The Cost of Government Day report shows that adoption of the House's Budget would reduce COGD by 18 days, which would allow it to be observed back in July for the first time since 2008. Other commonsense reforms, such as getting government out of the bailout business, rescinding failed "stimulus" funds and paying government workers at market rates would decrease the number of Cost of Government Days by nine days in just one year.
Fortunately, taxpayers will be able to gauge whether 2012 and the rest of the decade will hold later or earlier COGDs. The second step of the debt deal requires a Joint Committee to find at least $1.5 trillion in savings before the debt ceiling can be raised again. They would be wise to consider the coming costs associated with the big government vision of the first part of the Obama Administration: Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul and most of all, the crushing spending binge the President seems intent to continue.
Should the Committee fail to do so, the future portends more of the same: later Cost of Government Days due not only to profligate policy but also to a shrinking economy, as markets continue to be stagnated by an uncertain tax climate and capricious regulatory regime. The big government malaise that has forced Americans to work eight and a half months out of the year for the government has been diagnosed. Now it is up to the path set before the rest of the 112th Congress to at least inoculate it, if not eradicate it completely.
Mattie Duppler Corrao is Government Affairs Manager for Americans for Tax Reform and the Executive Director of its Center for Fiscal Accountability. You can follow her on Twitter: @mduppler.