Herman Cain's Commentary Archive 2009-2012

April 25, 2010

Tax Freedom Day never really comes

April 25, 2010
By Herman Cain

Tax Freedom Day, as defined by the Tax Foundation, has come and gone without much attention from the media this year. It is supposed to be the day we have worked since the beginning of the year to pay our collective tax bill for federal, state and local taxes.

Theoretically, it was on April 9 this year, a little more than a fourth of our sweat equity. Practically, it has not arrived yet.

The Tax Freedom Day (TFD) calculation does not include the deficit for this fiscal year. It does not include the total national debt, nor does it include unfunded liabilities for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It also does not include the yet-to-be-determined cost of ObamaCare if it stands up in court.

If you are on blood pressure or anxiety medication, then make sure you have taken your daily dosage before reading on.

When you include the latest projected deficit for fiscal year 2010 (October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010), then TFD would be May 17th. That means we would have to work four and a half months (over a third of the year) to pay Uncle Sam to cover just this year’s spending.

If you calculate TFD based on the national debt of $12.5 trillion and counting, then we would have to work 365 days for the government before we started working for ourselves. No, that’s not a mistake. We would have to work all year for the government before working for ourselves.

Unfunded liabilities are between four and five times the national debt, depending on whose counting and which set of assumptions are used. But whether it is four or five times the national debt, it is still a financial disaster in our future.

There is growing agreement by sober analysts who are not intoxicated on financial fantasy that the real cost of ObamaCare is not going to reduce any deficits as the president claims. So the nightmare gets worse.

The thought of working a full year to pay off this year’s deficit or five years to pay for the long-term irresponsibility of government is beyond rational. Sadly, too many people are clueless or don’t care, or they are still dreaming that somebody else is going to pay it off. I know! How about those evil rich business people who generate jobs!

Endless debt generated by government means endless taxes. That means an endless nightmare unless something is done other than looking for endless ways to tax people. These nightmare scenarios have been building for decades and both political parties are responsible for this gross irresponsibility.

But the current administration and Democrat-controlled Congress have accelerated the spending exponentially, and they have intensified their search for more ways to tax us. Sneak-a-taxes are their favorite tactic and many Democrats are still floating the idea of the dreaded and disastrous value-added tax (VAT).

Many people believe that this is just the culture of Washington, D.C. and that it can’t be changed. I do not accept that excuse! It can change with the right political will power and the right leadership courage.

When I first shared these TFD calculations on my radio show, a caller suggested that I should not scare people with these exaggerations. I pointed out to him that the deficits are real, the calculations are accurate, and I do not apologize for telling people the truth. And as I have often said, liberals can’t handle the truth.

Tax Freedom Day is not what it used to be. And as long as elected leaders remain in this perpetual state of spending, the nation will never wake up from this financial nightmare that threatens our security and prosperity.

It’s way past time to wake up.