You can breath a (small) sigh of relief. For the rest of the year you will be working for your family and yourself. That’s because from January 1 until midnight last night you were working solely to pay for the cost of government. Go ahead, take the rest of the day off–you have earned it.
My friends at Americans for Tax Reform keep a running tally on how many days each year it takes the average American worker to earn enough gross income to pay for his or her share of total federal, state, and local government spending and regulatory costs for the year. ATR’s report, July 12, 2006 Cost of Government Day, shows the average American worked 193 days this year to pay for all levels of government.
As Grover Norquist points out in his National Review Online op-ed today, that’s 9.5 days more than you had to work in 2000. The problem is that although tax receipts are surging, spending is rising at an even faster rate.
Runaway spending, not the budget deficit, is the real fiscal crisis.