Stealth Tax Hikes

Tax cuts got lots of ink, but the overall tab will rise this year; here's why--and what you can do

A common misconception is that taxes are going down. Sorry, it just isn't so. True, some tax rates have fallen. And tax reform last year gave us tax credits for education and tax deductions for long-term savings. But new targeted breaks total maybe $20 billion, which pales next to Americans' annual tax burden of nearly $3 trillion. In 1998 it took the combined incomes of everybody in the U.S. through May 10 to pay all taxes owed for the year--the latest "tax freedom" day ever, says the Tax Foundation, which figures the date will be even later this year.

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