According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, American consumers spend more on taxes than clothes, health care and food combined.
The bureau’s Consumer Expenditure Surveys look at the average “detailed expenditures” of various American consumers and the latest survey was released last month.
Last year, the average American consumer paid $9,000 in federal income taxes, with more than $5,000 on Social Security taxes (which is identified as “deductions”), $2,200 on state and local income taxes, almost $2,200 on property taxes and $78 on “other taxes,” leading to a total of more than $18,600.
The survey shows the average American consumer spent $7,900 on food, around $5,000 on health care and $1,866 on clothes and other services for a total of less than $14,800.
Last year was the norm since the bureau has found that over the past six years, the average American consumer paid more in taxes than for clothing, food and health care combined.
Robert Weissert, an economist for Florida Tax Watch, said these reports, no matter how they are complied, raises a question.
“It still shows people are paying a lot in taxes,” he told Florida Daily. “Are they happy with what they are getting in return?”
Weissert also pointed out the costs of goods and taxes aren’t going down.
For example, in 2013 the average American consumer paid a total of $13,327 in all taxes while, at the same time, paid $11,836 for necessities. From 2014 to 2017, American consumers paid more in taxes than they spent on basic goods. The largest margin of difference between taxes and basic goods occurred last year.
Reach Ed Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org.