This year July 16 is Cost of Government Day — Americans on average work until this day to pay the full costs of federal, state and local government spending and regulatory costs.
Workers must toil 197 days out of the year to meet all costs imposed by government, according to a new report from the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation. That means the government consumes 53.9 percent of national income.
Cost of Government Day (COGD) falls four days later this year than in 2007, and 17 days later than in 2000, when COGD was June 29. Since 1977, COGD has fallen later than July 16 in only four years, the latest being July 23 in 1982.
“The driving factor for this development is that fact that all components of the cost of government — federal spending, state and local spending, and regulation — are now increasing faster than national Income,” the report states.
This year the average American worker will labor about 84 days to pay for federal spending, 50 days for state and local spending, 42 days to cover the costs of federal regulation, and 21 days for state and local regulation.
One example of the cost of government regulation cited in the report is the fine particle implementation rule recently imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, which the agency estimates will add an additional $6.7 billion per year in regulatory costs.
Regulatory costs include the cost of material resources and labor needed to carry out compliance.
Americans for Tax Reform warns: “This year’s spending increase is just a warm-up for those who want to add new entitlement programs, even while our current entitlement programs portend a tsunami of future federal spending that will swamp the fundamentals of our economic system without basic reforms…
“One of the biggest dangers to fiscal restraint comes in the form of a push for the biggest new entitlement of all, national health insurance.”
The report notes that July 16 is COGD for the U.S. as a whole, and the day falls earlier or later in the year in most states. The latest is in Connecticut, July 31; the earliest is Alaska, June 21.
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