You Made Uncle Sam and His Buddies Rich
The federal government expanded dramatically in the 20th century and has continued growing in the 21st. Between 1900 and 2012, federal government receipts increased from 3.0 percent of the economy’s output to 16.5 percent, and federal expenditures rose from 2.7 percent of economic output to 24.0 percent. State and local governments have also expanded relative to the rest of the economy, although not nearly as much as the federal government. Between 1930 and 2012, state and local government receipts grew from 8.0 percent to 13.0 percent of economic output, while their expenditures rose from 9.1 percent to 14.8 percent of output. For the overall government sector from 1930 to 2012, receipts increased from 11.1 to 26.4 percent of gross domestic product, (GDP) and expenditures rose from 12.1 to 35.6 percent of GDP. (https://taxfoundation.org/short-history-government-taxing-and-spending-united-states/).
Since declaring a War on Poverty in 1964, the United States has spent $22 trillion on government programs to end poverty. The result? Today 14.5% of Americans are considered poor, essentially the same number as 1964 when LBJ’s ‘War’ began. (http://www.heritage.org/marriage-and-family/commentary/the-war-poverty-50-years-failure). But while few people have been ‘lifted out of poverty’ by these programs, all the spending has not been for naught.
In fact one of the clearest beneficiaries of government welfare programs are businesses. Approximatley 18% of all food stamp spending in 2013 went to Wal-Mart alone. That’s billions of dollars taken from one American and given to another American to whom it did not belong, and then given to Wal-Mart. Board members and executives of large businesses like Wal-Mart and Berkshire Hathaway often tout the virtues of higher taxes and social welfare spending. This is of course, shocking.
In 2010 Barack Obama shepherded and Congress passed the Affordable Care Act. Many, including perhaps the President, viewed it as a necessary stepping stone to ‘Single Payer.’ Current estimates put healthcare spending at 17.8% of the GDP—$3.2 trillon.
The annual Tax Freedom Day, the day when American tax-payers have worked long enough to pay the cumulative taxes imposed upon them, was on April 23rd, 2017.
What’s the old saying, the rich get richer? There is another good one, ‘We’re from the government and we are here to help.’