time limits on idling engines, and who knows what else is getting dreamed up at council meetings. Enough already.

Rich Wontor

Basalt

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