Helen Whalen Cohen

Congratulations, fellow citizens. You have officially finished paying off the cost of government for 2012 today. Each year, Americans For Tax Reform calculates how long it takes to pay off the burden of federal, state and local taxes, and this year it took 197 days-88 for federal spending, 69 for regulatory burdens, and 40 for state and local spending.

 

Every year, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and the Cost of Government Center calculate the Cost of Government Day. This is the day on which the average American has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government at the federal, state, and local levels.

In 2012, Cost of Government Day falls on July 15.  Working people must toil 197 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government.  2012 marks the fourth consecutive year COGD has fallen in July.
 
From a different perspective, the cost of government makes up 54.0 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP).

The full report, which can be found here, notes that since the 2010 elections, Cost of Government Day has gotten slightly earlier each year. That will change, however, if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, and all the various Obamacare taxes kick in.

Between 1977 and 2008, Cost of Government Day was never later than June. Thanks to TARP and the stimulus, the difference between 2008 and 2009 was 24 days. Since 2010, it has been going back down in small increments (COGD in 2012 was three days earlier than in 2011). If nothing changes, though, the coming onslaught of spending will negate these improements many times over.


Helen Whalen Cohen

Helen Whalen Cohen is Associate Editor and Community Manager at Townhall.com.