Government spending per household in America has surpassed the median American income. When state and federal government spending is combined, the amount of money the government spent in 2010 came out to “$50,074 for each one of the 118,682,000 households in the country” according to the book Completely Predictable by Terrence Jeffrey. The median income for an American family was $49,445 in 2010.
So what does this tell us? For one, that a lot more money would be in Americans’ households if the government was not taking so much. As the economy remains uncertain, much of that money could be spent to spur growth in the private sector, where individual decisions about what to spend money on decide where the economy will thrive. With the government spending the money, the economy only grows in areas important to politicians, but not necessarily to everyday Americans. Some money goes to solar companies that go out of business. I would rather see Americans hold onto more money, and spend it on solar panels themselves, because the difference would be that only the best solar companies would get the business of individuals. The government has no consequences for giving half a billion dollars to Solyndra only for the company to go bankrupt, because the taxpayers foot the bill.
The fact of the matter is that the government has plenty of money to work with, yet refuses to cut waste and uneccessary programs and departments. And still, even with record numbers of revenue, the federal government has posted trillion dollar defecits in each of the last four budgets. And according to Jeffrey, it is getting worse.
Data from the Census Bureau and the OMB show that in  net spending by all levels of government was $3,239,913,876,000. That equaled $29,941 for each of the nation’s then 108,209,000 households. In 2000, the median household income was $41,990.
Thus, between 2000 and 2010, government in this country went from spending $12,049 less than the median household income to spending $629 more.
But unfortunately we shouldn’t expect much to change. According to a USnews article, Obama’s newest scheme to try to squeeze more taxable income out of people is to limit retirement accounts to a yearly return of $205,000 which would in effect cap the account’s at $3 million with current low interest rates–the cap could be even lower if interest rates rise. Obama’s idea is that if people can’t put as much money into a retirement account, they will invest it, or place it elsewhere so that it will be taxed at a higher rate. He expects to raise $9 billion over 10 years through the capping of private retirement accounts. The scariest part is that the government feels it has the authority to put a limit on how much an individual can put into their own bank account. The take home lesson is that the government will never be satisfied with the amount of revenue collected through taxes, so don’t expect your tax bill to go down any time soon if the current politicians remain in government.