It would be a hard government that should tax its people one-tenth part of their income.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Food for thought.

America rebelled against England, in part, over taxation that was only a fraction of today’s tax burden.  In fact, the Founding Fathers struggled with the notion a nation would tax its people at even 10%!

Scholars at the time considered oppressive taxation by using a “1/3 test.”  Feudal overlords had required homage equivalent to 1/3 of the crop produced on their land by serfs.  So the belief, in the late 1700s, was that any taxation over 1/3 was the equivalent to slavery because that government was making its citizens far worse off than even feudalism.

In America today “Tax Freedom Day” is April 21st.  This means that everything you earn up to that day is taken by the government.  April 21st is the 111th day of the year meaning that, on average, government taxes consumes 30.4% of your income.

Getting awful close to the 1/3 test aren’t we?



Adam Smith Discussing the "1/3 Test"

Adam Smith Discussing the “1/3 Test”