WASHINGTON, D.C.—On August 12, 2009, Americans marked the national Cost of Government Day (COGD), the date of the calendar year when the average American finishes paying off his or her share of federal, state and local spending, and regulatory burden. Taxpayers had to work 224 days out of the year just to meet all costs imposed by government.
Unfortunately for Washington taxpayers, however, they have had to wait even longer, until today, August 17, to “celebrate” their Cost of Government Day.
Cost of Government Day is calculated every year by the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and the Center for Fiscal Accountability (CFA). While other indices look primarily at taxation as a measure of the cost imposed by government, the annual Cost of Government Day Report takes into account the total spending burden as a percentage of GDP coupled with government regulations, an oft-forgotten, but significant burden also borne by the economy.
“As taxpayers struggle to pay for their mortgages, and their gas and grocery bills this year, Cost of Government Day serves as a grim reminder that much of their struggle is a direct result of a government that has grown too big and eats up too much of their hard-earned money,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “This year, the national Cost of Government Day arrived a full 26 days later than the revised date of last year’s COGD, which fell on July 16. Sadly, Washington’s COGD still falls on an even later date.”
The fact that COGD falls on August 17 for Washington translates into Evergreen State taxpayers having to work 229 days out of the year to pay for their cost of government. The ongoing federal spending spree that certainly adds to any state’s cost of government, and the strings attached to federal dollars sent to the states, may lead to even later Cost of Government Days in the future.
“As it stands, Evergreen State taxpayers are already getting soaked, with only five states marking COGD later than Washington this year,” continued Norquist.“But at the rate government has been growing lately, we ain’t seen nothing yet, unless spending restraint and serious reform become a true priority – in Washington, and in Washington, D.C.”