Some liberal web sites have been distributing a purported bill for an average taxpayer, asking, “What part do you not want to pay for?” They’re implying that the Tea Parties are making a fuss about nothing, that the tab for government services is quite reasonable. The bill is meretricious, using 2007 data, taking a family that owes only $5,000 in taxes, and then showing items that add up to far less.
I thought it might be interesting to see what the federal government has spent in fiscal 2010 for an average family of four. I took total spending, divided by the population of the United States to get per capita numbers, and then multiplied by four to get a bill for government services for a family of four. Amounts are rounded to the nearest dollar. The list is incomplete; the items don’t add up to the total precisely.
Steel yourself. I was shocked by these numbers. Keep in mind that they’re only federal spending; state and local governments, combined, spend almost as much.
This is what the federal government spent, apportioned to an average family of four:
|Foreign military aid||128|
That’s just about the median family income. It gives a new relevance to this joke about tax simplification:
UPDATE: Add in state and local government spending and the tab comes to over $80,000!