Terry Jeffrey

By ATR's calculation, Americans will need to work 21 days this year to cover the costs of complying with local and state regulation, 42 days to cover the costs of federal regulation, 50 days to cover the cost of local and state spending, and 84 days to cover the cost of federal spending.

That puts "Cost of Government Day" on July 16, more than halfway through the year.

How much deeper into the year can Tax Freedom Day and Cost of Government Day go? How big can government get?

In a report submitted to the Senate in January, the Government Accountability Office estimated that given the promises the government has made in the form of Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement benefits, the annual budget deficit could reach about 20 percent of Gross Domestic Product by 2040.

The national debt (the collective mortgage we have taken out on government) stood at $9 trillion at the beginning of this fiscal year. But GAO says we already face a shortfall of $53 trillion between what the government has promised in entitlement benefits and what the current tax structure is likely to take in.

"Imagine we decided to put aside and invest today enough to cover these promises tomorrow," then-Comptroller General David Walker told the Senate in January. "It would take approximately $455,000 per American household -- or $175,000 for every man, woman and child in the United States."

We are taking out an unsustainable mortgage to build a middle-class welfare state. If we don't stop construction soon, the balloon payments will bankrupt our kids.

Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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