Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Tax Freedom day brings questions

April 15 came and went and with it came an infusion of nearly $5 trillion of new revenue. Years ago, I began following something called the Tax Freedom day, the day in which a person has finally paid all his/her taxes.  
In Tennessee, we are blessed with a reasonable taxing system and therefore, our tax freedom day is calculated at April 9, while the national average is April 24. So, on average, in the first 111 days of this year, every penny Tennesseans earned went to pay their 2015 taxes, and they can now relax, knowing that everything made from here on in is theirs . . . forgetting that everything made before April 10 wasn’t. Oh well.  
I decided to look at it differently when I was working. I arrived at work at 8 a.m. From that time until the time I went to lunch at 11:45, I was working to pay taxes. The rest of the day, I was working for myself.  
This slight deviation made it more real. Not that I would work less in the morning, only that the last half of the day had a little more joy in it because I was supposedly working for “my” money. 
This year the federal government will take in nearly $5 trillion; more than the economy of many countries including Germany, Spain and France. But, it isn’t enough. No, we must borrow about a half trillion more just to make ends meet, pushing taxpayers ever more close to a credit card debt of $19 trillion dollars.  
$1.5 trillion of this money is redistributed to local and state governments. While it was given “freely” by us without “strings,” it will return with any number of “strings” attached where the states or local governments must do “this or that,” or the money is withheld. This is especially true of highway and education money. It’s a way of exercising control over the states.   
Of course there are calls for a Constitutional Amendment for a Balanced Budget. That comes with elections. And that goes after elections. There are calls for tax reform. That, too, comes and goes.  
The fact is the government has expanded its reach into society so far, and so far beyond its constitutional limits, and it has assumed so much financial baggage which has become mandatory spending, that it has little choice but to change its ways and release to private industry programs it is fully capable of handling better, which will never happen, or raise taxes and national debt, which happens annually. 
As the next election unfolds, it’s once again our chance to get control of government spending by whom we elect. People think we can’t do anything about Social Security, even though it paid $6.4 million dead people last year, or Medicare where there was $40 billion in known fraud, or in government trying to be venture capitalists and losing billions, or with government agencies that throw multi-million dollar parties, and the list goes on. I say we can.
Each election allows us to decide whether we want to continue into deeper debt and pay more taxes or turn this ship around. We will see which way we will go in about 19 months.