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.