Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Cost of Government Day: August 12; You Will Be "Government-Free" Starting Tomorrow


Americans for Tax Reform -- "Cost of Government Day (COGD) 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. Cost of Government Day for 2011 is today, August 12. On average, workers must toil 224 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government. In other words, the cost of government consumes 61.42% of national income.

Cost of Government falls two days earlier than last year’s revised date of August 14 (see top chart above). In 2011, the average American will have to work an additional 41 days to pay off his or her share of the cost of government compared to ten years ago in 2001, when COGD was July 2. In fact, between 1977 and 2008, COGD had never fallen later than July 20. 2011 marks the third consecutive year COGD has fallen in August. The difference between 2008 and 2009—from July 16 to August 14—was a full 29 days. The increase was spurred by government intervention in the form of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) that created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

The two day decrease of the 2011 COGD is only a temporary fall before projections of increased future spending. In March 2010, President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) into law which will add $2.3 trillion to COGD over its first decade.  Even without counting Obamacare’s contributions to future COGDs, the three years of the Obama Administration have been three record-setting years of federal government regulation and spending—a 21.78 percent increase relative to the average size of the federal government between 1977 and 2008. 

Cost of Government Day Components (see bottom chart):

1. The average American worker will have to labor 103 days this year just to pay for federal spending, which consumes 28.15% of net national product. 

2. In 2011, the average American has to work 44.2 days to pay for state and local expenditures—roughly the same number of days in 2010 and one day less than the 45.4 days worked in 2009.

3. The average American must labor more than 77 days in 2011 just to cover the cost of government regulations (49.75 days for federal regulations and 27.6 days for state regulations) - identical to the number of days worked in 2010 and slightly less than the 79 days worked in 2009."

For the full report go here

Related: See Grover Norquist's WSJ editorial today "Happy Cost of Government Day! You Worked for It."   

MP: Isn't it a bit ironic that Americans celebrate Independence Day on July 4 to recognize our rejection of oppressive British regulation, mercantilism and taxation, and yet the typical American now works until the middle of August to pay for today's Big Government?  That is, we celebrate our declaration of independence from the British government when we are still more than a month away from really being free from the tax and regulatory burden of our current government. 

13 Comments:

At 8/12/2011 9:07 AM, Blogger bix1951 said...

hey, just shooting from the hip... seems like we could use a history lesson...
how did we get here?
Was it mostly FDR and the GREAT depression and the fear of communism and WWII, or was it a trend already in place before that?
and is there any real possibility of reversing the trend?
or is the trend already reversing because you really can't have things you can never pay for?
It has been said, "What can't go on won't go on."

 
At 8/12/2011 9:08 AM, Blogger Cooper said...

This sounds the same as "Tax Freedom Day" but with the additional 77 days for regulation.

 
At 8/12/2011 9:17 AM, Blogger bobby said...

I wonder if the Median Worker's day, analogous to 8/12, would be some time in May ...

 
At 8/12/2011 10:02 AM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

"Happy Cost of Government Day." Isn't this a lot like Happy Root Canal Day.

 
At 8/12/2011 12:32 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Bix,
As % of GDP, we've had significant debt since the founding (with the short exception starting in the 1830's). It peaked with The New Deal and WW2, grew under Reagan's cold war and has gone out of control after 2000.
Of course the method and rate of taxation changed many times over that period.

The only way to reverse the trend now would be pretty painful for a large percentage of the population, since DC would have to start spending no more than (roughly) 15% of gdp. Much like US foreign aid has the counter-productive outcome of entrenching the tyrants that put their people in jeopardy in the first place, the US gov't has borrowed and spent so much of our money that there are far too many recipients to eliminate when they can (and do) vote themselves into power and entitlements.

We'll have to wait and see how long what can't go on will go on.

 
At 8/12/2011 12:57 PM, Blogger Steve said...

MP wrote: "when we are a still more than a month away from really being free from the tax and regulatory burden of our current government. "

But likewise are we never free from the shared benefits that said oppresive government provides the populace, particularly if one has wealth or status to protect.

Can't have one without the other.

"Taxes are what we pay for civilized society." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

 
At 8/12/2011 1:49 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Steve,

Are you serious?

Yes, we do pay taxes to our elected officials who are lobbied by those with wealth and status to create regulation, eliminating the possibility to of competition from those with less....inevitably costing all of us more.

I can name the benefits from the government that the vast majority of Americans buy/enjoy and still come up with a question mark followed by thirteen zeros.

I believe that Mr. Holmes, as liberal as he may have been, would have a different opinion if he could see the insane waste of today.

 
At 8/12/2011 2:50 PM, Blogger Steve said...

@Mike: "I can name the benefits from the government that the vast majority of Americans buy/enjoy and still come up with a question mark followed by thirteen zeros."

Don't think you can:

(1) The majority of Americans support Social Security, Medicare and most military spending, which combine to about 2/3 of the federal budget. If you poll for specific programs, as opposed to "is the government too big?", then you find large support for a lot of discretionary spending.

Right there, the majority supports close to $3 trillion in government outlays. That's a non-question-mark-digit followed by 12 zeros.


(2) Total federal, state and local spending is a single digit followed by twelve zeros, not thirteen. You're off by a factor of ten.

 
At 8/12/2011 2:52 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Taxes are what we pay for civilized society." - Oliver Wendell Holmes...

OWH didn't live to see how the federal government panders to parasites so what did he know?

BTW Steve do you ever gift extra to the treasury or do you just want other folks' money for what you consider civilization?

Just asking is all...

 
At 8/12/2011 3:02 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"... are we never free from the shared benefits that said oppresive government provides the populace, particularly if one has wealth or status to protect." -- Steve

Shared benefits? Let's take a look.

Wealth and status in a free society are generally something that people earn. So, who are these people having to protect what they have legitimately earned from, left-wing dirt bags bent on living of the labor of others? And why should that cost so much? Isn't that, in part, what the Second Amendment was for?

 
At 8/12/2011 3:12 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"Taxes are what we pay for civilized society." - Oliver Wendell Holmes -- Steve

Would that be the same Oliver Wendell Holmes who ruled that the state had the right to forcibly sterilize anyone deemed "incompetent"?

"We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes ... Three generations of imbeciles are enough." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Buck v. Bell

Ah, the good ole days. When "progressives" were openly racist and eugenics was their cause.

Is that your idea of a "civilized society"?

 
At 8/12/2011 3:13 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Steve,
Just to clarify:

The fact that the majority of Americans are idiots who want things that we can't afford has nothing to do with my position.
What I should have said is: I can name the benefits from government that I enjoy (feel are actually necessary and/or have positive outcomes) and still come up with a question related to the debt we're in....which is a 14 digit number.

 
At 8/12/2011 10:18 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Our Founding Fathers rather explicitly rejected British militarism too, and found the idea of standing militaries to be loathsome. Congress refused to give President Washington an Army in first term of office, and only 1,500 men in his second term, and that to fight Native Americans.

Funny how inconvenient truths are overlooked....

 

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