(From the President’s Corner section in Volume 18, No. 22 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!)
Holidays can be a great time to share libertarian ideas with family and friends, so be sure to gather liberty-themed facts, figures and stories specific for each holiday. (The Liberator Online is an excellent source for such information as a holiday nears.)
Thanksgiving is almost upon us. As you’re making your plans, the free-market Cost of Government Center (CFR) reminds us that an uninvited guest is planning to crash your Turkey (or Tofurkey) Day — Uncle Sam.
CFR — an affiliate of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) — offers us some genuinely shocking figures about how much government is adding to the cost of your family’s Thanksgiving celebration this year.
Share this information with your family and friends, if the appropriate opportunity arises, and you’ll surely open some minds. Maybe they’ll give thanks that you and other libertarians are working to spare them from this kind of government plunder.
Here’s CFR’s report.
Hard to Be Thankful for Bigger Government this Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a time for reuniting with friends and family — but the government wants to be part of your celebration too. Whether you stay home or travel for the holiday, government is a significant contributor to the costs of the celebration.
Of an identified $10 billion in spending that occurs during Thanksgiving weekend on the wine and beer, the gas and plane tickets, and the meal itself, government taxation composes 35.86 percent of those expenses — approximately $3.6 billion in revenues.
Many of these Thanksgiving items are subject to the increased costs of income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate income taxes, and other taxes on business activity. Government then includes additional fees and excise taxes that further increase the cost of providing specific items or services.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, this year’s Thanksgiving meal for ten increased in cost by $5.73 to a total of $49.20 — mostly due to rising food prices. Despite the most significant increase in food costs since 1990, government taxation still gobbles up $13.68 of your meal preparations.
Unfortunately this measure still does not account for beer and wine consumption. Between football games and meals, nearly 53 million cases of beer are consumed. Government collects $219 million in taxes — 44.33 percent of the cost of each case. Thanksgiving attendees will also find it hard to be grateful for the 32.77 percent increase in the cost of each bottle of wine thanks to government.
Whether you fly or drive to be with your loved ones this Thanksgiving season, government heavily taxes your preferred mode of transportation. Of the 94 percent of travelers driving their cars, government will raise an estimated $1.1 billion in tax revenue — 45.33 percent of the gasoline price tag. Similarly, government also increases the cost of the average $376 Thanksgiving flight — making up 43.57 of each ticket’s price.
The government hits taxpayers particularly hard during the holiday season, filling its plate with these taxes and fees. As you gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, remember that Uncle Sam is to thank… for your smaller slice of pumpkin pie.
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This Thanksgiving I’ll be giving thanks for the growing liberty movement, and especially for Liberator Online readers like you — people who are eager to learn the best ways to share the blessings of liberty with others!
I’m also grateful for libertarians who support the vital work of the Advocates with their generous donations. They make all the programs of the Advocates possible — including this newsletter. If you’d to join this special group, click here to donate and see the great “thank-you” gifts we have reserved for you. THANK YOU and Happy Thanksgiving!
Yours for Liberty,