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Bob Goodlatte: Tax Freedom Day


Column by Bob Goodlatte

We are just days away from one of the most dreaded days of the year. April 15th is a day filled with aggravation and frustration as hardworking Americans are confronted with piles of forms, confusing instructions, and the prospect of turning their hard-earned money over to the government.

Not only are we approaching tax day, but on April 9 we mark Tax Freedom Day 2010. This is the day on which Americans have earned enough money to pay all their federal, state and local taxes for the year. That means that Americans had to work nearly a third of the year just to pay taxes. This year Americans will work longer to pay for taxes than they will to pay for food, clothing and housing combined.

By comparison, Tax Freedom Day in 1910 was Jan. 19th, when taxes were just 5 percent of a person’s income. Today it takes more than 100 days for Americans to earn enough to pay the government before they can start keeping their hard earned paychecks for themselves and their families. And that doesn’t even include the higher cost of goods and services due to government regulations.

While Tax Freedom Day falls on April 9th this year, this figure also does not include the total cost of government, since it only counts what the government collects in taxes, not the additional spending that is financed via borrowing. Once deficit-financed spending is added, the result is a figure which gives a truer glimpse of what current spending may mean to future taxes. If Americans had to pay this year for all the government will spend this year, they would be working until May 17th before they earned enough to pay their taxes.

As government spending continues to spiral out of control, the tax burden on hard working Americans has been significantly increasing. Just in the last year, the Democrat-controlled Congress pushed through multiple pieces of legislation containing an unprecedented and unsustainable level of government spending. First there was the $1 trillion stimulus bill, which I voted against. It was supposed to create jobs and reinvigorate our troubled economy but it certainly hasn’t accomplished that goal. Most recently the Democrats in Congress pushed through their health-care reform bill, which I also voted against. The legislation costs over $2.5 trillion and includes over $569 billion in tax increases on families, seniors and small businesses.

Since arriving in Congress, I have been a strong supporter of policies that rein in out of control government spending which ultimately help to lower the tax burden on hard working folks. Lower, more efficient government spending and lower taxes are fundamental to economic growth. When we lower the tax burden on America’s families, we encourage investment, savings and job creation. I will continue pushing these pro growth policies which is the best way to keep America competitive.



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