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Opening Arguments

Not quite free at last

Life is getting so complicated. We can't just have temperature in the winter; we have to also worry about the wind-chill factor. And we can't just consider what something costs today vs. what it cost yesterday; we also have to consider the inflation-adjusted number. Now, we have to calculate Tax Freedom Day by taking into account the deficit.

Tax Freedom Day -- the date on which Americans will have worked long enough to pay this year's tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels -- is April 13. That's eight days earlier than in 2008 and two weeks earlier than in 2007. That should be good news, but when an alternative calculation is used that adds the federal budget deficit to total taxes collected, the date becomes May 29.

This is the latest date in the year this deficit-inclusive measure has ever fallen. The only previous years when taxes and deficit spending comprised a similarly large share of national income were 1944 and 1945, at the peak of World War II. In the postwar era, this date had never fallen later than May 9 (in 1992).

I know this is all just a "playing with numbers in our heads" game, but it's disheartening anyway. Oh, for all you "Indiana is a low-tax state" and "Indiana, land of taxes" partisans, we fall neither in the top 10 or the bottom 10 for tax burdens as measured by Tax Freedom Day.


tim zank
Wed, 04/01/2009 - 3:08pm

Look on the bright side Leo, you won't have to worry about it too long. As Der Leader's first term comes to an end, there will be no Tax Freedom Day and the point will be moot.

It'll be 24-7, 365 a year for the State.
"Yes we can" just became "Yes you will".