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Income Redistribution Day

Today is that most mirthless of days, April 15, tax filing day, or as we in our humble home have long dubbed it, “Income Redistribution Day.” It’s the day each year when government confiscates money from about half the nation’s citizens, and gives that money to the other half. (That’s an over-generalization, but you get the idea.) But at least they didn’t choose April 19 — Patriots’ Day — for tax filing. In honor of today, here are a few things to remember about taxes and the IRS.

It will take Americans 111 days this year to fully pay for the burden of government. In other words, when you pay your taxes today you’ll still have to work another six days just to actually pay them off.

Where did your tax money go? Just shy of half of all federal tax revenue goes to major entitlements — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other health care programs. Another 20% goes to various other wealth transfer programs like unemployment benefits and food stamps. That’s more than two-thirds of the federal budget that goes from your pocket to someone else’s. See why we call it “Income Redistribution Day”?

National defense takes 18% of federal spending, but it’s one of the few things the federal government is currently doing that’s actually enumerated in the Constitution. Meanwhile, interest on the debt consumes 6% of the budget. And finally, the Heritage Foundation’s Amy Payne writes, “Your 2013 tax dollars covered only 80 cents of every dollar spent by the federal government. The other 20 cents were borrowed from younger generations.”

Speaking of borrowing from younger generations, and also going back to our point about half the nation paying taxes, consider this: Some 80% of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes. Payroll taxes “fund” the two biggest federal entitlements — Social Security and Medicare. For those who don’t think Social Security is an entitlement because you’re entitled to the money you paid in, please note that today’s workers are paying for today’s retirees, and there are fewer workers per retiree now than ever. There is no trust fund. If you’re retired, we’re shocked — shocked — to say that politicians lied to you and spent your money a long time ago. Social Security is quickly headed for insolvency.

Oh, and by the way, if your parents were overpaid for Social Security, the IRS might take your tax refund to pay that “debt.”

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