I’ve been reading a focused history of events in my native state of Massachusetts, just before the American Revolution. The philosophy of the people at that time, when the frontier was not far away, was pretty much the polar opposite of the way they are today. Imagine being opposed to punitive taxation, and requiring all the men of majority age to own a rifle and a minimum stock of ammunition. That’s not the Massachusetts I know.
Tomorrow is our annual deadline for filing tax returns. (Not for paying taxes, because those are owed the moment we earn an income with which to pay them; no, this is the day when we are supposed to check whether we forgot to pay anything, and when many of us find out what our elected representatives have done lately to buy our votes… using tax money.) With that day in mind, it’s a good time to ponder Tax Freedom Day.
Tax Freedom Day does not fall at the same time every year. It’s calculated based upon the amount the Federal government taxes or spends in each year, and how long it would take, on average, for American income-earners to finish paying it, using 100% of our income, beginning on January 1. It gives us some idea how much of our work must be taken to support the Federal government, and how much is left over for our own interests.
Apparently, this year’s Tax Freedom Day is earlier than previously, because stimulus legislation has reduced the immediate tax burden. That’s good news, but the sword of Damocles hangs just above our heads in the form of the budget deficit, soon to be measured in astronomical units (AU). For our convenience, the folks who calculate Tax Freedom Day have also adjusted it to include the deficit. Click the image below to read more about it.