Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Free At Last!! Today You Paid Off the Government--for This Year

Today's "Cost of Government Day"-- as reported by the American Spectator.

According to a new report from Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), government effectively consumes 52.6 percent of national income.

Unfortunately, the Bush years have not been good ones for Americans tired of turning so much of their incomes over to government. Despite the Bush tax cuts, people are working several days longer for federal, state, and local governments now than in 2000, when George W. Bush was elected president. Cost of Government Day (COGD) rose two days from 2006 alone.

GWB is and always was a Big Spending, Big Gummint sorta guy.

Here's a familiar-sounding analysis:

The problem is largely one of spending. Writes Karasmeighan: "The average American worker will have to work an additional 6 days out of the year over 2000 to pay for government spending on all levels.

Our beloved State Piss-It-Away Party (led by the Governor and supported by the Legislature since ---oh----about the year 1968) ought to know about spelling "spending."

Outlandish outlays, not tax cuts, are responsible for today's deficits. Karasmeighan points out that 70 percent of the cumulative deficit since 2002 resulted because spending rose more quickly than national income. A simple "spend only what you can afford to pay policy" would have largely eliminated the deficit.

Oh, yeah--it ain't just the Feds:

State and local spending accounts for another 1.6 days of the COGD increase from 2000 to 2007. This year the average American will work nearly 46 days to fund state and local governments. Moreover, the future likely will be worse. Reports ATR: "Even with looming unfunded pension and health care liabilities, states are failing to reform their entitlement programs. On the contrary, many states used their 2007 sessions to discuss expanding health care programs and imposing health insurance mandates."


Don't you wish it were just taxes? HAH! SUCKER!!

The cost of regulation as a percent of national income remains at 16.9 percent for the fourth year. It is important to note, however, that revised data on regulatory costs reveal that COGD reports prior to 2006 were underestimating the cost of regulations. New regulations imposed following the War on Terrorism and corporate scandals significantly increased the regulatory burden in 2001 and 2002 in particular. Concurrently, the cost of tax compliance continues to grow. In 2007, the average American will work 61.8 days to pay for the regulatory costs, nearly 1 full day more than was required in 2006.

That's not all bad. In PRChina, there are NO regulatory costs, except for the occasional bullet necessary to execute regulators.

Compare one AK-47 slug (about $0.50) with THIS, suckah:

According to economist Mark Crain, regulatory compliance costs ran $1.142 trillion last year. By way of comparison, Crews points out that this number exceeds total income tax collections and accounts for about nine percent of GDP. But that's not the end: "The Weidenbaum Center and the Mercatus Center jointly estimate that agencies spent $41 billion to administer and police the regulatory state in 2006," writes Crews.

The problem is not that all regulations are unnecessary or badly designed or unduly costly. The problem is that we have trouble assessing the relative merits of various regulations, and, more important, policymakers usually have no interest in such assessments even if they exist.

How about closing WallyWorld every time there's a nearby thunderstorm? (See OSHA proposal.)

Mercifully, the article does not denote Wisconsin's ranking in Cost of Government.

HT: AnkleBiters

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