The taxman tightens his grip

July is justly famous for marking America’s independence from Great Britain more than two centuries ago.

Last Wednesday, the month also marked the moment when we finally broke the taxman’s grip and we now get to keep the rest of what we earn for the year. But with Democrats stealthily moving to raise taxes in order to pay for their increased spending, the taxman may keep us prisoners even longer.

Cost of Government Day — July 11 this year, two days later than in 2006 — is the day when the average American has finally earned enough money to pay his or her share of total government spending.

Before COGD, every penny earned by a taxpayer is siphoned off to pay for the vast multitude of government programs, taxes and regulations. The creeping date of COGD shows that government spending has increased consistently since 2000. Many people assume that the war in Iraq consumes the majority of this money, ignoring the trillions in mandatory entitlement spending on Social Security and Medicare in years ahead if Congress doesn’t make some tough spending decisions now.

But tough decisions are not in the cards because the Democratic majority in Congress has proposed a 2008 budget that would put theU.S. even further into debt by allowing an unspecified portion of the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 to expire in 2010 and 2011.

In effect, the Democrats will be raising taxes, putting the brakes on the economy and reducing government revenues.

At the same time, the Democrats’ budget proposal includes nearly three dozen “reserve funds” authorizing spending hikes such as $15 billion in additional farm aid. This is puzzling, since Democrats promised fiscal responsibility if elected to office last November.

But with this year’s budget already predicted to be $205 billion in the red, next year’s deficit projected at $258 billion and Democrats determined to end the revenue gusher produced by the Bush tax cuts, it seems a sure bet that COGD is going to fall even later in the year.

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