Government Spending

Income Tax Blast From the Past: How Many Taxpayers Does it Take to Support A Boondoggle?

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From our tax day coverage of years past–and yes, the specific numbers and programs could use an update–comes my 1995 article that looks at your tax burden not in terms of how many pennies it takes from you to support any given program when your tax burden is presumed to be spread across the entire government megillah, but by imagining that your entire tax burden is going to support various too-small-to-mention bits of government silliness/stupidity.

Read it and gnash your teeth and make sure those tax forms or extension requests hit the U.S.P.S. by tomorrow night.

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  1. It’s one thing to think about working one month and two days of the year (based on the Tax Foundation’s 1994 calculation of Tax Freedom Day) to pay for all the government your federal income tax can buy

    Holy shit! Tax Freedom Day was April 9th this year. We’re so screwed.

    1. By my handy, dandy, pocket calculator, by 2075 Tax Freedom Day will be December 31st. Welcome to the future, kids!

      … Hobbit

  2. Jordan—Make sure that April 9 isn’t state local AND federal—I was specifically only discussing federal in that old article.

  3. by imagining that your entire tax burden is going to support various too-small-to-mention bits of government silliness/stupiditycivilization.

    For the larfs.

    1. Yes, because civilization desperately requires the NEA to pay for a middle-aged performance artist to slather herself with chocolate sauce while denouncing male taxpayers.

      1. Do we get to lick the chocolate sauce off her afterward?

  4. Jersey Patriot|4.14.10 @ 8:15PM|#
    “by imagining that your entire tax burden is going to support…..civilization.”

    Hey, patriot, you never quite got back to me about your labor history lies. And now you propose more?
    You made the claim; now please *factually* support how civilization requires our current taxes for support.

    1. I think he was referring to an earlier post:

      https://reason.com/blog/2010/04…..ay-for-civ

      1. Yep. An equally vacuous post by:
        Scotch Hamilton|4.14.10 @ 11:12AM|#
        “You can’t have one without the other, as much as your childish dreams may tell you otherwise.”

        So we have the (public school) accepted wisdom assertions from two brain-deads.
        Why, that’s convincing, isn’t it?

  5. Here’s my new idea. Anyone filing their taxes electronically would get a return message telling them what program their taxes were going to fund.

    It would be a great topic of conversation when you got to the bar and said, “My taxes all went to pay 1/1000th of the Rice Germplasm Center in Arkansas. How fucked up is that?”

    Sure some folks would get sensible things like “Mine is paying for the V22 Ospreys that no one in the armed forces wants, but is still alive because it is being built in several key congressional districts.”

  6. Here’s my new idea. Anyone filing their taxes electronically would get a return message telling them what program their taxes were going to fund.

    It would be a great topic of conversation when you got to the bar and said, “My taxes all went to pay 1/1000th of the Rice Germplasm Center in Arkansas. How fucked up is that?”

    Also, no more paycheck withholding. We all write a big check to Uncle Sugar on or before April 15th.

    Also, Election Day is bumped to April 16th.

    1. And everyone has to pay something. Maybe $100. I don’t care if you have to wheel your crippled ass down a highway picking up aluminum cans to pay your tax bill, everyone should chip in something.

      I bet the poor would be really urinated off to find out that they had to tote 200 smelly bags of beer cans down to the recycling center to pay for the Lawrence Welk museum in North Dakota.

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