Tax Freedom Day, the date on which the average American has earned enough money to pay his tax bill for the year, is a dramatic way to illustrate the burden of government. But it doesn't really go far enough. The Tax Foundation reports that Tax Freedom Day this year was May 3, but the average American did not earn enough to cover total state, local, and federal government spending (including a federal deficit of $322 billion) until May 26, more than three weeks later. And Americans for Tax Reform calculates that paying for federal regulations, state worker's compensation, and bad tort laws will take nearly two months more (until July 19). Cost of Government Day, combining taxes, deficit spending, and regulatory costs, is later this year than ever before.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Day After Day".