WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tax Freedom Day, the day when the nation – as a whole – has earned enough to pay the yearly tax bill, falls on Apr. 21 this year. In other words, taxpayers start paying themselves and not the government with their money a full 111 days into the year.
According to the study, that’s more than what’s spent on food, clothing and housing combined.
“We’re exclusively talking about the cost of government,” said Lyman Stone, an economist with The Tax Foundation, a non-partisan research think tank based in Washington, D.C.
“We think it’s important to talk about the cost of government because there’s an important public discussion to be had about what the role of government is,” he said. “But, before you can even have that, we have to have a common understanding of what’s the state of things now.”
Apr. 21 is the average national date, three days later than last year. West Virginia’s Tax Freedom Day this year, though, is a little earlier, on Thursday, Apr. 10.
Last year, The Tax Foundation estimated Americans paid a total of $4.2 trillion in taxes and it’s still not enough to pay all of the bills. The U.S. debt stands at $17.6 trillion.
“We include the total cost of government in all its various forms,” said Stone on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.” “From there, there can be a reasonable discussion about — Is it too high? Is it too low? Should government do more or less?”