Tax Freedom Day: There's Nothing Free About It


tax definitionTax Freedom Day arrives on April 17 this year, which coincidentally is also the last day you can file your 2011 tax returns without an extension. Every year, the Tax Foundation calculates exactly how long the average American must work to pay their share of the tax burden, before they can start keeping their earnings. 

In 1900, Tax Freedom Day was January 22.

Of course, this is isn’t a perfect calculation, considering that 47% of households pay no federal income tax at all. I’d hardly call that a fair share. If nearly half of America isn’t paying into the pot, then the higher income earners are picking up the slack. The top 10 percent of income earners pay a hefty 70 percent of the federal tax burden.

How did we get to this point as a nation? When did we get so comfortable handing over such a large portion of the money we earn ourselves to the government, which then decides how it should be spent? What if I don’t want to contribute to crack monkey research?

Taxes are a necessary evil, because government is a necessary evil. We need infrastructure and public safety entities. We need the military. We don’t need the government to decide what schools our kids should go to, what kind of cars we should drive, or tell us how to manage our own retirement accounts or health care.

Obamacare will absolutely raise our tax burden, while it simultaneously lowers our quality of care. $500 million of our tax dollars has been handed over to the IRS for the enforcement of purchasing health insurance. Not only is our money going to pay other people’s medical bills, we have the privilege paying to police the system. Is this the American dream? To trust the government, the people that brought us the DMV, with our health care needs?

A century ago, the majority of the taxes a person paid went to his or her local government. It wasn’t until WWII that the federal tax burden overcame local taxes, and it’s been that way ever since. What does the federal government know about our community needs? Why do we trust them more than our local municipalities? 

High taxes for entitlement programs are not patriotic. President Calvin Coolidge said it best: 

Under this republic, the rewards of industry belong to those who earn them. The only constitutional tax is the tax which ministers to public necessity. The property of the country belongs to the people of the country. Their title is absolute … I am opposed to extremely high rates because they produce little or no revenue, because they are bad for the country, and, finally, because they are wrong.

The average American worked 107 days this year to cover their portion of the tax bill. What did we get in return? Shrimp on treadmills. Your tax dollars at work, America.


Image via Alan Cleaver/Flickr

barack obama, economy, health care, in the news, politics, taxes


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Anon

Mike M: "I feel that all people deserve a high minimum quality of life and services." .. OK, but if that's going to be the law, then it should also be the law that all [able-bodied] people be REQUIRED to put forth a minimum amount of work toward making this happen. I'm sick of able-bodied welfare recipients enjoying a better day-to-day lifestyle than I do while I'm essentially being fined for working so hard. If people like me started demanding the level of leisure some non-taxpayers have come to expect, there would be a lot less tax money to support such people.

nikit... nikita_88

It is okay to pay taxes as long as there are no corrupt politicians but i think that is imposible because everywhere even at work i see corrupt people.Well we have no choice but to pay it and just hope for the best. haha.
My daughter works for chicago tax preperation according to my beloved daughter whether you have the lowest income in this country you are still oblidged to pay taxes. NO excuses.

11-12 of 12 comments First 12