NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Cost of Government Day

August 15, 2011

Every year, Americans for Tax Reform Foundation publishes its Cost of Government Day report, which calculates the day on the calendar year until which the average American must work to pay for the full costs of government spending and regulation.  Highlights of the report are as follows:

  • This year, Cost of Government Day fell on August 12, meaning Americans labored a full 224 days into the year to pay for local, state and federal government spending and regulations.
  • Americans have lost 29 days of the calendar year thanks to Obama's overspending and regulatory zeal -- 2011 marks the third straight year Cost of Government Day has fallen in August. Prior to the Obama administration, it had never fallen later than July 21.
  • The effects of the bailouts and failed stimulus plan are still being felt by Americans, who must work a full 103 days to pay for the costs of federal spending.
  • Americans spend 44 days working to pay off state and local government spending.
  • Americans are forced to labor 77 days to pay for total federal regulations, a workload that will increase exponentially with the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill and Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The report also measures varying government burdens in each state to calculate their respective state Cost of Government Day.  As in past years, taxpayers in Connecticut must work the latest, laboring all the way until September 10 to pay off the full costs of government.  Taxpayers in Mississippi worked the shortest amount of time to pay off their burden off government, laboring until July 19.

Source: "2011 Cost of Government Day: August 12," Americans for Tax Reform, August 12, 2011.

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