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Breaking News Alert This Week In Lawfare Land: 'Deadly Force'

Happy Tax Day! Your Earnings Paid For Cats On Treadmills And Egyptian Tourists

Plus 30 percent of our individual income taxes are merely paying the interest on federal debt.

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Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you 19 for me
‘Cause I’m the taxman 
Yeah, I’m the taxman 

With compliments to the “Quiet Beatle,” welcome to Tax Day 2024 — for all your earnings in 2023. And we do mean all your earnings. 

While taxpayers in Massachusetts and Maine get a two-day reprieve (God bless you, Patriots’ Day), April 15 is the day of reckoning for the rest of us working stiffs. Uncle Sam wants you, and more than ever. Who else is going to scratch the federal government’s spending itch? With a $34.6 trillion habit — and climbing — the itch is getting itchier. 

Besides, Democrats and Republicans have big plans. Ukraine isn’t going to just defend itself, after all. Somebody’s got to pick up the tab for all of those illegal immigrants pouring into a borderless country over the past three-plus years. Do you think subsidizing all those electric vehicles nobody wants is cheap? And turning the greatest nation in the history of the world into a banana republic takes lots of cash for the political weaponization alone. 

But wait … there’s more, as the infomercials say. 

Because misery loves company, and because we’re all bound by that galling axiom about death and taxes, here are just some of the many ways your government is burning your hard-earned dollars. 

Runaway Debt

Patrick Carroll at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) earlier this year detailed “7 Ridiculous Examples of Government Waste in 2023.” Carroll’s piece draws from Sen. Rand Paul’s annual “Festivus Report” (named after the Seinfeldian holiday that includes the “airing of grievances”). Paul’s report notes $900 billion in wasteful spending, including a National Institutes of Health grant to study “Russian cats walking on a treadmill” and “Barbies used as proof of ID for receiving COVID Paycheck Protection Program funds.” 

But the biggest source of waste is the most pressing to your bottom line. The U.S. government paid out approximately $660 billion in interest on the national debt last year. It’s insane in the membrane. 

“That total, which grew by 38 percent from $476 billion in 2022, was the largest amount ever spent on interest in the budget and totaled 2.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP),” the Peter G. Peterson Foundation reported, noting that interest costs “are on track to become the largest category of spending in the federal budget.” 

That fact is equal parts stunning and pathetic. The federal government raked in $2.18 trillion in individual income taxes in 2023. So 30 percent of that revenue went to debt service. In fact, debt service was more than the total $420 billion the government grabbed in corporate taxes last year. And no, that’s not an endorsement for sticking it to the man, for our socialist zealots playing along at home. 

All that debt is taxing Americans again — in the form of higher interest payments on everything from home purchases to costs of operating small businesses.  

Money For Nothing

But here’s some of the really stupid stuff that’s going into that out-of-control debt, according to FEE. How about $6 million to boost Egyptian tourism? Yep. Admittedly, $6 million is but a drop in the ocean of debt, but really? Egyptian tourism?

“The U.S. has spent over $100 million on Egyptian tourism so far,” Paul’s Festivus report notes. 

Big Brother also gets a big cut. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) used your tax dollars to train Department of Homeland Security employees to be their “Authentic and Best Selves.” Yes, another quality diversity, equity, and inclusion indoctrination session brought to you by the wokists in the executive branch. The workshop introduced “effective strategies to build and sustain psychological safety that allows individuals to show up to work as their authentic and best selves.” 

“Ironically, the workshop coincided with CISA’s efforts to suppress protected speech on social media platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the senator notes in the report. “Even I was censored at the behest of our government speech minders. And all while I thought I was being my best self.”

Taxpayers also generously provided $38 million to people who can no longer pay taxes — because they’re dead. Covid stimulus payments can only stimulate so much. 

“In fact, $1.3 million of that money went to 30 individuals who had been dead for at least a year,” Carroll wrote in the Fee article. 

Again, there’s more. Much more. 

Sure, it’s painful to consider just how badly your government is wasting your money. But is there a more appropriate time than Tax Day to look at the tab?

Perhaps the know-it-all accountant Oscar from “The Office” put it best when he was scolding Regional Manager Michael Scott about his out-of-control personal spending. Pointing to a graph on his laptop, Oscar says to Michael, “And this scary black bar is things that no one ever, ever needs, like professional bass fishing equipment and multiple magic sets.”

Much like Michael, we can’t publicly yell the words, “I declare bankruptcy!” to stop our government from throwing away our money. 


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