"Cost of Government Day"–the point in the year when you start working for yourself, instead of paying for local, state, and federal taxes, fees, and regulations–was on Friday. According to Americans for Tax Reform, "those costs now account for nearly 53 percent of the nation's income and require the average employee to spend 193 days a year working to meet the costs imposed on them by various levels of government." ATR economist Daniel Clifton notes:
This is an increase of four and a half days from last year. It is now 17 additional days in just the past three years. That is a ten percent increase in the cost of government in three years.
The growth includes increases of more than 12 percent in federal spending and more than 8 percent in federal regulatory costs. Meanwhile, the Cato Institute points out that "the 2002 Federal Register contained an alltime record 75,606 pages, a nearly 9 percent increase over 2001."