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home : opinion : opinion February 5, 2016


4/14/2013 6:00:00 AM
Column: On Thursday you keep what you earn

Rich Thurlow
Editor


Tax day is almost here, so it's time to file for an extension. I deal with enough deadlines on a daily basis without having to needlessly impose another. Really, if the deficit and debt are no big deal, as the president assures us every time the debt ceiling is raised, then why is it so important that the government get more tax money from me on a specific date?

The other tax day, this one Tax Freedom Day, arrives on April 18, day 108 of 2013. That means that Americans will work well over three and a half months of the year before they have earned enough money to pay this year's tax obligations on the federal, state and local levels, according to the Tax Foundation.

But not all taxpayers are treated equally. For instance, Tax Freedom Day arrives on March 29 in Mississippi and Louisiana, on April 2 in Tennessee. Those are low-tax states. Connecticut (May 13) and New York (May 6) are high-tax states, so Tax Freedom Day arrives much later.

Now, if you are serious about the deficit, or more serious about it than Washington, you'll want to know that if we paid for what we spent rather than have a deficit of $833 billion, Tax Freedom Day would arrive on May 9.

The Tax Foundation notes that the date for Tax Freedom Date has fluctuated significantly. The latest was May 1, 2000 - meaning that Americans paid one-third of their income in taxes. In 1900, Tax Freedom Day was Jan. 22.

In case you were wondering, Arizona's Tax Freedom Day is April 5. And according to my calculations, if the City Council votes for higher sales taxes, Tax Freedom Day in Kingman will arrive on July 13.

•••

A few readers quickly figured out that Families USA is not non-partisan, it just claims to be. Use your favorite search engine and you'll find all kinds of information linking the group to other organizations that lean left. Families USA is non-partisan like John McCain is conservative.

Families USA provided much of the sunny information about the Affordable Care Act in Wednesday's Miner, but aside from referring to the group as "non-partisan," I won't fault the coverage. In fact, I hope what Families USA is saying turns out to be true.

But I'm not optimistic. I've heard too much about 61-page forms that must be filled out, of too many one-size fits all regulations, and of more burdens on business so heavy they won't hire if they need to - a rarity in this economy.

And then there's the story of thousands of chemotherapy patients in New York denied treatment because doctors can't afford steep Medicare cuts for the drugs.

The story on CBS 2 - http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2013/04/05/elderly-l-i-cancer-patients-being-turned-away-after-sequester-cuts/ - blames both the sequester and Medicare. The whole sequester "cut" is a mystery to me, since government is actually spending more this year. How could someone decide it was better to deny these folks chemotherapy while literally thousands upon thousands of government workers could stay home for weeks and you and I wouldn't notice.

And if they are with the IRS, when they are home they won't be busy reading your email. Without your permission.

•••

Just bragging: Miner photographer JC Amberlyn, sports reporter Rodney Haas and former reporter Erin Taylor have won Arizona Press Club awards. The specifics (was it first, second or third place?; which entry won?) will become known on May 18, but why wait until then to spread good news.

Congratulations, guys.

More newsroom news: We're back to full strength, Obamaconomy Era, with the addition of Kim Steele. She's already made her mark with some solid reporting in her first week, and combined with Doug McMurdo's recent arrival, has made the newsroom the most experienced in my time here.

Our two newbs also double the number of grandparents in the newsroom, so even if you don't like what we report on, you might talk us into watching the kids while you catch dinner and a movie.


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@Linda

So you can forget the Koch Brothers you libs love to blame. A hundred Koch Brothers couldn't come close to the damage Soros does with his 250 left wing America destroyers he outright owns (and hides behind) or others he simply supports with huge sums of money."

I am sure that is just what you want people to do. Believe the lies posted about Soros and ignore the Koch Brothers who out right said they intended to buy this last election. Thankfully, they failed.


Posted: Monday, April 15, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

Ms Athens
“So you can forget the Koch Brothers you libs love to blame.”

