Paying for Government Now Takes a Record 224 Days

Bob Beauprez
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Posted: Aug 16, 2011 12:01 AM

Americans for Tax Reform publishes s a "Cost of Government Day" report every year, which calculates how long the average American must work to pay for the full costs of government spending and regulation. The 2011 version just came out and it isn't encouraging.  Here's the bad news:

  1. The 2011 Cost of Government Day fell on August 12 – last Friday – meaning Americans labored a full 224 days into the year to pay for local, state and federal government spending and regulations.
  2. Americans have lost 29 days of the of the calendar year thanks to Obama's overspending and regulatory zeal – this is the third straight year Cost of Government Day has fallen in August.  July 21 was the previous latest day ever. 
  3. Federal Spending takes 103 days to pay for, state and local government adds another 44 days, and total federal regulations – the explosive impact of which is just beginning to be felt from the current administration's agenda – adds another 77 days. 

Of special interest going forward is the cost of the regulation agenda pursued by Obama.

“The report also details the impact on COGD of many factors in the growing cost of government,” says ATR. “Case studies in the report discuss:  The Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul which will severely increase the number of days Americans must work to pay off the regulatory burden; Obamacare, which will fail to rein in health care costs and continue to increase federal spending; The EPA, which has pursued an aggressive regulatory agenda that will further stall economic recovery.”

As Townhall Finance’s editor John Ransom reports in an upcoming issue of Townhall Magazine in a piece titled President Red Tape:

Because [Obama’s regulatory scheme] prevents the creation of more jobs, however, it hits the poor and middle class particularly hard, ‘while the updated cost per employee for firms with fewer than 20 employees is now $10,585 (a 36 percent difference between the costs incurred by small firms when compared with their larger counterparts),’ says the SBA.  In other words, small employers take it on the chin even harder than the big guys. While Obama’s rhetoric panders to the little guys, his actions seemed geared to favor the big guys instead. Maybe that’s what the president meant when he said his administration was only into doing ‘big’ things.”     

The full ATR report is available here.

John Ransom
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