Friday, August 19, 2011

We are all slaves on Uncle Sam's plantation

"Cost of Government Day" Shows Americans Slaving for Government

In 2011 the average American must work 224 days -- just to pay the cost of government.

That's the startling claim of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a non-partisan organization that works for lower taxes and smaller government, and the affiliated non-profit Center for Fiscal Accountability (CFA).

Each year ATR and CFA calculate "Cost of Government Day." That's the date when the average American has -- finally! -- earned enough to pay his or her respective share of the total cost of government. That cost includes federal, state and local taxes. It also includes the hidden costs imposed by government regulations that drive up the prices of products and services.

This year, Cost of Government Day finally crawled in on August 12. While that’s two days earlier than last year, it’s a whopping 27 days longer than 2008.

That means in 2011 the average American must toil almost 2/3 of the year just to earn enough to pay the cost of government.

Put another way, in 2011 the cost of government consumes 61.42 percent of national income. This leaves workers only a little more than a third of their income to meet such non-government expenses as food, shelter, clothing, and savings.

(State figures given here are, of course, an average, since state taxes and regulations vary widely. The report breaks the costs down state by state. The worst: Connecticut, where taxpayers must labor until September 10.)

2011 marks the third consecutive year Cost of Government Day has fallen in August. In fact, prior to 2009, Cost of Government Day had never fallen later than July 20.

This indicates an explosive growth in government during the past few years, notes AFA president Grover Norquist and CFA Executive Director Mattie Corrao.

“Upon taking office President Obama authored an 84 percent jump in discretionary spending and pursued an aggressive regulatory agenda,” they write. “As a result, the last two Cost of Government Days have fallen in August; this year marks the first time since the start of the Obama Administration that Cost of Government Day has fallen earlier than the previous year.”

Other highlights of the Cost of Government Day report:

* On average, Americans must work 102.83 days to cover federal spending and 44.16 days to cover state and local government spending.

* The cost of regulation is increasing and is damaging the American economy: Americans must work 49.75 days to pay for current federal regulations and an additional 27.6 days to pay for state and local regulations.

* Federal spending has increased by an staggering 91.4 percent over the last decade.

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