Well, let’s face it, in life some things never change they just seem to come at you from a different direction. I guess we are at the point again where a story I wrote many years back can be applied to life once again. The figures may have changed through the years but the application is still the same. With all the talk about increasing fees and taxes on sportsmen it just may be true. This falls under the title of someone stole my boat and motor.
One day Eino and Teivo were rocking away on the front porch talking. They got to talking about things that “had turned up missing.” Eino told Teivo that he had “a better one”. He said, “I had a boat and motor I was going to buy stolen from me before I even got to buy it! And the worst part of the whole deal was, it was stolen legally!” Eino then went on to explain how it happened.
“Well, said Eino, ‘isn’t it funny how some things you never had can be lost before you even get it.” We sit here thinking of all those people in high places they cannot figure out why our economy gets so slow at times. They have not been able to figure it out with all their wisdom, plus all the “Exspurts” that help them. (The ones you see all the time on TV telling us their opinion hopeful I we don’t get into the mess we did into at times.) You and I, Teivo, sit here on our porch in the good old U. P. of Michigan; have our opinions, which may be just as right as anybody’s. I took out my little calculators the other day and with no problem at all figured out why a person does not have the money to spend that he used to have. (This is before the tax increase of 1993). When Eino retired he started getting paid just once a month so this made things a lot easier to figure out. There is no doubt that people cannot afford to go hunting and fishing like they used too, or go out and buy a motorhome or a new boat and motor, unless you want to use that plastic money. Here are Eino’s figures.
They are based on what Eino was told was the average salary in a paper mill job in the U.P. at the time, $30,000. Now, Eino was told that if you figured out the Federal tax (Before 1993), then the Michigan income tax, add in your Social Security Tax, you will end up paying right around 33 percent of your salary. This would add up to just about $9,900 out of your $33,000 salary right off the top. It is gone before you even get to see it, but they tell you it is really yours only they go out and spend it for you. So, now I’m (Eino) at $20,100 in what we call “take home pay.”
BUT! During the year property taxes are sure to come due. (There were some interesting comments on this during the past year). Let’s use an average of both taxes for the year at $1,200 (Property is not worth much in the U.P.) You take this $1,200 from your take home pay of $20,100 and you have $18,900 left to play with.
BUT! Here in Michigan, besides the income tax you have a sales tax. Let’s use an easy figure of $500 for this. $500 from your $18,900 leaves you with $18,400 now.
BUT! You have to remember all the tax you pay on each gallon of gas you buy, and with my miles driven, it comes to around $350 a year. $350 from your $18,400 leaves you with a total of $18,050 left for your family to live on.
BUT! In Michigan, our legislator says we have to pay a fee of $75 per car to cover all those stolen down in the BIG cities. Eino, with his and her cars, plus his woods truck, and license fees for the three can kiss around $330 a year good-by here. So, $330 from his $18,050 leaves him with a total of $17,720 left to feed his wife and kids.
BUT! A few years back, Eino moved into the city so his boy would be closer to school for sports activities. So now he has the city water and sewer tax that seems to stay the same even if you go on vacation for a month. Here you can kiss about another $800 a year good-by. $800 from his $17,720 leaves his family with around $16,920 left. His dream of a boat has dwindled to a used canoe.
BUT! Up here in the U.P., you like to enjoy things out of doors, so you have to hunt and fish, own a boat and trailer have an ORV (ATV), a snowmachine or two, plus a hunting camp that you have to pay property taxes on. So if you figure all this out, hunting license, fishing license, license for necessary U.P. toys, plus hunting camp taxes, there goes another $325 out of sight, out of mind. So, take $325 from your $16,920 and all you have left is $16,595 to feed the kids on.
BUT! There is a federal tax built into all guns, ammo, and fishing gear, and some cities have their city tax above everything else. Then you need insurance on your home and your car, your toys, if financed, or renters’ insurance if you rent. This list could go on and on. You subtract the cost of these and you have right around $15,000 or half of your money left before you even get to sit down and figure out your family budget.
The old Game Wardens used to laugh about the state coming up with a “Pick’n and Pluck’n Stamp” (For all those of us breathing the U.P. air, looking at the U.P. scenery, or using the great Michigan out-of-doors.) to cover anything and everything they may do or think of doing. It scares me how close we may be to having one of these.
Now, the bottom line is that if Eino makes $30,000 a year, he is lucky to have $15,000 to figure out how to spend on his own. Then you take in the built-in family expenses that you really have no control over, and you do not have to wonder where all your money went. It is scary as Washington and Lansing try to figure out how they can get some of the half you still have left after they already took the first half. Phone bills, with a tax, natural gas bills with a tax, electric bills with a tax, food bills, (In some cases) clothes bills, family other bills, and here Eino and Teivo sit on their front porch, hoping that those down in the “BIG HOUSE” do not figure out anymore really good deals for them! They are not sure they can afford them!
After all, they already stole Eino’s boat and Teivo’s motorhome before they ever got to use them! BUT! Cheer up-there is always one thing we here in the U.P. get “FREE” from Lansing and Washington every January-our income tax books. Remember, they were thinking of you because it has your own personal name on it.