The Cost of Government Day Report calculates the day of the calendar year on which the average American taxpayer has earned enough gross income to pay for the costs of government spending and regulation at the federal, state and local levels. This report goes beyond just the taxation burden placed on citizens to explore the greater costs of government spending and regulation, which hold economic costs and cannot be entirely financed through direct revenues.
Tax Bites reveal how much the average price of popular goods and services is driven up by government. The goods and services highlighted are popular targets for revenue-hungry lawmakers who impose “sin” taxes and other punitive costs on products and industries. As such, most of these goods and services are subject to specific and discriminatory excise taxes but the tax “bite” also includes the cost of sales taxes, corporate income taxes, payroll taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, workers’ compensation taxes, and other payments businesses must make to federal, state and local governments, the costs of which are ultimately passed onto taxpayers.
The federal regulatory regime is growing, and with it is an expansive and complex maze that is becoming increasingly more difficult for businesses and consumers to navigate. Our policy papers uncover some of the devastating effects of the expanding regulatory state, and offer insight as to how excessive regulations harm economic growth, individual liberty and productive businesses.
State Transparency Websites
Taxpayers deserve to know where every one of their dollars is spent. The Cost of Government Center has been working with state policymakers for several years, pushing to get all state and local transactions online for citizens to track. Every state now has an online portal that gives taxpayers a look into their states' checkbooks. While websites vary in content and quality, it is an encouraing sign that policymakers are empowering taxpayers as fiscal watchdogs of their states.