April 15 is usually considered Tax Day, but this year the tax deadline is on April 18. It was moved because Emancipation Day will be celebrated this year on April 15. That is why Tax Day was pushed back to April 18.
While we are talking about Tax Day, let also talk about Tax Freedom Day. That is the day when your tax burden is lifted. It is calculated by dividing the official government tally of all taxes collected in each year by the official government tally of all income earned in each year. Put another way, it is when you are no longer working for the government but are now working for yourself and your family.
This year Tax Freedom Day will arrive next week. That is something new. Back in 2009 when I started doing commentaries on Tax Day, the Tax Freedom Day was on April 13. Now it is more than a week after Tax Day.
But before you declare freedom from government, I need to tell you about another day. It is called Cost of Government Day. This is the date on which the average American has paid his share of the financial burden imposed by the spending and regulation that occurs on the federal, state, and local levels. This year the Cost of Government Day will be somewhere in early July. In other words, you work more than half a year for the government before you begin to work for you and your family.
These dates help us realize what is happening around us. There is a cost, but often we don’t see it. Our taxes are withheld from each paycheck, so we often don’t think about what we are paying. And since the cost of most regulations is hidden, we don’t see those costs either. But imagine if we had to pay all our taxes today in one lump sum. You can bet there would be an outcry.