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April 15. 2014 11:41PM

Taxes and spending: Washington vs. NH

Yesterday was the deadline for rendering unto Obama that which is Obama’s. Oh, you thought it was yours? Silly American. By now you should have learned. That money you get paid, you didn’t earn that. Someone else earned that. Want proof? How much of it ever went into your bank account?

About 75 percent of individual income tax filers receive a refund, according to the IRS. The average refund last year was $2,755. If you received the average refund, then you lent the federal government $2,755 interest-free. What a deal.

If Uncle Sam had to come, palm outstretched, to each American and ask for a no-interest loan, he would be told to buzz off. But millions of us let Washington keep that money every year because we never see it. Washington collects it directly from our employers. It belongs to Washington until we file a form to reclaim it. So no, in the eyes of the government, you didn’t earn that. Washington did.

If lawmakers in Concord attempted such a scam, they would be run out of town on a federally subsidized bus (since we don’t have federally subsidized passenger rail). Granite Staters are pretty serious about keeping their taxes low. We are able to do that primarily because of The Pledge used by Gov. Hugh Gregg, the slogan — “low taxes are the result of low spending” — popularized by Gov. Mel Thomson, and the state motto — “Live free or die” — popularized by Gen. John Stark.

Living free requires a small government. Keeping government small requires low spending. Keeping spending low requires The Pledge. New Hampshire does not have an income tax or a sales tax or an intrusive personal tax collection agency because most of us desire to live free of the kind of government that would burden us with such taxation in order to “serve” us. Tax Day is an annual reminder to keep it that way.


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