Today is tax day in the U.S. Show your postmark, or file an extension. Meanwhile, be thankful that the IRS has extended the filing deadline to April 17, or two days beyond the traditional April 15, courtesy of the 15th falling on a Saturday this year.
The tax man may be willing to wait an extra 48 hours for his money this year, but rest assured he’ll settle for nothing less than the usual take in the end. Unfortunately for taxpayers, the usual take is on the rise again, based on the Tax Foundation’s newest calculation of “Tax Freedom Day.” This is the day that the average American taxpayer has earned enough to pay for his taxes, based on a measure of national, state and local taxes. For example, if tax freedom day is April 1, wages for the first three months of the year go to pay the various levies imposed by governments for the year.
In 2006, Fax Freedom Day comes on April 26, according to this year’s Tax Foundation study. “Tax freedom will come three days later in 2006 than it did in 2005,” Tax Foundation President Scott Hodge advises in a press release, “and fully 10 days later than in 2003 and 2004 when a combination of slow income growth and tax cuts caused Tax Freedom Day to arrive comparatively early, on April 16.”
Source: Tax Foundation
Yes, that’s better than 2000’s May 3–a year when the Federal government enjoyed a budget surplus.
Tax Freedom Day’s bias of late should come as no surprise to anyone who watches the government’s rising tide of social programs, war, and other assorted activities that apparently only the enlightened representatives in Washington and assorted state and local capitals can intelligently manage.
The government needs money, and more of it. Deficits are in vogue again too. The strategy of choice to deal with the problem: printing more money while dipping ever deeper into workers’ pockets. This is arguably the only perennial winner when it comes to big ideas in Washington.
Indeed, if Tax Freedom Day is rising so soon after one of the biggest tax cuts in recent American history, what does that say about the future, when the burdens of budget deficits and other financial pressures threaten to weigh on politicians like never before?
With that in mind, here are a few additional highlights, such as they are, to ponder, courtesy of the latest Tax Foundation study. No, you can’t avoid taxes, but at least you can marvel at the creeping power of government to separate you from your money.
* Connecticut holds the dubious honor of having the latest Tax Freedom Day (May 12) among the 50 states. The earliest (April 11) is found in Alabama.
* Tax Freedom Day for the U.S. in 2006 is later now than it was during each year of World War Two in the 1940s, when Washington imposed a variety of a then-unprecedented wave of new taxes to pay for fighting (and ultimately winning) history’s greatest battle to date.
* Tax Freedom Day tends to move further along in the year over time, but it’s still relatively early compared with some countries. A few examples: TFD in Great Britain this year falls on June 3; for Canada, June 25.