The Independent Institute Launches Version 2.0 of the Government Cost Calculator: News Releases: The Independent Institute

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News Release
February 7, 2011

The Independent Institute Launches Version 2.0 of the Government Cost Calculator
Find Out How Much Washington Is Costing You at

February 7, 2011—The Congressional Budget Office expects U.S. national debt to surpass $23 trillion by 2019. In fiscal year 2010 alone, federal spending surpassed $3.5 trillion, adding $1.65 trillion in debt. To personalize the impact of these figures for any American, the Independent Institute launched the Government Cost Calculator at on August 31, 2010—a new website directed by economist and Research Fellow Emily Skarbek. Now and in response to the latest fiscal projections and mounting concern over the spend-easy atmosphere in Washington, the Institute announces Version 2.0 of the Government Cost Calculator, incorporating new data, refined calculations, and more information enabling each American to evaluate the costs of federal government, the burden that future deficits are generating, and further refining the individualized results.

“The growth in federal budget expenditures and spending initiatives is increasingly burdensome on all taxpayers,” says Skarbek. “Most people have a hard time understanding what the true value of their tax dollars would be if invested and saved for the future.’s latest version is an easy-to-use tool that provides an understanding of how government spending directly impacts you.”

The website features new changes to the Calculator, which reflect the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to construct accurate estimates of projected federal expenditures. The OMB will release new data when the White House announces its proposed Budget of the United States for fiscal year 2012 this month. These updated projections will be incorporated into the Calculator as they become available. Individuals now have the ability to receive printable results, current updates, and share information with others.’s Emily Skarbek will also be delivering these important messages to Americans as a featured panelist at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, D.C., on Friday, February 11th, at 12:00 p.m.

“Knowing the true cost of federal programs enables taxpayers to judge whether Congress is spending their money effectively,” states Skarbek. To see and receive the latest news and updates, please visit

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