News Story

What is Your Share of Government Debt?

Every taxpayer in American would have to pay an extra $9,825 in taxes this year just to pay off the federal government's deficit spending, according to an analysis.

The current average tax bill is $7,907, meaning the average American would have to pay nearly $18,000 in taxes to pay off this year's federal spending.

And that would do nothing to pay off the already accrued $8.5 trillion dollar in debt currently held by the United States public, according to research fellow Veronique de Rugy of the Mercatus Center, a university-based research center at George Mason University.

Tax policy experts say spending is the concern.

"Our current tax system as it stands isn't able to keep up with what our government spends," said Natasha Altamirano, spokeswoman for the Tax Foundation, a tax research group in Washington, D.C.

"The problem is the spending that occurs at the federal level that puts us in the hole in the first place," said Mattie Corrao, government affairs manager for Americans for Tax Reform, a non-profit lobbying organization in Washington, D.C. that opposes tax increases.

Corrao does a report that projects how long the average American must work to pay off the cost of government. She said that includes the spending burden at the federal, state and local level and includes hidden costs such as the regulatory cost of government.

In 2009, that day was Aug. 11, the latest-ever since the survey was started in 1977.  Corrao said the average American had to work until July 7 in 1977 to pay off the cost of government.