What does government cost us?

By Nathan Barton

Got this in the email today.

Is this right?  Read on.

Don’t know who wrote it, don’t know if their numbers are accurate or not.  (A correspondent forwarded it to me without attribution, one of those “wha dya think?” forwards.)  I suspect, based on the corporate subsidies item,

And I know that some of the numbers are bogus.  That “$235.81 for YOUR medicare,” for instance. The current Medicare tax is 1.45% of income, which is (for $50,000 gross income-no deductions for Medicare!) $750/year. Maybe this graphic means that the $325.81 is each of our cost, and the remaining $514.19 is paying for all those other folks. That DoD number seems really low, too.  And we all know that doesn’t actually go for “defense,” but for lots of other stuff.  But…

The corporate subsidies is hard to define, of course. Many of us believe that virtually EVERY part of the Fed (and State and Local) spending is “corporate welfare.”  Especially DoD – $500 toilet seats and hammers, all those jobs in Seattle and LA and Detroit for defense contractors, and the like.  Ditto for education funding (textbook publishers, dairy companies, construction contractors), highway and airport funding (construction contractors and aircraft and auto manufacturers), and of course Food Stamps (SNAP) (farmers, food manufacturers, grocery stores, etc.). (By the way, isn’t SNAP welfare? for individuals or families as well as corporations?)

Let us assume this is true. This $4,700 is just a small part of what the FedGov spends: that isn’t even 10% of $50,000 a year.  This doesn’t include thousands of things that government spends OUR money on.  Especially not things like interest on the national debt.  With all the spending (which is, as we all know, much higher than taxes), the FedGov is collecting (on average) more than $10,000 per person (man, woman, and child) in the US.  And spending about $13,000 per person per year. So this chart shows less than half.

Interesting and depressing, I know.

But not the real story.

Money is important to almost all of us.  Not just all us Americans, but all us around the world.  (I know there are exceptions.) So it makes sense to discuss things in terms of money.

But where government, and especially the FedGov, REALLY costs us – you and me – the most and worse is intangible:

It costs us freedom.  It costs us liberty.  It costs us opportunity.  It not only steals money from us, but it steals a better standard of living, better technology, better futures.  Every day, every week, every year.  It costs us frustration and anger and time from family and friends.  Even for those who work for the governments, there are costs.  Much more than money.

It is not a right or left issue.  It should not be, at least.  The GOP spends and taxes just as much money, and costs us just as much of all these other things, as the Democrats do.  Ditto for Progressives (Regressives) and Conservatives – whether paleo or neo.

If we want to get more liberty, more freedom, more hope, better standard of living, more time with loved ones, more choices, less anger, better technology (faster), better health, better futures, we want to have LESS.  Less government, less politicians, less laws, less campaigns and elections, less power and money being taken away from.

I think we can do it.  Yes, I’m optimistic on the first day of 2019.  I hope you are also.



About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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3 Responses to What does government cost us?

  1. N S says:

    True some of these numbers may be bogus, but they should, at the very least, make you think. Now here’s another thought. I realize it’s near impossible, but should we have the occasion to “start all over”, as in the total implosion of the so-called system. Would it not be better to actually limit and KEEP the gov to the enumerated powers listed in Article 1 Section 8 of our Constitution. We need no more than that and all they do is complicate a very simple system that all but the most hard core criminals of all types. would be happy to adhere to. That, the teaching of accountability, responsibility, and RESPECT for one another, whether you agree with them or not.
    And the re-introduction of an economic plan and system based upon Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” . That would go an extremely long ways to righting the ill’s we are faced with presently. No such thing as a free lunch. You will pay for everything one way or another.


    • TPOL Nathan says:

      You make excellent points.
      Yes, we should think, but also must remember that both the Left and the Right will lie through their teeth, especially about spending. This was an example of leftist spin, while a rightist would exaggerate/concentrate on the individual welfare and entitlement spending and social programs, health spending, etc.
      Adam Smith can be and is ignored by both leftists and rightists, albeit for different reasons.
      Is it enough to just stick to “enumerated powers” or have government leaders and bureaucrats demonstrated that they cannot be trusted with even carefully spelled out and clearly defined and limited powers?


      • N S says:

        Our system was set up to be run by elected Citizens but unfortunately failed to go far enough to ensure same. By ensuring it is run by elected citizens, the Constitution needed to include to ability to remove elected from office upon their refusal to follow the dictates of the Constitution. We the people are at fault in that regard. We must return to our constant monitoring of elected officials. Unfortunately we are so preoccupied with our lives, our officials planned it that way to ensure their constant re-election. Once they are made to return to civilian life to adhere and follow the laws they enact, we might have a prayer of getting our country back on track.
        We are our own worst enemy due in large part by our apathy and modern belief in “that’s not my job” mentality. It is our job to hold leaders accountable. Just as it’s the head of the households job to protect and defend his/her family, and ensuring their offspring are capable of functioning and becoming contributing members to society as a whole.


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