Fewer than 100 years ago, as recently as 1929, federal, state, and local government in the United States taxed and spent only 10 cents out of every dollar, seven cents at the state and local level and three cents in Washington. Today Washington taxes and spends 25 cents out of every dollar (though 40 percent of this money is borrowed), and state and local government takes 15 cents, for a grand total of 40 percent of GDP. Add in compliance and out-of-pocket costs of federal regulations, estimated at $1.8 trillion annually, and government is costing us 50% of our income.
50 percent of GDP is well in excess of the 18 to 20 percent that economists and researchers worldwide consider the target for a nation that wants to maximize economic growth and job creation. The well-being of every citizen is enhanced and assured when economic growth is maximized: The larger the pie, the more there is for everyone.
Here are five kitchen-cleaning steps that must be taken before we can start serving a larger pie to all Americans.