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The Tax Burden: How to Teach Your Children

Written by Gary North on May 8, 2012

When we teach our children, we learn.

How should we teach them about taxes? One way is to compare them with more familiar expenses. The Tax Foundation does this. In a recent report, it used this example. The total U.S. tax burden of $4 trillion is greater than what Americans spent on housing, food, and clothing combined.

Of course, this does not really convey the burden. Almost half of Americans pay no income taxes, state or federal. That means that the other 50% make up the difference.

The growth areas are programs that subsidize various groups’ income. Food stamps are an example. Of course, there are no stamps these days. There are plastic cards that look like credit carps. Cash and these vouchers now pay for more than one-third of basic household expenses. It was under 20% in the early 1970s.

“Transfer payments, or government social benefits, have grown to represent a substantial portion of money spent on living expenses, encompassing housing, food, clothing, healthcare, and transportation,” said Tax Foundation Adjunct Scholar Kevin Duncan in a statement. “This means that the government is picking up an increasing portion of the tab for these essential goods.”

The welfare state is alive and well in America.

The average worker must work for 107 days to pay his taxes.

In the last days of liberty in the Hebrew republic, Samuel the judge warned the nation that a king would extract 10% of their income (I Samuel 8:14, 17). This was tyranny, he warned. They did not listen to him.

Anyone proposing a return to biblical tyranny’s tax level for the federal government would be regarded as a Tea Party fanatic.

The Tax Foundation adds this: “between 1929 and the early 1980s, aggregate tax collections were less than total expenditures on housing, food, and clothing.”

This began to change under Ronald Reagan. It changed again for the worse under Bush II, when “the gap between tax collections and expenditures on essential goods reached a maximum in 2000, when Americans gave 19% more to the government than they spent on these items.”

The welfare state is a bipartisan project.

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4 thoughts on “The Tax Burden: How to Teach Your Children

  1. clintdiggs says:

    When my children get something that I like I take a "Daddy Tax" which is often a bite. I figure that teaches 'em!

  2. You nailed it. I teach them 1 Samuel 8. Just wrote about this yesterday:

  3. I don’t know where the claim that the total tax burden is only 4 Trillion comes from, maybe 1987, today the real total is closer to 65 Trillion, of which they only admit to the first 15 Trillion, the so called Pubic debt, never mind the Pubic didn’t create that debt. Congress did and continues to add Billions per minute, they now borrow some 47 or more cents of every dollar they spend. Which is why raising the “income tax” on billionaires is a joke, they would spend that additional yearly take in less than 5 minutes.

    The ONLY solution is to STOP Congress from spending money they [read that We] don’t have. And IF that means shutting down half or more of the Government then that’s what NEEDS to be done. Wake up out there, tell them all to stop overspending and cut taxes in the process. The more WE have to spend the more taxes they collect in the long run, that’s just simple math and ordinary common sense.

  4. Russell says:

    The $4 trillion burden is the total annual tax burden, not the total public debt to which you are referring.