How about some facts for change? According to the Center for Responsive Polictics the following are the figures for funds given in the most recent federal elections –

The Koch Brothers (Righties) - $2.4 million. Soros (Democrat) - $3.7 million. Foster Friess (Rightie) $3.8 million. Jeffrey Katzenberg (Democrat) $4.8 million. And the winner is – Sheldon Adelson and wife (Rightie) - $94.2 million.

“A hundred Koch Brothers couldn't come close to the damage Soros does with his 250 left wing America destroyers he outright owns…”

Nope, no evidence of that, just hyperbole from the righties.

“I can truthfully say, the left wing money that flows (floods) behind the likes of moveon.org types makes what the right wing supports look like a small tributary.”

Actually to “truthfully” make such a statement is bearing false witness.


Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Frances Perkins:

I sent a post in that named 40 of the 250 groups George Soros funds, not with small amounts of money but with HUGE amounts of money as in multiple millions and billions.

So you can forget the Koch Brothers you libs love to blame. A hundred Koch Brothers couldn't come close to the damage Soros does with his 250 left wing America destroyers he outright owns (and hides behind) or others he simply supports with huge sums of money.

My post was never published. I inquired twice. It has still never been posted and it was not Mr. Thurlow holding it back because I asked. It took hours putting it together and since I never save posts, I don't have it handy to re-post.

I can truthfully say, the left wing money that flows (floods) behind the likes of moveon.org types makes what the right wing supports look like a small tributary.


Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2013
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

We are all sure that when ALEC, the Goldwater Institute and all the other Koch Brothers secretly funded "non-partisan" groups comment on Health care reform, it will completely objective. To which groups do the Ward's belong?

Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research

Woah, hold on a second - all that Tax Freedom Day stuff is missing a big part of relevant information.

Stats like Conn. and NY have higher per capita incomes than places like Alabama and Tenn. Taxes are not all that are going on here. There are multi-millionaires and billionaires that live in those states. That pushes the average tax bracket higher, which then pushes back the date of "Tax Freedom Day."

For all the collective complaining about how evil and horrible states are that have more taxes, please look at where those states rank on per capita and household income lists. They are mostly near the top, which means people who earn more money live there, not simply people who are burdened with higher taxes and are the same as you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income#States_ranked_by_per_capita_income

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_income


Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“A few readers quickly figured out that Families USA is not non-partisan, it just claims to be. … you'll find all kinds of information linking the group to other organizations that lean left.”

That “lean left?” what in the world does that mean? And why haven’t you spoken out about the multiple groups that use the word “Family” in their name that are fully and unabashedly right wing?

“I've heard too much about 61-page forms that must be filled out…”

And you’ve seen and had to fill out that form, right? Oh, wait, no you haven’t because it does not exist. Usual hyperbolic nonsense.

“And then there's the story of thousands of chemotherapy patients in New York denied treatment because doctors can't afford steep Medicare cuts for the drugs.”

Let’s now cut through the hyperbole and look at the facts – cursed facts! No one is being DENIED their chemo drugs, however because their doctors will not be making enough MONEY their Medicare patients will have to go to area hospital to obtain the drugs. People have been screaming and yelling about Medicare spending too much money, so one of the changes that took place on 1 April was the reduction from 6% to 4% (not STEEP as Rich would have you believe) over the cost of the drugs payable to doctors.

So what we have is Medicare saving all of us money and suddenly we have doctors – one who runs an oncology clinic in New York City that has 16,000 Medicare patients (16,000!) – turning away patients because they will not be able to suck an additional 2% out of Medicare.

Now the question – do you want cost savings or business as usual?


Posted: Sunday, April 14, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

Forget furloughing government employees to help Medicare patients, the sequestration doesn't even include social security and Medicare to begin with.

I think that the left loved the sequestration because they have something in addition to Geo bush to blame for everything.




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