Updated 'Government Cost Calculator' Reveals Obama's New Budget Trickery: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
March 24, 2016

Updated “Government Cost Calculator” Reveals Obama’s New Budget Trickery

Oakland, CA—The Independent Institute has just updated its Government Cost Calculator—an online service that enables U.S. taxpayers to estimate their lifetime federal tax liability. The update incorporates new estimates of government spending and revenue from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The timing of the update couldn’t be better, as it coincides with the Obama administration’s new FY2017 budget proposal.

The president’s budget proposal contains “irregularities” that hide the impact of federal spending increases by projecting unrealistically high revenue estimates that make future deficits look smaller, according to Independent Institute Research Fellow Craig Eyermann, creator of the Government Cost Calculator at MyGovCost.org.

“This proposed increase demonstrates how badly President Obama either forecast or deliberately misrepresented the costs for sustaining the Affordable Care Act in the future,” said Eyermann, referring to the White House’s proposal for spending $11.8 billion more on healthcare through 2020 than was requested in last year’s budget proposal.

President Obama’s budget proposal estimates that nominal GDP will grow faster than predicted by the CBO—by 12.8 percent in 2019 and 13.2 percent in 2020.

“These higher forecast GDP figures ‘boost’ President Obama’s predicted tax collections, which then make the future deficits that would result from his spending proposals appear smaller,” Eyermann said.

The Government Cost Calculator is designed to help taxpayers get a realistic sense of how the U.S. government’s finances affect their bank accounts. In addition to providing a lifetime tax estimate, it enables U.S. taxpayers to see how much of their tax payments go toward various federal spending categories. It also enables them to see what they would have earned if the amount they paid in federal taxes had earned the stock market’s historic average return, rather than going to the tax man.

The Government Cost Calculator can be accessed anonymously by anyone at www.MyGovCost.org. The website also includes a free app that users can download to a mobile device.

The MyGovCost app was featured in Love Gov: From First Date to Mandate, Independent’s award-winning online video series that satirizes the folly of intrusive and runaway government. The series is aimed at young adults and has a lifetime cumulative total of almost 5 million views on YouTube.

The Independent Institute is a non-profit, research and educational organization that promotes the power of independent thinking to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity. For more information, visit www.independent.org.

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