NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Cost of Government Day

August 5, 2003

Americans spent more than half this year, 193 days, working for politicians rather than themselves and their families. Republicans blame the Democrats, but it's not true, says Doug Bandow.

The advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform figures the Cost of Government Day was July 11. That's when U.S. citizens finally finished paying for government at all levels, including the cost of deficits and regulations.

  • The Cost of Government Day Generally came earlier on the calendar under President Reagan.
  • But it rose under the first President Bush, who made his reputation hiking taxes.
  • Cost of Government Day peaked in 1992, when Bill Clinton was elected president, and fell eight straight years.
  • Since 2000, Cost of Government Day has moved later on the calendar by 17 days.
  • Outlays are up 13.5 percent over the last three years.
  • Nondefense, discretionary outlays have increased 18 percent, far more than during the first three years of the Clinton administration.

How much with Americans have to pay for government next year? It certainly will be more than this year. Everyone in Washington, Republicans and Democrats alike, are now for bigger government, says Bandow.

Source: Doug Bandow (Cato Institute), "Big Jump in Outlays Shows ‘Era of Big Gov't' Isn't Over," Investor's Business Daily, August 5, 2003.


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