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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cost of Government Day

Over at Marketplace of Ideas, Steve Prestegard noticed that today is Cost of Government Day – the “day our earnings finally match federal, state and local government spending.”

An attentive reader will remember – and Steve points out – that Tax Freedom Day was way back in April: that was the day when our earnings finally added up to all the taxes we pay.

But wait a minute: if we finished paying all the taxes in April, shouldn’t we have finished paying all the spending back then, too? At least in the same general vicinity, if not on the same day?

Nope. And that means all the borrowing, and shifting, and accounting gimmicks we moan and groan about every year add up to nearly a quarter of this nation's annual income.

That right there is far more worrisome than how much we actually pay in taxes. In fact, I wonder if we shouldn't be calculating the “actual” tax rate based on that.