Every year, as a way to emphasize how terribly much Americans pay in taxes, our friends over at the Tax Foundation publish a report, based on volumes of published US and state government data, in which they have calculated the date on which the average US taxpayer has worked long enough, to earn enough money, to pay all of his taxes for that year. For obvious reasons, the Tax Foundation refers to this date as, Tax Freedom Day®.
OK. In reality, your taxes are spread out over the year. But by putting a date on when you’ve worked long enough to pay your taxes for the year, it makes it easier to understand just how much of your hard work benefits the government, instead of you.
On April 10, the Tax Foundation announced that Tax Freedom Day for 2019, will arrive on April 16. This means that roughly 29% of the work of the average American will go to pay his taxes. The Tax Foundation reminds us that this is more than we spend on food, clothing, and household expenses, combined.
We must commend the Tax Foundation for doing a yeoman’s job, in preparing this report. Just for the sake of understanding what goes into this calculation, we once went through one of their reports and tried to trace what went into that calculation. Just following their work took days. But in doing so, we were also able to determine that they have been exceedingly thorough in their work. We’re glad that someone else has taken it upon themselves to do this important work.
As a way to help you better visualize what Tax Freedom Day really means for you, we’ve used the Tax Foundation report to create the Tax Freedom Clock, as a Flash web widget. That means it can be embedded on any website and on many forums. We have also taken Tax Freedom Day to a more granular level, with the Tax Freedom Clock. Using the Tax Foundation data, we’ve calculated the exact moment of Tax Freedom, down to the second.
Using the Tax Foundation’s determination that taxes of Americans represent 29% of total net national income for Americans, we determined that the exact moment of Tax Freedom is April 16 at 9:24 PM. By using the more granular data, it allows the Tax Freedom Clock to count down to the actual second of Tax Freedom.
Some have suggested that since the Tax Freedom Clock counts down not just to the day of Tax Freedom, but to the second, it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment, by emphasizing the pain of our tax load, with each tick. But then, isn’t that what the income tax has evolved into… cruel and unusual punishment? What else can you call it, when our various government bodies demand that the producers, who elected them, work almost a third of each year for them, before those voters/producers can start earning their own money?
The Tax Freedom Day Clock web widget not only counts down the time till the next US Tax Freedom Day, but after Tax Freedom Day has passed, it tells the time that most Americans have actually been earning their own money, since Tax Freedom Day. Also note that at the beginning of each year, the Tax Freedom Clock continues to use the prior year’s Tax Freedom Calculation, until such time as the Tax Foundation publishes the new data. The 2019 report was released on April 10, 2019.
Note that if you have visited any page that contains this clock within a week of April 10, when the clock was updated, you may have to refresh your browser or in some cases, clear cache in your browser and then refresh the page, to see the correct time for 2019. This is because most browsers default to keeping things like Flash widgets in cache for a week. Also, if you are using the latest Safari browser and have the “Stop plug-ins to save power” feature turned on, you will have only to roll over any Flash applet, in order to start it.
It’s a Flash applet, so it should work on any web site or blog that allows web widgets (object code or embed code) and display properly on all modern browsers.
Sorry, but Flash doesn’t work on most mobile devices, due to battery issues. We have considered developing an iOS app and it still may happen in the future. But we have been busy preparing a 2nd edition to “The Rich Don’t Pay Tax! …Or Do They?”, finishing up another book, “The Tax Deception”, for publication this summer, producing videos, and preparing speeches to be presented at several large political gatherings. So producing an app for this widget is on the back burner.
Allegiance Books encourages you to share this widget with your friends, by placing it on your own web site. It can also be placed on a limited number of social networking sites and in the signature area of your various forum postings. Such sites must allow you to place either “embed” or “object” code on your page.
There are two ways to place this widget on a web page. The most common is the “object” code version. But we also include the “embed” code version, in the event that the object code version doesn’t work on a particular site. Unfortunately, some blogs and forums may not allow either “object” or “embed” code. Then there are sites like Facebook, which allow you to embed a widget, but only through the use of a special app. In general, you’ll probably find that Flash web widgets are accepted on a wide variety of social forums.
Of course, if it’s your own site, then either of the methods of embedding the widget should work.
To share this widget with others, just select all of the text in one of the following boxes and copy it (Ctrl–C on a PC or Cmd–C on a Mac). Then, paste it into the HTML code of your web site, blog or forum posting (Ctrl–V on a PC or Cmd–V on a Mac), where you want the Tax Freedom Day Clock to appear on that page. Look for a button on forums that say something like “HTML” or “CODE”, to get to the point where you can paste this code into the page. That’s all there is to it.
>> Use just one of the following… not both. <<
This is the “object” code version that is most widely allowed on forum postings.
For those sites that do not allow “object” code, you might try the following “embed” code.
The underlying data that makes the US Tax Freedom Clock possible comes from annual calculations by the non-partisan Tax Foundation, who are the official keepers of the US Tax Freedom Day.
The Tax Foundation uses the most unbiased method possible for calculating the national Tax Freedom Day. As you can see below, it is very straight forward:
Dividing the total of federal, state and local taxes, by the total net national income of all Americans, gives us the percentage of our annual income that goes to taxes and likewise the percentage of the year that we have to work for the government to pay those taxes. Take that percentage and multiply it by the number of days in the year and you know how many days you have to work to pay your taxes for that year.
In the past, some people have suggested that Tax Freedom Day is not really representative of most working Americans, since it is skewed by the the large amount of taxes paid by the very rich. They try to spin the story to suggest that the average taxpayer doesn’t really work that long, by ignoring other even more significant facts. But that’s all their argument is – spin. It has no basis in fact.
You see, like most spin, their argument focuses on just one point that is part of a much larger picture and, by itself, would tend to support their position. But in order to make their spin work, they completely ignore the fact that, according to the bi-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation, roughly half of Americans don’t earn enough to have any tax liability. It should be noted that those who pay zero federal income tax also pay very little of any other taxes. They want us to forget that important fact, because they know that it more than offsets the effect of a handful of the rich paying huge amounts of tax. In the end, Tax Freedom Day is very representative of the average working American and may actually be skewed ever so slightly toward lower-income taxpayers. Because of this, there is a very good likelihood that your personal tax freedom day could be later than the one calculated by the Tax Foundation.
We hope that you will use the Tax Freedom Day Clock web widget on your site and tell others about it, to help emphasize how much of our work actually benefits the government and not those of us who worked to earn it.
Please visit the Tax Foundation for more information on Tax Freedom Day.Share this page
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