Growing Into Adulthood and High Taxes

Marci Wexler Summers, Politichicks

Becoming an adult is an amazing experience. It is amazing to realize that you have the freedom to own a home, purchase a car, and even choose all of your favorite items at the grocery store. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed figuring out “grown up” life with my husband. We’ve loved house hunting and signing the papers for our first mortgage, buying a new car, and starting our professional careers together. Having two incomes and no children, we’ve enjoyed the satisfaction of earning, saving, and spending our well earned money. But this year, as tax day loomed closer, I found myself mad. Not just slightly irritated like the way I feel after I buy a pair of shoes and realize a week later they go on sale, but full out furious about the amount of money that is being taken from us on a biweekly basis. Here are two realizations about our current tax system that I’ve come to as I have grown into adulthood and high taxes.

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Thanks to "bracket creep," the inflation of the 1970s pushed millions of taxpayers into higher tax brackets even though their inflation-adjusted incomes were not rising. To help offset this tax increase and also to improve incentives to work, save, and invest, President Reagan proposed sweeping tax rate reductions during the 1980s. What happened? Total tax revenues climbed by 99.4 percent during the 1980s, and the results are even more impressive when looking at what happened to personal income tax revenues. Once the economy received an unambiguous tax cut in January 1983, income tax revenues climbed dramatically, increasing by more than 54 percent by 1989 (28 percent after adjusting for inflation).

 

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