Saturday, November 27, 2010

Under every rock, a critter.

It's amazing what you can find on the internet. Google and ye shall find.

Federal taxes relative to GDP are remarkably stable, tracking from 17.2 percent to 18.5 percent of GDP over six decades. At 14.8 percent for 2009 and 2010, they were the lowest since the recession year of 1959 at the end of the Eisenhower administration.

Nobody would believe it, I don't think. I'm gonna check it, myself.

The excerpt is from "Reality of federal spending doesn't fit myth" at Twin Cities dot com Pioneer Press. It seems to be attributed to St. Paul economist and writer Edward Lotterman.

(To me, the post has a political feel to it. Not my cup of tea. But I was looking for something on the level of taxes, and there it was.)

// additional search results

Free By 50 provides graphs, including one that pretty much confirms the Twin Cities excerpt above.

EconomicsJunkie provides a graph that doesn't agree. After a while I figured out that this graph shows total (federal, state and local) government taxes. The two previous links consider only federal taxes. Thus the difference.

At first blush, Junkie's two graphs -- expenses, and receipts -- both appear to be continuously climbing. Looking again, one can see that from 1970 to 1993, more or less, total government receipts as a percent of GDP briefly stabilize at around 28%.

(I always look for details like that.)

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