Thursday, April 15, 2010

T*Bux 2009

T*Bux is the cost per U.S. taxpayer on a $1 trillion expenditure.

From this, the "per capita" cost of any government program is an easy calculation. What might change slightly year-to-year is the number of taxpayers. Keep in mind data from the IRS lags by nearly a year. Still, we have a good approximation.

2009 data shows there were 131,543,000 federal filers in America. This is a 6% drop from a year before, which is unsurprising given rising unemployment. It pushes up the government burden on each particular taxpayer. Dividing $1T by that number and we get:

T*Bux (2009) = $7600 (up from $7250 last year).

To review its use, if a program costs $800B, that is $0.8T, so 7600 * 0.8 = $6080 per taxpayer. The new federal debt limit is $14.3T, so that is 7600 * 14.3, or $108,680 that each taxpayer owes if the government maxes out what it legally can, which it will, before raising the debt ceiling further.

Net federal revenues for 2008 was $2.3T. 2009 is pending. If it were the same, that would be $17,480 per taxpayer.

Now don't think corporations are going to be paying all of this because they pay hardly 10% of taxes. The vast majority of revenues comes from personal income tax. If you think corporations should be paying more, do you really want American jobs outsourced further? I suppose it depends on the corporation. If AIG wants to leave our country I'd throw out the red carpet. For the record, I support ending both personal and corporate income taxes and replacing it with a federal sales tax.

I know there are interest payments etc. but that adds extra confusion and numbers should be compelling enough as they stand.

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