Courtesy of MCT
Taxes are everywhere – on gasoline, cars, coffee, wages, toothbrushes. The list is endless. In 2013, Americans will pay more in taxes than they will spend on housing, food and clothing combined, according to data from the Tax Foundation..
Taxes are so pervasive in the American economy that Americans must work until April 18 in order to earn enough money to pay off all of their taxes for the year. Only after working 108 days do Americans stop working for the government and start earning money that is entirely their own, according to the Tax Foundation.
Every year, the Tax Foundation calculates Tax Freedom Day. This day represents how many days Americans must work until they have earned enough money to pay all federal, state and local taxes for the year. It is a tangible way to measure the cost of government.
For 2013, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 18 for the nation as a whole and April 12 for the state of Ohio. Essentially, the government has kept almost every penny of wages earned by Americans until April 18, according to the Tax Foundation.
Tax Freedom Day has continued to arrive later and later over the past five years, creating an enormous tax burden on Americans to pay for the growing size of government.
The middle of April is too late in the year for Tax Freedom Day to finally arrive. Major changes must be made to reduce the need for tax revenues and lessen the financial burden on Americans.
Lowering taxes would free up more income for Americans to spend based on their personal preferences. Increased discretionary spending, due to this ability to choose how best to spend their money, would spur economic growth, particularly with businesses in the private sector.
To lessen the need for high taxes and move Tax Freedom Day earlier into the year, the government must first reduce its excessive spending. However, current government policies actually do the exact opposite and dramatically increase expenditures.
According to a special report published by the Heritage Foundation in October, the Affordable Care Act will spend $1.7 trillion on the expansion of Medicaid and the new health insurance exchanges over the next 10 years. Between 2013 and 2022, this act will raise $836 billion from 18 new or increased taxes – such as the investment tax and excise tax that went into effect this year. The Affordable Care Act is just one example of excessive government spending that pushes Tax Freedom Day later into the year.
Similarly, some of the largest growth in federal spending over the past 10 years has been in K-12 education, typically a state and local initiative, according to the Heritage Foundation. Regardless, the federal government has made it a priority and implemented the Race to the Top program to provide grants to states to reform their public schools. The U.S. Department of Education reported that the $4.35 billion to fund the program comes from The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. These funds, like the money for a majority of other federal programs, are ultimately created through directly taxing the American people.
Government spending is out of control and will continue to grow if left unharnessed. If Tax Freedom Day is ever going to arrive earlier, the government must shrink various programs, cut spending and focus on its core functions.
Instead of continuing to raise taxes on Americans to provide services through the government, this money would be better spent on goods and services offered in the private sector. More income spent at the discretion of the earner will help stimulate further economic growth for the nation.
Reducing the tax burden allows Americans to work more days of the year for themselves, instead of Uncle Sam. Americans work hard for their money and deserve to choose how this income is being spent.