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Today is Tax Freedom Day, which means that the country as a whole has now theoretically earned enough money to pay off our annual tax burden. This is happening two weeks earlier than the recent record of April 30, set in 2007.
Great news, right?
Sure, but here's the One Thing the media is missing: We're not really free, because taxes only reflect a small part of the government's out-of-control spending. And that spending is the real reason there are 2,000 Tax Day Tea Parties taking place this coming Wednesday.
The mainstream media will report on the tea parties as if they're just a bunch of whack-job Republicans who only care about taxes on the rich (like New York's so-called "millionaire's tax" on individuals making $200,000 dollars and couples making $300,000); a third of the average New Yorker's cellphone bill goes to taxes; or smokers (like those in Rhode Island who are ticked off that their state's cigarette tax would rise to $3.46 a pack — the highest in the country); or the proposed 10 percent "tanning salon tax" in Utah; the proposed "streetlight user fee" that would add $51 a year to electric bills in Washington, D.C.; the 3 percent "bed tax" on anyone silly enough to spend the night in a hotel room in the state of Nevada, best known for Las Vegas, which has the largest hotels in the world.
If the Tea Parties were only about taxes, there would still be a great case for them. Americans pay more in taxes than on food, clothing and housing combined.
But, they're not. They're about the reason for our taxes, which is an out-of-control government that can't control its spending.
Add up all the bailouts so far and Congress, the Treasury Department and the Fed have spent, lent and guaranteed a total of $12.8 trillion, an amount that's practically equal to our country's entire GDP.
Need another reason to reexamine your "freedom"?
Since the government can finance itself with debt, the Tax Foundation says that our unprecedented $1.5 trillion budget deficit means that the real Tax Freedom day won't be until May 29 — 45 days from now.
And it's only going to get worse.
According to nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, President Obama's proposed $3.6 trillion budget will produce record-breaking deficits of $9.3 trillion in 10 years. In other words, the debt will practically double during Obama's time in office, just as it did during Bush's term.
Oh, I almost forgot about the pesky issue of $1.25 quadrillion in total debt, which represents the worst-case scenario for our Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security obligations.
But all hope isn't lost because when people stand up for themselves, great things can happen. A great example of that comes from Obama's home state of Hawaii.
The state government there was dragging its heels on fixing a road inside a state park, saying it would take a year or two to complete the project. That wasn't good enough. So, some local surfers and business owners took it upon themselves to raise the money and complete the $4 million project without taking a single penny from the state.
If the surfer dudes can "get it," then surely the average American does: It's time to empower yourself, to find your own voice and to use it to remind our leaders that if they can't regulate themselves, we'll do it for them.
And it all starts this Wednesday.
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