The Advocates for Self Government have reprinted an assessment of the costs that the US government imposes on parents during Halloween by the Cost of Government Center from 2011:
Each year, parents spend $1 billion on kid costumes for Halloween. On average, for the estimated 41 million trick-or-treaters, each kid wears a costume costing almost $25 -- a hefty sum for parents who know this annual investment is only going to get a few hours of use. Taxes make up a shocking amount of that cost.
Kids' costumes are almost all made of heavily taxed synthetic fibers. On top of the state sales tax paid at the register, the government increases the cost of buying these costumes by imposing a 17 percent tariff on many of these imported costumes. Businesses not only have to absorb these costs, but also those imposed by income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, workmen's compensation taxes, and other payments to federal, state, and local forms of government.
When all is said and done, government taxes compose a terrifying 47.82 percent of the cost of the average kid's costume -- $11.66 of the average price. Boo!
But the government's tricks don't end there. The Halloween season brings with it $2 billion in candy purchases. Due to excise taxation on sweets in addition to the burden of taxes placed on the confectionery industry, the government takes a 30.81 percent bite out of the average trick-or-treaters' candy haul. Ouch!
Altogether, the cost of celebrating our scariest holiday is made all the more frightening by the costs imposed by government: hidden taxes and other costs constitute 40.91 percent of your Halloween celebration.
This amounts to a burden of $688 million -- or $16.80 per kid. The remaining $1.3 billion of candy not distributed during trick-or-treating represents another $406 million in taxes.
Finally, after including taxes on adults for decorations and costumes the total Halloween tax bite comes to… a bloody and bruising $2.7 billion.
And the cost is even higher if you attend a spooky party with alcoholic beverages. Wine, distilled spirits and beer are all subject to more hidden taxes. Going out to dinner instead of trick-or-treating also carries higher government costs. And if you have to drive your kids to trick-or-treat, the government bite of gasoline also takes a hefty bite out of your wallet.
Wherever you turn, wherever you go, you can't escape the bloodsucking horror of… the federal government.
At this time, it is probably worth quoting:
"If you've never seen 'The Walking Dead,' it's basically a bunch of bloodthirsty zombies slowly devouring what's left of America. No wait, that's C-SPAN." – Craig Ferguson Oct. 11, 2013.