Are you familiar with Tax Freedom Day? No, it isn’t the day after April 15th. According to theTax Foundation, it’s the day of the year when the average American has earned enough money to pay for all the income taxes they will accumulate throughout the rest of the year. In 2016, that day will fall on April 24th. Or put another way, if you work during all 52 weeks of the year, more than 16 weeks of your labor are going to the IRS.
According to the Tax Foundation’s annual report, Americans are going to spend a total of $5 trillion on federal, state, and local taxes this year, which amounts to about 31% of our nation’s income. That’s almost $1 trillion more than we spend on food, clothing, and housing put together.
Tax Freedom Day happens to fall one day earlier this year than it did last year, but when you consider our government’s deficit spending, the day lands on May 10th. It also varies from state to state. Tax Freedom Day falls on May 21st in Connecticut, but arrives as soon as April 5th in Missouri.
Historically speaking we’re paying way more than our parents and grandparents did. A hundred years ago Tax Freedom Day was in late January. While most Americans will complain about how much they’ll have to fork over on April 15th, they largely have no concept of how much they are paying in a historical context. And to think our ancestors revolted against the British Crown when 1-2 percent of their income was taxed.
Written by Joshua Krause