Very soon now,
Massachusetts taxpayers will be released from serfdom. They can stop
working for the king and begin to work for themselves. I'm really
glad we fought that Revolutionary War, or we might still be paying a
tax on tea, too!
Tax Freedom Day was created by the Washington-based Tax
Foundation to celebrate when Americans have earned enough money to
pay all federal, state and local taxes for the year. This year, it's
April 9 for the average American taxpayer, but the Tax Foundation
warns that in future years it will arrive later because of the
"historically massive deficits."
Tax Freedom Day doesn't
count the national deficit even though deficits must eventually be
financed. According to the Tax Foundation, "Since 1948, when Tax
Freedom Day was first calculated, the difference between what
governments are spending and what they're collecting has never been
as great as during 2009 and 2010. If Americans were required to pay
for all government spending this year, including the $1.3 trillion
federal budget deficit, they would be working until May 17 before
they had earned enough to pay their taxes — an additional 38 days of
estimate the new national health care law's taxes will add an
estimated two to three days of work.
The Tax Foundation also
computes Tax Freedom Day for each state. For Massachusetts
taxpayers, it falls on April 14, the sixth latest date in the
Other data shows the
comparative tax burdens of the 50 states, without the federal taxes
included. Massachusetts' per capita tax is $5,377, fifth highest in
the nation, and 25.5 percent above the national average.
14 is also the date that the Boston Tea Party will be having a
rally on Boston Common from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sarah Palin is
coming to town for this event, as part of a cross-country tour that
began in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's hometown of
Searchlight, Nev., and will end, for now, in Washington, D.C., on
April 15, just as most Americans are filing their annual tax
Here in Essex County,
taxpayers have been given an extension until May 11 because of the
rain. The following weekend, the North Shore Tea Party is planning a
taxpayer stand-out in Salem. By then, those who filed early will
have their refunds.
I've got my refund
already from the state and spent some of it on a dark mocha/cherry
something during an organizational meeting I covered last weekend.
It was my first visit ever to a Starbucks! The coffee alone was so
good that I didn't need something to dunk in it, so in the long run
I'll save both money and calories!
I never understood the
tax-filing procrastination thing. The government takes my money
before I even get my paycheck and gives me no interest on the
"loan." I'm always afraid if I'm due a refund that some "spread the
wealth around" president will consider me "rich" and decide to keep
it. California actually delayed refunds last year because of its
fiscal crisis, so I keep my withholding as tight as possible, which
was one reason I owed the Feds money this year.
Another reason was that
I cashed in savings bonds that my father purchased when my son was
born. He intended the money for his grandchild, and would be sorry
we had to share it with the government. He'd feel worse knowing that
along with taking "its share" of the bond gains, the government has
charged trillions of dollars to his great-grandchildren through the
extraordinary national debt.
I can imagine Dad
pausing in his heavenly pursuits to quote Thomas Jefferson: "...
neither the representatives of a nation nor the whole nation itself
assembled can validly engage debt beyond what they may pay in their
own lifetime ... (lest we) be committed to the English career of
debt, corruption and rottenness closing with revolution."
Just in time: According
to The Washington Post, "A series of national polls conducted by
Republican survey researcher David Winston over the past several
months found that 'roughly one in five people (17 percent) consider
themselves members of the tea party movement.'" For starters ...
Speaking of taxes:
There was an interesting exchange on ABC's "This Week" last Sunday.
In response to a question by host Jake Tapper about Democrats'
chances in the coming election, George Will noted that "in less than
nine months there will be a huge tax increase as the Bush tax cuts
Robert Reich disputed this as an election issue: "That tax increase
is only on the people with $250,000 or more in earnings," he said.
To which Will responded, with a slight smile, "Which is to say most
of those affected by the Bush tax cuts will still be getting the
Bush tax cuts, is what you're saying."
Which is to say that
the tax cuts weren't just for the rich, as the Democrats always
claimed. Happy Tax Freedom Day, patriots.
And for Massachusetts
gift from Citizens for Limited Taxation, which filed a bill
after the income tax rollback was passed by voters in 2000, which
allowed those opposed to the rollback to pay the higher rate
instead. You'll find that line on your state tax form. Feel free to