These charts from the Heritage Foundation illustrating the inexorable increase of government spending illustrates the terrible tension between tax rates and government “help”. Federal spending grew much faster than median income.
As defense spending continues to fall as a percentage of GDP.
There’s another graph which attempts to describe the tax burden in terms of the day of the year when a taxpayer has earned enough to pay all his federal, state and local taxes and begins to work for himself. It’s called Tax Freedom Day. The concept is not without its detractors, who say that the large tax bills of the upper income scale overstate the actual date. It is but one of the metrics that can be used. But at any rate it went from March 7 in 1940 to April 23 where it is today. Here’s a graph of its fluctuation over time from the Tax Foundation.
In global terms, the US is still, in the view of some, undertaxed, as may be seen from this Tax Freedom day table from Wikipedia. Hence, the argument is that there’s room for less “selfishness” and more redistribution or more seriously, that the drop in taxes coupled with an increase in Federal Government spending set up the conditions for the bad economic conditions experienced today.
|Country||Days to earn taxes||% Tax burden||Tax Freedom Day|
(For those Americans in the upper income brackets, whose actual tax burden may be greater than 50%, Tax Freedom day will be somewhere in July.)