Boost of Burden

Taxes lead rise in per capita expenditures.

Between 1984 and 1994, the average American's total tax bill rose faster than almost any other single expenditure. In constant 1994 dollars, taxes rose from $6,586 to $7,927, an increase of 20 percent. While the rate of increase in some expenditures outpaced the tax bite--per capita recreation outlays boomed 35 percent--federal, state, and local taxes far outstripped most other costs. In fact, in 1994, the average American spent more on taxes than food, housing, and clothing combined.

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