Federal spending will top $3.6 trillion this year, but what's your share?

The Government Cost Calculator is a new online tool that can be found at MyGovCost.org. A project of the California-based Independent Institute, it allows you to plug in your age, income, and education level to generate a series of tables that show your share of both current and future federal spending across more than a dozen categories. You can break out your share of spending for defense, Medicare, Social Security, and other areas and calculate what you could be earning if you were able to keep the money and invest it at a 6 percent rate of return.

The idea behind the project is that the true cost of government is reflected not just in your tax bill, but in your opportunity cost, what you could be doing with those dollars if you didn't have to hand them over to the government

Reason.tv's Nick Gillespie interviewed the Independent Institute's Emily Skarbek, who's also an assistant professor of economics at San Jose State, via Skype to find out more about the Government Cost Calculator and what she hopes to achieve with the project.

About 7.30 minutes. Edited by Jim Epstein.

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