Each year, Americans everywhere celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July. But this year, another significant date was June 22. That was "Cost of Government Day," the day when the average American finally earned enough money to pay his share of the bill for all government taxes, spending, and regulation.

Cost of Government Day is calculated each year by the Washington D.C.-based Americans for Tax Reform. This year, the group estimates that each individual American worked the equivalent of 173 days this year to support federal, state, and local government. That amounts to nearly $14,000 from every man, woman, and child.

Government wasn't always this expensive. From America's founding in the late 1700s to the 1930s, government expenses rarely took more than 10 percent of the national income, and Cost of Government Day came four months earlier in February.

Today, exploding federal, state, and local taxes and regulations gobble up nearly half of the average American's earnings every year.

It's time for Americans to again declare their independence from high taxes. Lawmakers at every level of government must work to reduce excessive spending and let Americans keep more of their earnings.

For the Mackinac Center, this is Catherine Martin.