Take a deep breath, America. You've finally worked long enough this year, to earn enough to pay your taxes for the whole year. Since the government claims first dibs on your money, this means that all of your work this year, up to now, has been for the government. But you can now start working for your own benefit.
Tax Freedom Day arrived 46 minutes after midnight, last night (April 12).
Tax Freedom Day is the time when the average American has worked long enough, since the first of the year, to earn enough to pay his taxes (federal, state and local) for the whole year. According to the Tax Foundation, who are the unofficial keepers of Tax Freedom Day, today is that day. But ActionAmerica.org takes it a step further. Using the Tax Foundation data, ActionAmerica.org calculates the time of Tax Freedom down to the second. For the average American, Tax Freedom occurred at 12:45:05 AM, this morning.
(See the Tax Freedom Day Clock in the first post, following this article. I can't post it here, because of some sort of forum limitations.)
But that's just the average. Different states have different tax loads. The fortunate people in in low-tax Mississippi and Louisiana were able to observe Tax Freedom Day two and a half weeks ago, on March 26, while the very unfortunate folks in high-tax Connecticut won't be able to start working for their own benefit for almost three more weeks, on May 2. You can find out when your state's Tax Freedom Day falls, on the Tax Foundation website.
Think about it. That's like working two or more hours of every day, for which you will NOT get paid.
Modern politicians call that work that you do for them, without getting paid, "patriotism." However, Abraham Lincoln had a much better term for it. He called it by its proper name - "slavery."
Think of it as reducing your salary by 23 to 34%, because that's how much of your pay check goes to pay taxes.
So the question that you must ask yourself is, "Are the meager so-called 'services' that I receive from the government worth a quarter to a third of my work days, each year?"
Or to put it another way, "Are the meager so-called 'services' that I receive from the government worth a quarter to a third of my working life?"
How many of those lost days at work went to build a "bridge to nowhere" (championed, I might add, by TEA Party darling, Sara Palin) or to provide other pork? How many of those lost days went into the pockets of bank officers (via bailouts) of billion-dollar banks that made bad loans? Ask yourself if you're getting a fair return in services, from the government, for all that work that you do for them? Think about it...
If you aren't receiving a fair return from the government, for all those days of work that you do for them, then you need to be emailing, phoning and faxing your elected representatives, all levels of government and demanding that they cut taxes and spending, till they get down to the level that the services that they provide are worth what you have invested in sweat equity, every year.
To put this all into perspective, in the very first year after the income tax was implemented, Tax Freedom Day fell on January 2 and that included all state and local taxes, as well. It leaves one to wonder just how our nation achieved so much, so fast, in the years before the government started providing us all of their so-called "services", for which they so prodigiously tax us.
Before closing, I want to take just a moment to address the spin that Tax Freedom Day detractors always try to use to attack it. The big government types don't want us thinking about how much their so-called "services" cost us, so they tell us that Tax Freedom Day is skewed later in the year, because the rich pay most of the taxes. But they conveniently ignore other more important facts like, 1) the fact that the rich also earn significantly more of the income and 2) over 120 million Americans pay no tax at all (based upon federal income tax records - also, these people usually pay no state income or property taxes either and pay an insignificant amount of other taxes, such as sales taxes). In fact, many of those poor people will soon be getting rebates for taxes that they never paid. But the big government advocates don't want you thinking about that.
That's because if you think about it, you might do the math and realize that while the top 5% of income earners, who pay almost 60% of all taxes, comprises only about 7 million people, those who pay NO income tax and an insignificant amount of other taxes comprises a whopping 120 million Americans. Then of course, there is the working poor, who pay a negligible amount of taxes. All total, there are almost 20 times more Americans who pay little or no taxes than there are rich taxpayers. That means that, if anything, the Tax Freedom Day calculations err on the side of earlier dates, rather than later.
Tax Freedom Day detractors have been challenged on the one-sidedness of their argument, but have remained conspicuously silent on the issue.
Tax Freedom Day really does represent the average or even low income American. The higher up the food chain you are, the later is your personal Tax Freedom Day. If you want to know in what percentile your personal income falls, check out the 1986-2008 IRS Collections Data and look at the column on the right. You might be surprised where your income falls.
But here's the worst of it. Tax Freedom Day does not include the deficit. It only includes this year's projected taxes. If you include the deficit, that we or our children will eventually have to pay, Tax Freedom Day would fall on May 23. What this means is that even if the government were to freeze taxes and spending at current levels, interest payments would force future Tax Freedom Days later in the year.
If you don't want to be forced, in years to come, to work a third or even half of the year, to pay your taxes, then you need to be after your elected representatives every day, to cut spending and cut taxes.
Tell your congressman that you're tired of working more than a quarter of every year, to pay for their spending sprees. Tell them that to compare their spending to that of drunken sailors, would be an insult to drunken sailors, since drunken sailors stop spending, when they run out of money. Tell them that even the promised budget cuts that they failed to deliver, are really not enough. Tell them not to raise the debt ceiling, because you can only work so many hours a day, on their behalf and you're already working a quarter of every work day, for them. Tell them that November 2010, was only the beginning.
Happy Tax Freedom Day, America. You've way more than earned it.