Happy Tax Day!

 

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Fortunately for the procrastinators, the deadline to file taxes is extended a couple of days. Because April 15th fell on a Saturday this year and the next business day happened to be Emancipation Day, today—April 18th—is the deadline.

 

Though many Americans will breathe a sigh of relief that their check to Uncle Sam will not be late, a lot of people will still be unhappy to see the hefty amount they have to hand over to Washington. Though the federal government will collect about $3.5 trillion in taxes, it will spend about $4 trillion, leaving a deficit that must be made up through borrowing or inflation—both of which then take more of a toll on taxpayers.

 

To make up the gap, the government will likely continue to borrow money, adding to the debt and thus the interest we pay on it.

 

Does the government have any other fiscally conservative options? Well, yes, but then politicians would have to do one of their least favorite things: Deal with spending.

 

If Washington is serious about tax reform—as many conservatives have stated—then spending reform has to be on the table as well. President Trump has advocated modest cuts to federal agencies in his recent budget plan, but the big-ticket items, like the Pentagon and entitlements, have to at least be discussed. Refusing to do so harms soldiers and seniors just as much as everyday taxpayers.

 

On Tax Day, it’s important to remember why we are forced to endure this dreaded holiday every year: Because the government spends and spends and spends. In order to make this day a little more bearable in the future, Congress should do more to try to slow the spending train.