From a new op-ed by Ed Hudgins, executive director of The Atlas Society, published in the Washington Times and elsewhere:
On July 4, 1776, America’s Founders declared the country’s independence from Britain, largely as a revolt against excessive and unfair taxation. So in our nation, which is much more overtaxed than it was over two centuries ago, it would be fitting if, in recognition of our Founding principles, federal, state and local governments made July Fourth a totally tax-free day.
Many cities already suspend sales taxes for a few days a year on items such as clothing and school supplies, usually to garner the favor of overtaxed parents struggling to raise kids and to give mom and pop an incentive to frequent overtaxed downtown enterprises struggling to make profits. So wouldn’t it be appropriate for all of us who struggle every day to be allowed to keep our money on that day on which we celebrate our freedom?
The total direct tax burden on Americans – not counting the indirect taxes of regulations – is estimated at about 35 percent of our $13 trillion gross domestic product, or $4.5 trillion. That works out to more than $12 billion we would keep in our own pockets if we were truly independent on Independence Day.
We wouldn’t have to pay taxes on the hotdogs, beer and barbecue we purchase for Fourth of July picnics. And since for most of us this is a paid holiday, for that day we would receive our paychecks without income tax, Social Security taxes, unemployment insurance taxes and the like taken out.
Such a tax-free day would be the time to fill up large SUVs and save $10 a tank in various fuel taxes. Malls would soon see Christmas-season sized crowds as shoppers seek to stretch their dollars.