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Thursday Is Tax Freedom Day

April 17, 2013 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Most of us think of April 15 as “tax day,” but, of course, that doesn’t end our tax agony. Tax Freedom Day comes three days later, when the average American has stopped working to pay his taxes and starts working for himself and his family.

Even that isn’t the end for many. Actor Wesley Snipes was just released from prison after serving two years for “forgetting” to file federal returns from 1999 to 2001. He now has to pay Uncle Sam $7 million in back taxes and penalties. Ouch!

Most Americans don’t end up as federal inmates. But they still spend nearly a third of the year working just for government at some level. The Tax Foundation figured we will pay $4.22 trillion in taxes this year, which is 29.4 percent of our collective incomes.

It’s worse in high tax states. In Connecticut residents work nearly another month, to May 13. New Yorkers “only” labor until May 6. Live in New Jersey and your Tax Freedom Day is May 4. Massachusetts, where the American Revolution began, and Illinois are next at a pitiful April 25. California’s Tax Freedom Day is April 24.

Minnesota follows at April 23. Maryland, which plans to tax the rain (technically “impervious surfaces,” such as driveways, which promote rain run-off) comes in two days later, at April 21. Virginia’s Patrick Henry may have demanded liberty or death, but his state is among America’s worst with Tax Freedom Day on April 20. Washington State, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin share the same day. Residents of Rhode Island and West Virginia stop paying on April 19.

We live in taxing times in which you never really stop paying.”

If you want low taxes you should head south. Tax Freedom Day falls on March 29 in Louisiana and Mississippi. Tennessee is on April 2. New Mexico and South Carolina are on April 3.

Tax Freedom Day is up five days over last year because of the “fiscal cliff” deal which raised tax rates on high earners and payroll tax rates on everyone. That is painful, but equally bad is wild borrowing to fund ever-increasing government spending. Uncle Sam borrowed some $5 trillion over the last four years, which will have to be paid for some day by someone. Even this year, in the midst of supposed budget austerity, the deficit is expected to run $845 billion.

Unfortunately, borrowing that sum is …read more
Source: OP-EDS

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