Tax Freedom Day

I decided to do a second blog today in honor of Tax Freedom Day by The Tax Foundation.

  • This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 24, or 114 days into the year (excluding Leap Day).
  • Americans will pay $3.3 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total bill of almost $5.0 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation’s income.
  • Tax Freedom Day is one day earlier than last year, due to slightly lower federal tax collections as a proportion of the economy.
  • Americans will collectively spend more on taxes in 2016 than they will on food, clothing, and housing combined.
  • If you include annual federal borrowing, which represents future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would occur 16 days later, on May 10.
  • Tax Freedom Day is a significant date for taxpayers and lawmakers because it represents how long Americans as a whole have to work in order to pay the nation’s tax burden.

What Is Tax Freedom Day?

Tax Freedom Day® is the day when the nation as a whole has earned enough money to pay its total tax bill for the year. Tax Freedom Day takes all federal, state, and local taxes and divides them by the nation’s income. In 2016, Americans will pay $3.34 trillion in federal taxes and $1.64 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.99 trillion, or 31 percent of national income. This year, Tax Freedom Day falls on April 24th, or 114 days into the year (excluding Leap Day).

What Taxes Do We Pay?

This year, Americans will work the longest to pay federal, state, and local individual income taxes (46 days). Payroll taxes will take 26 days to pay, followed by sales and excise taxes (15 days), corporate income taxes (nine days), and property taxes (11 days). The remaining seven days are spent paying estate and inheritance taxes, customs duties, and other taxes.

Why Is Tax Freedom Day Earlier This Year?

Tax Freedom Day is one day earlier than last year. This is due mainly to slightly lower projected federal tax collections, as a share of the U.S. economy. While federal individual income tax revenues are expected to rise as a share of the economy, federal corporate, payroll, and excise tax revenues are projected to fall.

When Is Tax Freedom Day if You Include Federal Borrowing?

Since 2002, federal expenses have surpassed federal revenues, with the budget deficit exceeding $1 trillion annually from 2009 to 2012. In calendar year 2016, the deficit will grow significantly, from $592 billion to $698 billion. If we include this annual federal borrowing, which represents future taxes owed, Tax Freedom Day would occur on May 10, 16 days later. The latest ever deficit-inclusive Tax Freedom Day occurred during World War II on May 25, 1945.

When Is My State’s Tax Freedom Day?

The total tax burden borne by residents of different states varies considerably due to differing state tax policies and the progressivity of the federal tax system. This means a combination of higher-income and higher-tax states celebrate Tax Freedom Day later: Connecticut (May 21), New Jersey (May 12), and New York (May 11). Residents of Mississippi will bear the lowest average tax burden in 2016, with Tax Freedom Day arriving for them on April 5. Also early are Tennessee (April 6) and Louisiana (April 7).

How Has Tax Freedom Day Changed over Time?

The latest ever Tax Freedom Day was May 1, 2000; in that year, Americans paid 33 percent of their total income in taxes. A century earlier, in 1900, Americans paid only 5.9 percent of their income in taxes, meaning that Tax Freedom Day came on January 22.

Methodology

In the denominator, we count every dollar that is officially part of net national income according to the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the numerator, we count every payment to the government that is officially considered a tax. Taxes at all levels of government—federal, state, and local—are included in the calculation. In calculating Tax Freedom Day for each state, we look at taxes borne by residents of that state, whether paid to the federal government, their own state or local governments, or governments of other states. Where possible, we allocate tax burdens to each taxpayer’s state of residence. Leap days are excluded, to allow comparison across years, and any fraction of a day is rounded up to the next calendar day.

Free Speech is Censorship

Behold, the perfectly creepy and Orwellian capstone to a week of campus insanity and inanity, courtesy of the dim bulbs who populate the editorial board of Wellesley College’s student newspaper. I’ve employed that ad hominem descriptor for two reasons: First, their argument is a logical train wreck, but that’s par for the course with anti-speech tyrants. Second, a compounding sin: It’s horribly written. Their prose is truly and embarrassingly atrocious. It’s as if a group of mostly-literate sixth-graders joined forces to whip up a self-important harangue, straining and failing to evince erudition. The resulting product is a jumble of incoherence that should theoretically humiliate the “elite” all-female institution that (a) admitted these students, and (b) cultivated this sort of thinking — and I use that term loosely. A taste:

Wellesley is certainly not a place for racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, transphobia or any other type of discriminatory speech. Shutting down rhetoric that undermines the existence and rights of others is not a violation of free speech; it is hate speech. The founding fathers put free speech in the Constitution as a way to protect the disenfranchised and to protect individual citizens from the power of the government. The spirit of free speech is to protect the suppressed, not to protect a free-for-all where anything is acceptable, no matter how hateful and damaging… We have all said problematic claims, the origins of which were ingrained in us by our discriminatory and biased society. Luckily, most of us have been taught by our peers and mentors at Wellesley in a productive way.

It is vital that we encourage people to correct and learn from their mistakes rather than berate them for a lack of education they could not control. While it is expected that these lessons will be difficult and often personal, holding difficult conversations for the sake of educating is very different from shaming on the basis of ignorance. This being said, if people are given the resources to learn and either continue to speak hate speech or refuse to adapt their beliefs, then hostility may be warranted. If people continue to support racist politicians or pay for speakers that prop up speech that will lead to the harm of others, then it is critical to take the appropriate measures to hold them accountable for their actions. It is important to note that our preference for education over beration regards students who may have not been given the chance to learn.

The first bolded sentence is really quite special because it makes the case that shutting down ‘offensive’ rhetoric amounts to hate speech.  That’s not what the authors intended, I’d wager, but it’s what they wrote. Slow clap. (Very slow, just so the editors of The Wellesley News can keep up).  The next highlighted sentence fragment is pure garbage writing, replete with a non-ironic use of “problematic.”  And bonus points for proceeding to lay previous wrong-thinking utterances at the feet of our horrible, nasty society.  Socialize everything.  The last bit is nothing short of poorly-crafted, yet admirably candid, advocacy on behalf of anti-speech fascism: If re-education efforts don’t stick, and offenders rudely decline to renounce their unenlightened views, hostile consequences must ensue.  The founding fathers’ (side note: um, patriarchy much? #problematic) limited vision of free speech was to “protect the suppressed,” you see, which is why a new, ‘correct’ form of suppression is imperative.  Or something.  Anyway, I’ve embedded the full piece below because as I write this, the publication’s website has crashed under the weight of online gawkers. This editorial is so gobsmackingly dumb that the Internet just had to see it for itself; sadly, The Wellesley News’ server wasn’t up to the task.

See also: http://thewellesleynews.com/2017/04/12/free-speech-is-not-violated-at-wellesley/
Consult your physician if your headache lasts more than three hours.  And before anyone even thinks about suggesting that perhaps the time has come for Wellesley’s student newspaper to get some men to oversee the editorial process, please be forewarned that “hostility may be warranted” in response to such a deliberate and unforgivably provocative affront — especially if it’s a joke.  Those definitely aren’t allowed either. (Townhall)