Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Cost of Government Day to all!

Do you ever wonder how much the government actually costs you? Not just as a percentage of total income over the course of year, but in terms of how much time you spend working for yourself versus the amount of time spent making enough money to cover your share of the cost of the government?

Michael Ramirez / Creators Syndicate 2012
Michael Ramirez / Creators Syndicate 2012
Every year, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, a nonpartisan, pro-taxpayer group headed by activist Grover G. Norquist, publishes a " Cost of Government Day" analysis that determines until what date during the calendar year the average American must work to pay for the full costs of government spending and regulation.

Current studies and projections show that they will have to work more than 6 months (nearly 7) to pay the cost of the US Government operations in 2012! This is absurd!

This year, Americans have to work until July 15 to pay for the burden of government, more than six months.
In a new report,  Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has calculated that Americans will spend a total of 197 days toiling to pay for the cost of government through their payroll and other taxes.

"Cost of Government Day is the date of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burden imposed by government at the federal, state and local levels," reads the report. 

The report, Cost of Government Day, shows that Americans will work 88 days to pay for federal spending; 40 days for state and local spending; and 69 days for total regulatory costs.

"From a different perspective, the cost of government makes up 54.0 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP)," reads the report. "What's more, the largest tax hike in the nation's history is scheduled to take place at the end of 2012 unless Congress acts to protect taxpayers. If this tax increase is allowed to hit, COGD [Cost of Government Day] could permanently be pushed back into August and beyond."

The largest driver of these costs, Americans for Tax Reform explained, is spending: "This year, Americans must work a full 88 days to pay for the costs of federal spending. This is in addition to the 40 days spent working to pay for state and local spending." Proving once again that former President Ronald Reagan was right when he said, "Government is too big and it spends too much."

"Another growing concern," the group said, are regulatory costs, as "taxpayers are forced to labor 69 days to pay for federal and state regulations, a workload that will increase exponentially as regulatory agencies continue to grow."

Things are not much better in the states. "As in past years, taxpayers in Connecticut must work the longest to celebrate their COGD, laboring all the way until August 9 to pay off the full costs of government. Taxpayers in Tennessee worked the shortest amount of time to pay off their burden of government, laboring until June 28."

Those who argue the Obama administration has been modest or centrist in its approach to governance should, in the face of these numbers, take the time to rethink their arguments. With the American people in all 50 states spending more than half a year paying for government, it is in fact fair to wonder if we are getting the kind of government we are paying for?

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