Happy Cost of Government Day!

Here's how much government is actually costing you.

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Do you ever wonder how much the government actually costs you? Not just as a percentage of total income over the course of the year, but in terms of how much time you spend working for yourself versus the amount of time spent making enough money to cover your share of the cost of the government.

Every year, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, a non-partisan, pro-taxpayer group headed by activist Grover G. Norquist, publishes a Cost of Government Day analysis that determines until what date during the calendar year the average American must work in order to pay for the full costs of government spending and regulation at the federal, state and local levels. For 2013, working people were required to devote 194 days out of the year to working for the government before they begin to work for themselves.

This year "Cost of Government Day" falls on Saturday, July 13, the fifth consecutive year it has come on a date in July. According to ATRF, that's because the total cost of government now "makes up 53 percent of annual Gross Domestic Product."

[See a collection of political cartoons on the budget and deficit.]

In some states, like New York, California and the president's home state of Illinois, there is still work to be done, as the costs imposed there are so high that the burden of government is not yet satisfied. The latest date on which taxpayers receive their emancipation is August 31 in Connecticut.

"Policymakers have their work cut out for them," ATRF said in a release. "Unemployment remains near 8 percent, employers are paralyzed by the uncertainty of cascading taxes and regulations, Americans families are facing higher taxes and entitlement programs are barreling towards bankruptcy. Washington is once again facing a debt limit showdown this fall; another critical moment for institutionalizing lasting spending reform. If lawmakers fail to seize this opportunity, taxpayers may once again be facing later Cost of Government Days in the future."

Those who used to pretend that the Obama administration was modest in its objectives or centrist in its fiscal policies have long given up the fight. The numbers don't lie. Obama can tax and spend and regulate with the best of them, with the people, all the while, not getting anything close to what they are paying for.

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