Government Spending

Cost of Government Day: VATs and Other Bad Ideas

By on 8.12.09 | 5:48PM

Today is Cost of Government Day--the day that you stop working to pay for the total cost of government (spending plus regulation).  To state the obvious, it's August.  The latest this day ever used to come was mid-July.  In fact, the day has advanced by nearly a month since last year, thanks to TARP and stimulus (not to mention shrinking national income).

I spoke at the event wearing my hat as Executive Director of, a free market group which works on investor class issues.  I decided to highlight the international angle in the report.

There are two inter-related appendices in the report.  One is on the issue of worldwide taxation with deferral, and the other is on a value-added tax (VAT).  On deferral, it's pretty clear where Obama, Rangel, et al want to go.  They would like to see all worldwide income of U.S. companies taxed immediately by the IRS, and probably without a foreign tax credit.  Each of these would add a full day to the Cost of Government.