Things to Think About on Tax Day

April 16, 2007

While we’re all thinking about taxes this week, here are three things to consider about the fiscal health of the country:

Over 42 million filers will pay nothing in federal income taxes – up from 29 million in 2000.

Sixty percent of the country is a net consumer of government spending. That is, they receive more in spending than they pay in taxes.

Though the average household receives over $31,000 in government spending, nine out of ten people say they would pay less than $10,000 for the government services they receive.

Taken together, since less and less of the country is being asked to shoulder the burden for America’s priorities, there is a huge disconnect between what we’re spending and the value Americans place on the services we receive. Nowhere is this more clear than the rising demand and subsequent costs for entitlement spending.

Luckily, however, most people believe our tax system needs major changes (78%) and that everyone should pay some minimum tax to fund government (61%). Further, a third would prefer decreased services and lower taxes compared to less than one in ten who would be willing to pay higher taxes for increased services.

So at least the American people are trending in such a way that would preserve our long-term fiscal health even if our politicians are not.

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