According to the Tax Foundation, today is Tax Freedom Day: That means Americans have worked about three and a half months of the year, from January 1 to April 13, before they have earned enough money to pay this year’s tax burden at the federal, state and local levels. Thanks in part to both President George Bush’s tax cuts and President Barack Obama’s temporary tax cuts, this year’s April 13 Tax Freedom Day is the earliest it has been since 1967. But do not celebrate yet. The Tax Foundation also identifies how long Americans would have to work to payoff each year’s budget deficit. That day does not arrive until May 29 … the latest day ever for the deficit inclusive measure.
But back to the taxes. The Congressional Budget Office released a study last week that should give pause to anyone who believes the gap between spending and revenues can be closed by taxing the rich alone. In 2006, the latest date data is available, the top 20% of earners paid 69.3% of all federal taxes. Never has the top 20% of earners paid such a high share of federal receipts. Meanwhile, the bottom 90% of households paid only 45%, and the lowest 20% of earners paid only .8% of all federal taxes. Editorializing on the CBO findings the Washington Post warns: “There just isn’t enough revenue to be found above that figure unless we create a system so lopsided that voters would always want more government spending because it would come at such a low price.”
Unfortunately we are already there. Over the past 14 months, Washington has gone on an unprecedented spending binge that has sparked a nationwide protest. This Wednesday, hundreds of thousands of Americans will take part in Tea Party protests in 500 cities and towns across the country. The USA Today reports:
Organizers say they were not pleased by former president George W. Bush’s performance on spending, either, but what moved them from yelling at the TV to rallying in the streets was Obama’s proposed $3.6 trillion budget, a package the Congressional Budget Office says would produce record-breaking deficits of $9.3 trillion over 10 years.
As we’ve detailed before for all the talk of “hope and change” our current president is every bit the borrow and spender that our previous president was … and more:
- President Bush expanded the federal budget by a historic $700 billion through 2008. President Obama would add another $1 trillion.
- President Bush began a string of expensive financial bailouts. President Obama is accelerating that course.
- President Bush created a Medicare drug entitlement that will cost an estimated $800 billion in its first decade. President Obama has proposed a $634 billion down payment on a new government health care fund.
- President Bush increased federal education spending 58 percent faster than inflation. President Obama would double it.
- President Bush became the first President to spend 3 percent of GDP on federal antipoverty programs. President Obama has already increased this spending by 20 percent.
- President Bush presided over a $2.5 trillion increase in the public debt through 2008. Setting aside 2009 (for which Presidents Bush and Obama share responsibility for an additional $2.6 trillion in public debt), President Obama’s budget would add $4.9 trillion in public debt from the beginning of 2010 through 2016.
- The pirate attacks off Somalia have reinvigorated a long-simmering debate over whether the crews of commercial vessels should be armed.
- Days after the Obama administration unveiled a push to combat climate change, Indian officials said it was unlikely to agree to binding emission cuts since they would harm economic growth.
- According to Politico, fearing backlash from his anti-life policies, President Obama has boosted his “anti-abortion” recruitment.
- The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget will leave us vulnerable in the future.
- Fearing political backlash after not granting President Obama an honorary degree, Arizona State University President Michael Crow decided to rename the schools scholarship program in Obama’s honor.