U.S. Tax Revenue Drops Most Since Great Depression

Here’s a heartwarming story, fresh off the Associated Press wire: Biggest revenue drop since

The recession is starving the government of tax revenue, just as the president and Congress are piling a major expansion of health care and other programs on the nation’s plate and struggling to find money to pay the tab.

The numbers could hardly be more stark: Tax receipts are on pace to drop 18 percent this year, the biggest single-year decline since the Great Depression, while the federal deficit balloons to a record $1.8 trillion.

Other figures in an Associated Press analysis underscore the recession’s impact: Individual income tax receipts are down 22 percent from a year ago. Corporate income taxes are down 57 percent. Social Security tax receipts could drop for only the second time since , and Medicare taxes are on pace to drop for only the third time ever.

Meanwhile, the recession is taking a toll on fuel and industry excise taxes that pay for highway, mass transit and airport projects. Fuel taxes that support road construction and mass transit projects are on pace to fall for the second straight year. Receipts from taxes on jet fuel and airline tickets are also dropping, meaning Congress will have to borrow more money to fund airport projects and the Federal Aviation Administration.


At Windy City Times, Noel Amberey anticipates a gay tax revolt. Excerpts:

And why not? Currently the government is trying to dictate gay personal rights while using our tax dollars, so one good turn deserves another. A well-orchestrated conscientious objection could effectively cut off all edicts at the pass. Yes, planning a gay tax revolt instead of your wedding could probably called sedition — not something to take lightly. In the 1990s I didn’t mind risking arrest for protesting homophobia with ACT UP, Queer Nation and the Pink Panthers, but the threat of tax penalties is enough to give anyone pause. Nevertheless, in a pink twist on the so-called Porth/Daly tax return [a tax protester strategy of filing a return but leaving most of it blank], if every gay U.S. citizen and their supporters courageously said no to taxation without equal representation, extraordinary changes could occur.

Being levied lately feels like an insult. Why should we pay salaries of homophobic politicians who begrudge us rights enjoyed by every heterosexual citizen? Why should queer money fund a military that hypocritically condemns lesbian soldiers? Gay dollars nourish our country’s kith and kin but by decree we have been left at the altar by our government.

“Tolerance” from conservatives? Well, how about acceptance? Call me naïve, but is that too much to ask? Maybe it is. Yet recall the violent Stonewall Riots in New York City in , when gays prevailed over police harassment. Rights are rarely given — they are taken. Today the enemy sits in Congress. Instead of blunt force, we need brave souls to say, “I do!” to equal rights and hit Uncle Sam in his wallet.

Abolitionist Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his poll tax in in protest of slavery. Although Thoreau spent only one night in jail, he was eager to serve his cause, and his act of civil disobedience reverberates through history. Had Thoreau organized a massive poll tax revolt, human bondage in the U.S. may have ended sooner. Money chants louder than a thousand activists. Cynical, yes, but the simple truth is most people pay attention when their bottom line is threatened. Internet technology has the potential to assemble a tax showdown quickly and efficiently.

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