Biggest increase in dependence on government in 2009 since 1976

According to The Heritage Foundation’s 2010 Index of Dependence on Government, dependence on government rose 13.62 percent in 2009. That is the largest single year increase since 1976.

Heritage included a lot of detail in its reports and many cool graphs. I suggest you go to the full report. I would like to comment on one more chart of theirs.

Many conservatives lament the fact that so many Americans pay no taxes. As you can see below, the percentage of Americans who paid not income tax rose from 12.0 percent in 1969 to 43.6 percent in 2008. I actually wish that many more Americans were exempt from paying taxes. However, we cannot have a situation where nearly half of Americans pay no income tax while the size of government grows. The wealthy are seeing their burden doubly rise from the growing cost of funding government and their increased share in paying for it. While this will satisfy the “soak the rich” crowd, it only pushes the wealth to hide their income and wealth from the government or move overseas entirely.

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2 responses to “Biggest increase in dependence on government in 2009 since 1976

  1. BTW, I was born in 1976. So this is the largest increase in government dependency since I was born.

  2. Another problem with the ‘soak the rich’ phenomenon is that those in the lower and middle classes who pay no taxes will have few (if any) direct incentives to rein in the growth of government and the rise of the entitlement culture of which they are the recipients.

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