Analysis: U.S. Government Waste Totals about $1 Trillion a Year

By Published on February 16, 2015

The London Times headlined last week, “HSBC helped customers to hide millions from taxman.” There are decades of stories about corporations, movie actors, artists and politicians hiding money from the taxman. Many economic studies have shown that once tax rates exceed 20 percent, most people will start thinking about and then acting in legal or illegal ways to avoid the tax bill.

The reason there is so little remorse about tax avoidance and evasion is that virtually everyone knows that much of what government does is a ripoff. If people really believed that “government is underresourced” and spends its money wisely, they would not take legal charitable and other deductions when they file their income taxes. Even a big-government liberal like President Obama makes charitable deductions because he knows or suspects that the charities he gives to will spend the money more wisely than the government he oversees. The president’s buddy, Al Sharpton, is welcome at the White House almost any time, even though the Internal Revenue Service reportedly claims he owes millions in unpaid taxes. If Mr. Sharpton had robbed a supermarket of a mere $10,000, it is unlikely he would be welcome at the White House. The message is obvious. The government even tells us that federal employees, including thousands at the IRS, owe billions in back taxes, yet little is done. At the same time IRS leaders have the unmitigated gall to demand larger budgets. …

Government waste amounts to about $1 trillion every year.

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