In honor of tax day, here’s Ronald Reagan’s great quote on how there are 151 taxes in a mere loaf of bread. It’s from 1975, and I can’t say for sure if the same is true today. But if anything, my guess would be that that number has gone up, rather than down.
The quote is from a very enjoyable and helpful interview in general with Reagan that I just came across (from 1975). I would recommend reading the whole thing.
Here’s the quote I’m referring to:
If people need any more concrete explanation of this, start with the staff of life, a loaf of bread. The simplest thing; the poorest man must have it. Well, there are 151 taxes now in the price of a loaf of bread — it accounts for more than half the cost of a loaf of bread. It begins with the first tax, on the farmer that raised the wheat. Any simpleton can understand that if that farmer cannot get enough money for his wheat, to pay the property tax on his farm, he can’t be a farmer. He loses his farm. And so it is with the fellow who pays a driver’s license and a gasoline tax to drive the truckload of wheat to the mill, the miller who has to pay everything from social security tax, business license, everything else. He has to make his living over and above those costs. So they all wind up in that loaf of bread. Now an egg isn’t far behind and nobody had to make that. There’s a hundred taxes in an egg by the time it gets to market and you know the chicken didn’t put them there!