- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 15, 2022

The passing scene races past at a dizzying pace with sights and sounds that numb the mind. And then a riveting headline leaps out and cannot be unseen: “Americans spent more on taxes in 2021 than on food, clothing and health care combined.” That’s when it becomes suddenly clear that America, circa 2022, is seriously out of whack. President Joe Biden is taking too much of taxpayers’ hard-earned money and still, he wants more.

The September 9th news story published by CNS News tallies the dent in kitchen-table finances contained in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ just-released Consumer Expenditure Survey for 2021. U.S. “consumer units” — essentially equivalent to households — spent $8,289.28 on food, $1,754.39 on clothing and apparel-related services, and $5,451.61 on health care. Together, the expenses add up to $15,495.28.

The total comprises a rather large piece of the family-income pie. Officialdom, however, took an even larger helping. In 2021, U.S. households paid an average of $16,729.73 in net total taxes. Federal income taxes added up to $8,561.46. State and local income taxes took another $2,564.14. Social Security taxes averaged $5,565.45, property taxes cost $2,475.18 and miscellaneous levies added an additional $105.21. Taxpayers got a little change back from their tax dollars, though, as the federal government doled out $2,541.71 per household in stimulus checks for coronavirus relief.



If Americans think food, clothing and health care are essential, they had better think again. “Essential” is staying on the right side of
the law, and that requires shelling out every cent that Uncle Sam demands. In 2021, their tax bills exceeded the cost of those basics of everyday life by more than a grand.

Nonetheless, those willing to acknowledge small mercies can be grateful the pain in the pocketbook wasn’t as hurtful as it was in 2020 when the differential surpassed three grand. With the Federal Reserve reporting Friday that 2022 second-quarter inflation cost U.S. households $6.2 trillion in wealth, it’s rather tempting to grumble, “Thanks for nothing.”

Taxpayers tempted to believe the government’s share of their income is already large enough may now be advised to adjust their view. Mr. Biden is in the process of recruiting 87,000 new Internal Revenue Service agents. Are they to be tasked with maximizing Americans’ tax refunds? Hardly. Their mission is to shake down taxpayers for additional funds that the president’s Office of Management and Budget reckons should total $239 billion over a decade.

Yet, federal tax revenues collected during the first half of fiscal 2022 hit an all-time record of $2.1 trillion. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office has projected that taxes receipts for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 are on course to hit 19.6% of the nation’s
gross domestic product – a proportion reached only three earlier times in U.S. history.

Mr. Biden and his wanton fellow Democrats mimic spoiled teenagers who pitch tantrums to brush aside pleas for restraint. Weak-kneed Republicans have come to resemble powerless parents who throw up their hands in surrender before the incessant stream of
wants.

In Washington, more is never enough.

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