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“When you have towns like those in St. Louis county that get in some cases, 40 percent of their municipal revenue in fines and fees, they have chosen a very expensive way of taxing their population, one that creates maximum hassle and maximum hostility,” says Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute and creator of the blog Overlawyered.

But it’s not just the cities that are nickel-and-diming you. Think about the taxes that you don’t see (unless you look for them): a third of your airline ticket? Fees and taxes. How about that cell phone bill? Oh…about a third the price. Sales tax. Access fees. Parking fees. Speeding tickets. Water usage fines. Fines for your grass being too tall. Fees to modify your house. (You know — that “property you supposedly own, until you miss your property taxes..?) Late fees for your taxes. Asset forfeiture — how dare you have money on you when you are stopped for a traffic violation!

Every single aspect of your life has some government official reaching into your pocket. Every time your political class passes a new law, there’s fees or taxes attached so they can fund the bureaucracy that must manage and enforce the new law. Most new laws have no other function that to excuse more useless ticks living off of your labor; they create a need for the bureaucracy they want to fund. It is the only reason these people exist — to convince you that you need them, so they can steal from you.