NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Tax Slavery And Tax Freedom Day

April 13, 1999

Some specialists who have traced the history of taxes from the Roman Empire up to today contend the federal government is making slaves of us all. The Founding Fathers, they say, would not have found the word too strong. In the 18th Century, Americans calling themselves the "Sons of Liberty" dumped British tea into Boston harbor and sang protest songs against their enslavement by the British Parliament.

Today, the U.S. tax system is described as "progressive." According to figures supplied by the Tax Foundation, here is how they have "progressed" in the 20th Century.

  • "Tax Freedom Day" -- the date by which the average American has earned enough to satisfy his tax obligations -- arrived on January 31 in the year 1902.
  • By 1948, it had advanced to March 28.
  • Between 1968 and 1978, it marched forward from April 24 to April 30.
  • As recently as 1988, it arrived on May 2.

As of 1998, Americans were finally free to begin working for themselves on May 10.

Source: Charles Adams (author and tax historian), "The Growing Menace of Tax Slavery," Investor's Business Daily, April 13, 1999.


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