In 2012, U.S. workers had to labor 197 days to pay for the spending done by their federal, state and local governments, as well as the increasing number of their onerous, expense-inducing regulations. 54% of America’s national gross domestic product was devoted to government expenditures.
The average U.S. worker used 88 days of salary to pay for federal taxes, accounting for 24.04% of American’s income. Another 40.04 days of salary went to state and local taxes. An extra 44.62 days goes to cover the cost of federal regulations, and 24.75 days are used to pay for state and local regulations.
The amount of time workers devote to taxes is expected to rise considerably in the near future, as the additional taxes of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, begin to take effect.
While some governmental financial burdens are highly visible and frequently debated, others are shrouded in the fine print of utility bills or result from the increased cost of manufacturing, transporting, or selling goods from regulations.
Taxes add 40.04% to cell phone costs, and 44.52% to gasoline prices. Cable costs are escalated by 42.51%. Restaurant food is made 30.84% more expensive. Soda prices are increased by 27.98%. Candy prices are 30.81% higher. Airfare prices skyrocket by 43.77%.
Staying at a hotel costs 39.39% more. Taxes and fees add 40.82% to the purchase price of weapons. Car rentals are 38.77% higher. Staying at a hotel costs 39.39% more.
The cost of vaccines is 29.67% higher due to government activity, over-the-counter medications are 28.80% higher, and prescription drugs cost 25.21% more.
“Sin” and other taxes hike the cost of cigarettes by 75.17%, smokeless tobacco by 62.45%, hard alcohol prices are increased by 56.31%, wine by 32.74% more, and beer prices are increased by 44.33%.
The precise overall tax burden varies significantly by state, according to ATR. Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York taxpayers pay the most, while Tennessee, Louisiana, Missippi, and South Carolina pay the least overall.
Authors Bill Beach and Rob Bluey outline the sharp increase in the national debt, starting with the last six months of the Bush Administration and escalating to historic and unprecedented levels under the Obama Administration, that gave rise to the unquenchable thirst for revenue now sought by government. These spending programs mostly involved massive increases in entitlements, as well as bailouts to the private sector which failed to stem the nation’s high unemployment or stimulate the moribund economy.
Traditional areas of high government spending fell to lesser portions of the total budget. Defense, once a major portion of Washington spending, now consumes a mere 17% of federal expenditures.