Cost of Government Day, 2005:
Wasteful Spending Takes Its Toll
(Washington, D.C.) Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), in recognition of Cost of Government Day, today expressed outrage at the federal, state, and local governments’ continued abuse of hundreds of billions of tax dollars. Cost of Government Day is the date on which the average American worker has earned enough to pay off his or her share of tax and regulatory burdens imposed by all levels of government, according to the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation (ATR). CAGW recommends that governments at all levels move to aggressively cut taxes and waste and reduce regulations to alleviate the burden on American workers.
“It does not require more than half the national income for the government to protect the life, liberty, and property of every American,” CAGW President Tom Schatz said. “A huge chunk of these tax dollars gets regurgitated in the form of outdated, ineffective, duplicative, and wasteful programs and agencies.”
Cost of Government Day for 2005 is July 4. Americans now work more than half of the year 185 days to pay their share of the cost of government. This year, the average American will need to work an additional 5 days out of the year to pay off his or her cost of government compared to five years ago. Ninety-seven percent of this increase is due to federal spending. To put the modern tax and regulatory burden in historical perspective, the American Revolution was fought over British taxes that consumed 3 percent of colonial income. Serfs of the Middle Ages turned over about one-third of what they produced to their landlords.
“In exchange for surrendering more than half of their working lives to the government, taxpayers get $1.1 million for alternative salmon product research in Alaska and $1.7 million for the International Fertilizer Development Center,” Schatz continued. “Taxpayers should be infuriated by the government’s ongoing waste of their hard-earned money.”
Earlier this year, CAGW identified 13,997 federal pork projects in its 2005 Congressional Pig Book, an increase of 31 percent from last year. The cost of these projects was $27.3 billion, or 19 percent more than last year’s total of $22.9 billion. The group also identified $1.3 trillion in potential savings over five years in its Prime Cuts report.
“Politicians are constantly finding new ways to turn Americans’ lives into a financial struggle,” Schatz continued. “Congressional excess is in large part responsible for helping push Cost of Government Day to July 4, such as $70,000 for the Paper Industry Hall of Fame and $100,000 for the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center Museum.
“Cost of Government Day reminds taxpayers how much easier their lives would be without profligate government spending,” Schatz concluded. “The best way to reduce the cost of government is to eliminate the waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement at all levels of government.”
The complete report can be accessed on ATR's website: http://www.atr.org/.
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, mismanagement and abuse in government.