By the calculation of Americans for Tax Reform, Pennsylvania just reached its Cost of Government Day. That is, it took the average Keystone worker until Aug. 15, or 227 days, to earn enough to pay his share of federal, state and local government spending and meet the costs of regulation. That puts Pennsylvania in a dismal 40th place among U.S. states, and three days later than the national average.
The average American worker has to labor 103 days to cover federal spending, 44.2 days to cover state and local spending, and 77 days to cover regulatory costs. And even more disheartening: for more than 20 years, until 2008, the national Cost of Government Day fell before July 21. For the last three years, the day came in August—thanks in large part to federal bailout packages such as the $821 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Cost of Government Day could fall later in coming years—meaning it will take even longer for Americans to pay off government spending—as measures such as PPACA swing into full effect.