Home > Federal, Local, State > It’s Tax Freedom Day (for some that it is, and not for NY). Freedom, what real economic freedom is there in this?

It’s Tax Freedom Day (for some that it is, and not for NY). Freedom, what real economic freedom is there in this?

April 16, 2012

Ten ‘Outrageous’ Wastes of U.S. Taxes

Friday, 13 Apr 2012 03:43 PM NewsMax By Drew Johnson

taxdeadline.jpg(Julie Schaul lobbies passing motorists in Santa Cruz, Calif. (AP Image)
This Tax Day, the federal government expects to rake in $945 billion in individual income tax payments from U.S. taxpayers.
According to the Tax Foundation, the average American worked 32 days last year just to pay their income tax bill from Uncle Sam, and that doesn’t even include federal Social Security, Medicare or unemployment insurance programs, or any state or local tax burdens.As taxpayers across the nation rush to calculate their share of taxes and say a final goodbye to some of their hard-earned dollars, the same question crosses the minds of many Americans: “What is the government doing with all of this money?”
Unfortunately, the answer is rarely anything useful, responsible, necessary, constitutional, valuable or meaningful.
The Taxpayers Protection Alliance has identified 10 outrageous federal expenditures that cost taxpayers dearly, while providing little benefit in return. The programs, and their price tags this year, include:
  1. $17 billion for fraudulent and erroneous Medicare overpayments to healthcare providers because no one actually checks Medicare claims for accuracy.
  2. $7.1 billion to purchase 98 V-22 Osprey helicopters, despite the fact that MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters offer similar capabilities for one-third of the price and are much safer. The V-22 Osprey is commonly referred to as a “death trap” by pilots because 34 American servicemen and women have been killed in Osprey accidents.
  3. $1.5 billion in foreign aid to countries to which the federal government owes money. As the government borrows trillions of dollars from countries such as China, Brazil, Russia and Ireland to underwrite the bloated federal budget, Congress hands U.S. tax dollars right back to those wealthy nations to pick up the tab for their healthcare, agriculture, military, economic development, infrastructure and higher education costs.
  4. $1.4 billion to bail out Amtrak. Rather than privatizing the insolvent government-run passenger rail line, federal lawmakers hand over $55 in taxpayer subsidies for every ticket sold.
  5. $328 million to bankroll the research and production of energy efficient vehicles, shielding the companies that stand to profit from the sale of the vehicles from much of the economic risk at the expense of taxpayers.
  6. $232 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which shells out taxpayer-funded giveaways to museums such as the Mob Museum in Las Vegas, the International Quilt Study Center and Museum in Nebraska, the American Museum of Magic in Michigan and a merry-go-round museum in upstate New York.
  7. $226 million to fund the Community Transformation Grants aimed at such nanny state activities as banning sodas in schools, making sure adults eat their veggies, and driving up prices for fast food and tobacco products. The scheme, which is part of Obamacare, has granted $18 million to get Minnesotans to lose weight, $1 million to slap calorie counts on menus in Boston and $147,106 to encourage emotional wellness and healthy eating in the Republic of Palau.
  8. $174 million in Department of Commerce handouts to subsidize broadband development in areas that lack the population to justify the expenditure. Worse for taxpayers, new private sector technology is already making many of these expensive government efforts obsolete before they are even completed.
  9. $70 million to upgrade federal employees from regular coach seats to swanky business or first class cabins on domestic flights purchased with tax dollars.
  10. $11 million in subsidies to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a think tank beholden to elected officials since it accepts federal money from Congress and features Cabinet members on its board. The Center recently bestowed its most prestigious award on controversial Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who is perhaps best known for denying his county’s genocide of more than a million Armenians after World War I.
Regrettably, this list barely scratches the surface of the outrageous amount of careless spending or the ridiculous number of unnecessary programs crammed inside the $3.8 trillion federal budget.
In total, these 10 examples of wasteful programs and misused tax dollars alone cost every federal taxpayer this year an average of $400 — making it even more frustrating to write that check to the IRS this year.
Drew Johnson is a senior fellow at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, a nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to a smaller, more responsible government. Read more reports from Drew Johnseon — Click Here Now.

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The 11th “Outrageous” Waste Of Your US Tax Dollars (or perhaps more appropriately stated, #1 abuse thereof)

Sep 23, 2011 Illegal aliens are receiving billions of dollars in IRS tax benefits. these the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the result is tax refunds that
Jan 15, 2012 Tax Cut Talks Focus on Budget Cuts, New Fees. at least $9 billion by blocking illegal immigrants from claiming the refundable income tax credit.
Feb 9, 2012 Republicans are looking to deny tax credits to illegal immigrants, refund checks averaging $1800 a family, in an effort that has roused

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Tax Facts for Journalists (and Taxpayers)

April 11, 2012

Washington, D.C., April 11, 2012—The deadline for filing federal tax returns this year is April 17th, and with that date fast approaching, the Tax Foundation has compiled a few statistics to help journalists put the nation’s income tax system in perspective.

This edition of Tax Facts was compiled by Tax Foundation economist Will McBride. The following are based on the most recent Internal Revenue Service data for tax year 2010 and the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate’s 2011 Report to Congress.

  • 143 million tax returns were filed with the IRS in 2010, some of which represent households and married couples.
  • Americans paid federal incomes taxes of $945 billion.
  • Only 85 million actually paid taxes out of the 143 million filers.  In other words, 58 million, or 41%, were non-payers.  96% of these non-payers made less than $50,000.
  • The IRS paid out $105 billion in refundable credits to filers who paid no income tax.
  • The effective tax rate for those making less than $50,000 was 3.5%, and their share of taxes paid was 6.7%.
  • The effective tax rate for those making more than $50,000 was 14.1%, and their share of taxes paid was 93.3%.
  • The effective tax rate for those making more than $250,000 was 23.4%, and their share of taxes paid was 45.7%.
  • 33% of tax filers itemized.
  • 25% of tax filers took the mortgage interest deduction, which reduced taxable income by $381 billion.
  • 27% of tax filers took the charitable donations deduction, which reduced taxable income by $158 billion.
  • 26 million filers took the refundable earned income tax credit, and they received $56 billion from the IRS despite having paid no income taxes.
  • 21 million filers took the refundable child credit, and they received $27 billion from the IRS despite having paid no income taxes.
  • 4 million paid the Alternative Minimum Tax.
  • The IRS estimates that it takes more than 7 billion hours to comply with the tax code each year.
  • The tax code is now 3.8 million words long.
  • Over the last ten years there have been about 4,428 changes to the tax code, or more than one a day, including about 579 changes in 2010 alone.

The Tax Foundation is a nonpartisan research organization that has monitored fiscal policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. To schedule an interview, please contact Richard Morrison, the Tax Foundation’s Manager of Communications, at 202-464-5102 or morrison@taxfoundation.org.

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Special Report No. 198: Tax Freedom Day 2012

April 2, 2012

Tax Freedom Day® 2012 arrives on April 17 this year, four days later than last year due to higher federal income and corporate tax collections. That means Americans will work 107 days into the year, from January 1 to April 17, to earn enough money to pay this year’s combined 29.2% federal, state, and local tax bill…

Tax Freedom Day By State (And it’s not good news for those in CT [worst] or NY and NJ [tied for 2nd] who have the longest tax freedom days in the country!)

Latest version released April 2012

Map

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