Those concerned about our growing tax burden like to draw attention to it by "celebrating" Tax Freedom Day, the day when we've earned enough money to cover all our taxes for the year. However, thinking of taxes as front-loaded like this draws attention away from a different problem with our progressive tax system.
The truth is that the first several thousand dollars of income is barely taxed, or even negatively taxed for those who receive income-tested benefits that exceed the taxes they pay. People with upper middle class income get to keep most of their income for the first half of the year, but the incentive to work drops off in the second half of the year. This is because this later income is taxed more heavily. I'd happily trade one-sixth of my income for two months of additional vacation every year because I'd be giving up less than one-sixth of my take-home pay.
I'm a believer in a progressive tax system, but only up to a point. I fear for our country's future if our most talented people have little reason to work more than half of the year.