Friday, April 09, 2010

Tax freedom day...

But not spending freedom day. We have earned enough in 99 days to cover our tax burden for 2010- but we're spending more than we're paying in taxes. $1,170,000,000,000 more. If we earn $2.38 Trillion (the 2010 estimated receipts) in 99 days, then it would take 148 days to earn the $3.55 Trillion we're actually spending- so spending freedom day is May 28.

Imagine for a moment that we had a balanced budget. Hard to do, I realize, as there hasn't been a balanced budget in more than 50 years*; just try. Suppose we wanted to add a few days to our tax freedom day, dedicated to paying off the national debt. How many days would we have to add? Well, if we paid $2.38 Trillion in 99 days, then covering our $12.83 Trillion debt (today's total) would take 534 days. So, assuming we never run another penny in deficits ever again, if we added 30 days to tax freedom day every year, it would take 18 years. Just in time (maybe) to start borrowing again to cover Social Security.

Nothing to worry about.

*I'm sure somebody is going to say we had balanced budgets in the Clinton years. That's the biggest bipartisan lie I know of. If you look at the year-by-year history of the national debt from the Treasury Dept., you'll see that the national debt increased during those "balanced budget" years. I know politicians have, shall we say interesting definitions of words (such as describing income tax as "voluntary"), but no bankruptcy judge would describe a budget that results in an increase in your debt load as "balanced".

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