Someone sent the following statistics to my son-in-law recently, and he sent them to me. I have not personally checked the authenticity, but someone obviously went to a lot of trouble to compile such figures — so I will accept them at face value and pass them along to you:

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is a scant 269 words in length.

The word-count for the Declaration of Independence is 1,337.

The Holy Bible contains about 773,000 words.

The tax law, enacted in 1913 with 11,400 words, has expanded to more than 7 million words today. This does not include the word-count in the thousands of other tax laws — State, County, City, School, Excise, Sales, Inheritance, ad infinitum — but let us get back to the subject of the IRS.

There are at least 480 different tax forms, each with many pages of instructions. Even the easiest form, the 1040E, has 33 “how-to” pages, all in fine print. The IRS sends out 8 billion pages of forms and instructions each year. Laid end to end, they would stretch around the earth 28 times. Nearly 300,000 trees are harvested annually to produce the paper for all these IRS forms and instructions alone.

Each year American taxpayers spend $200 billion, and work 5.4 billion hours, just to comply with federal taxes. That is more than it takes to produce every car, truck, and van in the United States. The IRS employs 114,000 people — twice as many as the CIA and five times more than the FBI.

Sixty percent of taxpayers must hire a professional to get through their own return.

Taxes eat up 38.2% of the average family's income — more than for food, clothing, and shelter combined.

Yet…few people today are concerned enough to try to do anything about it, other than to complain, and then pay up. The majority are not even concerned enough to vote out the rascals in Congress who keep running up the national debt through pork legislation, foreign giveaways, and increased taxation. Most of them are the ones who say President Bush's tax cut is irresponsible.

Now that we are in the midst of tax season again, I thought you should know how much money, time, and effort goes into our April (and other) filing dates.

In light of all this, it seems almost incongruous that the American Revolution began 226 years ago primarily because of burdensome taxation.

What is the answer? I am at a loss for words!