Big Government Is Even Bigger Than You Think

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Big Government
in America is so huge it boggles the mind and numbs the senses.

But exactly
how big is Big Government? For the moment, just consider one key
factor: the money spent and controlled by government.

How much of
our annual earnings does Big Government take and spend, command
and control?

Add the federal
budget to all the state and local government budgets in the United
States, and subtract out the amounts that they shift between each
other (“intergovernmental spending”).

Federal, state,
and local governments together directly spend a whopping $4.8 Trillion – every year.

But wait, there’s

Big Government
Politicians hide massive amounts of spending they call “off budget.”
They conveniently keep these funds out of public view. They pass
laws to make these deceptive accounting practices perfectly legal – for themselves.

Say you file
your income taxes this year with a stated income of $60,000. What
does the IRS do when they audit you – and discover that you earned
$20,000 a year “off budget?” Do they chalk this up to “normal accounting
practices…just like governments do” – and let it slide? Or do
they increase your tax bill, fine you, and throw you in the hoosegow?

state government alone spends at least $20 billion off-the-books
– every year. Conservative estimates give us total off-the-books
federal, state, and local government spending of at least $700 billion
annually. Add this to the on-the-books spending, and you get government
spending of $5.5 Trillion – every year!

But wait, there’s

Big Government
mandates – compels us to spend – another $1.5 Trillion
to $3 Trillion every year. This is the externalized cost of government,
i.e., the amount that governments force businesses, non-profits,
and citizens to spend to comply with government regulations. Examples
include collecting payroll taxes, filing tax returns and complying
with OSHA, Medicare, EPA, FDA, FTC, FEC, and USDA regulations (to
name just a few).

Combined direct
and mandated government spending may well exceed $7 Trillion – and
rising – this year, next year, and every year!

$7 Trillion
out of this year’s total U.S. economy of approximately $12 Trillion.

Big Government
in America is so huge it boggles the mind and numbs the senses.

13, 2006

Howell [send
her mail
] sponsored the 2002 Massachusetts ballot initiative
to End the State Income Tax — which nearly won with 45% of the vote.
She is Co-Founder and President of the Center
For Small Government

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