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Opening Arguments

Free at last

Today is one of our favorite days to celebrate:

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. A vivid, calendar based illustration of the cost of government, Tax Freedom Day divides all federal, state, and local taxes by the nation’s income. In 2013, Americans will pay $2.76 trillion in federal taxes and $1.45 trillion in state taxes, for a total tax bill of $4.22 trillion, or 29.4 percent of income. April 18 is 29.4 percent, or 108 days, into the year.

Tax Freedom Day is five days later than last year, due mainly to the fiscal cliff deal that raised federal taxes on individual income and payroll. Additionally, the Affordable Care Act’s investment tax and excise tax went into effect. Finally, despite these tax increases, the economy is expected to continue its slow recovery, boosting profits, incomes, and tax revenues.

If you really want to be depressed, consider that in 1900, when Americans paid only 5.9. percent of their total income in taxes, Tax Freedom Day was Jan. 22.

But on a somewhat cheerier note, Indiana's tax structure gives Hoosiers a slightly earlier Tax Freedom Day -- April 13. Bet you didn't even drink a toast. Connecticut is the taxiest state, with a Tax Freedom Day of May 13.