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Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
1:08 PM Mon, Nov. 19th

Column: On Thursday you keep what you earn

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.

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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.

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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.