Do you know what it means to have regressive taxes to pay? Something that regresses has a backward effect on someone or something, in this case, income.
For an example, let's use taxes on houses that are owned in a city. If you make $20,000 a year in income, and your house tax is $1,000.00, you are paying 1/20 of your income for that tax. You have $19,000.00 left to pay everything else that year.
if someone makes $60,000.00 a year, and they pay $3,000.00 for their house tax, it is still 1/20 of their income, but they have $57,000.00 to use for that year.
The point is, one has a smaller income than the other family. Therefore, the person who is getting less income is putting out a bigger percentage of their annual earnings, probably with less money to use for entertainment, a date night or whatever. The money left over after everything is paid is called "disposable income."
Now, let's look at other ways you are taxed and deprived of spendable income:
1) If your city started charging a toll fee each time you crossed a bridge from one side of town to the other of $1.00, and you crossed that bridge ten times a day, that would be $10.00 each day out of your monthly income of $300.00. While this is not an actual tax, it has the same effect because it unfairly affects your income compared to people who make more money.
2) Sales tax is another regressive example. If you pay $50.00 in sales tax each month, it also takes a higher percentage of your income than from those who are more rich.
3) The bills you pay for cable, electricity, gasoline, natural gas, food, and other things, have the same undesirable effect as the former examples. That is why so many people can barely make it through each month, because of all the regressive impacts from various sources.
But, there is another effect people may not think about, especially in the government sector. It will cause people to stay home more and think twice before they go out to shop, entertainment, or anything that would further nibble at their income. That is why as a salesperson, you never talk to customers about the economy and similar subjects, because it takes away from their shopping mentality and starts them thinking perhaps about their expenses instead of spending money where they are now.
In the example of the bridge toll, it will cause businesses to close or cut back on their amount of hours for employees, because the customer base they had is now shrunk because of people having less money.
Another effect, this one for neighborhoods and the city as a whole: People will begin moving to other cities that don't hurt their income so much. This will cause many more foreclosures and vacant buildings, and buildings that are still occupied will not be as well maintained. As a result, the city government will suffer because less taxes will be paid to keep it going. When the percentage of empty buildings increases, businesses or residential, less house and sales taxes are collected.
So, you can see now why you may be having a hard time making a living. Even if you get a raise, many things you have as expenses may also increase, nullifying a part or all of the extra money you received.
Look at your bills, and try to reduce them by conserving where you can. Caulk around your windows to keep your utilities manageable. There are many agencies and other entities that will help you, based on your income, but you need to research to find them.