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Tax and Spend

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

The people screaming about high taxes this week are insane.  The simple truth is, taxes are low – lower than most of us have seen in our lifetimes.

According to the Tax Foundation, which actually does something called research and something else called math, there’s a simple method to determining how bad taxes are – Tax Freedom Day. This is the day when you’ve worked enough to have finished paying the government share of your labor and begin to earn the remainder. This year, it’s the second-earliest day in their records (which go back to before the Johnson administration); last year was the earliest. As of April 9th, on average, Americans have worked to pay off their tax burden for the year. That’s 99 days of 365 that we work just to pay the overhead (27% of our income goes to taxes of various types). Now, some might say that’s too high. If you believe that it is, fine – but you must be intellectually honest and realize that it’s less than you’ve ever paid in your life (for my generation anyway), and if you didn’t bitch about the tax burden in 2000 when you had to work until May 1st to hit Tax Freedom Day, you’re not being consistent.

On the other hand, spending is crazy. The main reason that Tax Freedom Day is so early this year is because we aren’t paying for what we’re buying. If we actually had to pay taxes that balanced the budget, Tax Freedom Day would be … wait for it… May 17th. Democrats can’t be fairly called “Tax and Spend liberals” right now – they’re more like “Don’t Tax and Spend Anyway crypto-liberals” instead. Only 1998-2001 were we paying the debt down instead of building it up. Heck of a way to balance a budget.

These dates are all averages, and are based on federal and state combined numbers. Each state has vastly different tax structures, so Alaskans get to start earning their own money on March 26th while folks in Connecticut have to wait until April 27th.