Even under the best of economic circumstances, tax season is a tense time for American households. The number of hours we collectively spend working on our returns is probably a lot more than government agencies claim.
The burden in financial terms is even greater: A recent independent survey found that the average American's total federal, state and local tax bill roughly equals his or her entire earnings from January 1 up until right before tax day.
Now imagine that tax bill doubling over time. ...
Regardless of what politicians tell you, any additional accumulations of debt are, absent dramatic reductions in the size and role of government, basically deferred tax increases. Remember the old saw? "You can pay me now or you can pay me later, with interest."
To help put things in perspective, the Peterson Foundation calculated the federal government accumulated $56.4 trillion in total liabilities and unfunded promises for Medicare and Social Security as of September 30, 2008. ... If $56.4 trillion in financial commitments is too big a number to digest, think of it as $483,000 per American household, or $184,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. ...
Meet Owen & Payne, partners in a fictional accounting firm that specializes in helping Americans fill out the "new" Form 483000, which spells out how our elected officials are putting our nation into more and more debt and how that bill eventually will have to be paid: By doubling your taxes. The campaign is all in fun, but the intent is very serious.
Unless we begin to get our fiscal house in order, there's simply no other way to handle our ever-mounting debt burdens except by doubling taxes over time. Otherwise, our growing commitments for Medicare and Social Security benefits will gradually squeeze out spending on other vital programs such as education, research and development, and infrastructure.