This year, Americans have to work until July 15 to pay for the burden of government, more than six months.
In a new report, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) has calculated that Americans will spend a total of 197 days toiling to pay for the cost of government.
“Cost of Government Day is the date of the calendar year on which the average American worker has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burden imposed by government at the federal, state and local levels,” reads the report.
The report, Cost of Government Day, shows that Americans will work 88 days to pay for federal spending; 40 days for state and local spending; and 69 days for total regulatory costs.
Unless you have been hiding in Attorney General Eric Holder’s “Fast and Furious” file cabinet, you know that trouble is brewing in Europe. Real big trouble. None of us knows where it will go from here, but I can see no good outcome.
The experiment of monetary union without fiscal or political union has failed. Most of the solutions European leaders are discussing will simply delay the inevitable. Using debt that you have no plan to repay in order to pay other debts that you can’t repay doesn’t work with mortgages and will not work with governments. And, it is hard to even describe the political challenges they have over there. Look at the gridlock we have here with one country, one culture and two political parties. Now, imagine having 17 countries, dozens of cultures and more like 100 political parties.
Here are four lessons we can learn from Europe, a list of what not to do. Unfortunately, each example is still on somebody’s “to do” list in Washington:
Looming tax hikes by France’s new socialist government have triggered an exodus of the Gallic super-rich to ‘wealth-friendly’ nations like Britain and Switzerland
In May, the Obama campaign unveiled its “Life of Julia,” a website detailing “how President Obama’s policies help one woman over her lifetime—and how Mitt Romney would change her story.” Julia is a composite character, the invention of one of the several hundred minions toiling away at Obama headquarters in Chicago. She is intended to illustrate, in a literal and rather vulgar way, the benefits of the entitlement state, from Head Start to student loans to Obamacare.
But Julia and people like her are not the sole residents of the United States. Nor is America divided simply between superrich plutocrats who make up 1 percent of the country and desperate beneficiaries of government largesse who make up the other 99. One can slice and dice our huge population in innumerable ways, isolating and identifying countless groups, many of which are in positions vastly different from Julia’s. Consider Henry. For Henry, President Obama has been no help at all.
H.E.N.R.Y. is marketing slang, first used in Fortune in 2003, for High Earners who are Not Rich Yet. Henrys run households with annual incomes between $100,000 and $250,000. There are about 21 million of them. Henrys make up the overwhelming majority of affluent consumers, who account for 40 percent of consumer spending—which in turn is 70 percent of economic activity. It’s no exaggeration to say that without the Henrys’ getting and spending, the U.S. economy would be much poorer.
So is there any way out of the stationary state? Smith made it clear that he thought imperial China’s sclerotic “laws and institutions” were the root of the problem. More free trade, more encouragement for small business, less bureaucracy, and less crony capitalism: these were his prescriptions. Well, we can live in hope that such policies get adopted by the next occupant of the White House.
Now that the increasingly erratic and desperately sleazy Obama campaign has decided to cavalierly throw around the word “felony” when it comes to pushing a campaign of lies surrounding Mitt Romney and Bain Capital, this seems like a good time to jump in the wayback machine for a look at the actual convicted felons, criminals, and dubious characters who have always been associated with Barack Obama’s political life.
There will be another crash. The crash will ignite before 2014 when Bernanke’s term ends. The crash will be worse than 2008. Bernanke will be the cause. He will be clueless about the unintended consequences of his policies (like his predecessor Alan Greenspan, who ultimately had to admit to Congress “I really didn’t get it until very late.”)
Bernanke’s no different. When reappointed in 2010, “Black Swan” author Nicholas Taleb said Bernanke “doesn’t even know that he doesn’t understand how things work.”
Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, says the stock market collapse we experienced in 2008 “wasn’t the real crash. The real crash is coming.”
He says that Federal stimulus, or quantitative easing, never works and that it just makes the economy sicker in the end. “The reason we are so screwed up is all this quantitative easing is toxic. I don’t doubt that we are going to pressure Germany into printing. We are like the kid who is trying to get a friend to ditch school with us to go to the beach. We are a bad influence on everybody.”
China’s giant electronics supplier Foxconn eyes replacing workers with industrial robots
James and Janet Baker spent nearly two decades building Dragon, a voice technology company, into a successful, multimillion-dollar enterprise. It was, they say, their “third child.” So in late 1999, when offers to buy Dragon began rolling in, the couple made what seemed a smart decision: they turned to Goldman Sachs for advice. And why not? Goldman, after all, was the leading dealmaker on Wall Street. The Bakers wanted the best.
This, of course, was before the scandals of the subprime mortgage era. It was before the bailouts, before Occupy Wall Street, before ordinary Americans began complaining about “banksters” and “muppets” and “the vampire squid.” In short, before Goldman Sachs became, for many, synonymous with Wall Street greed.