President Biden’s first three domestic spending programs will give taxpayers a $5.7 trillion sticker shock, with advertised costs of $1.9 trillion for Covid-19 relief, at least $2 trillion for infrastructure, and $1.8 trillion for family benefits. Not seen are the hidden costs and burdens that will accompany the tax increases he proposes. When a private company invests in a new factory or warehouse, the costs are clear. The company has to pay for architects, materials and contractors who build the facilities. There are no hidden costs or excess burdens.

That’s not the case for the government. There are hidden costs and excess burdens associated with the imposition of taxes. The Internal Revenue Service, for example, must extract taxes from taxpayers, and the costs of operating the IRS are significant. Look no further than Mr. Biden’s proposal to increase IRS funding $80 billion to collect the taxes to fund his new big-government programs.

There are also burdens placed on taxpayers that go well beyond the visible tax payments they make. These include myriad compliance costs: record-keeping, studying tax laws, making calculations, filling out forms, grappling with enforcement actions, and so on.