The Decline of Our Republic in One Chart

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Debt, Economy, Taxes

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We hear news that 62,600 jobs have been eliminated since Sept. 1, the sharpest two-month drop since the start of 2010.  We hear news that consumer prices are ready to spike over the next year.  We hear news about sharp declines in household income.  Then we wonder why we are on such a protracted path of poverty and decline.  However, when you consider the cost of the hidden tax of the regulatory state, there is no mystery as to why we are on decline.

Take a look at this chart from the Mercatus Institute, which tracks the growth of federal regulations over the past decade:

The amazing thing is that you could chart the growth of regulations with a straight line increase in poverty, welfare, income decline, and spike in consumer prices.  For all the talk of poverty, nothing alleviates the burden of the impoverished like jobs, higher income, and lower prices.  Nothing squeezes the poor and working class more than onerous regulations, which kill jobs, depress wages, and raise the cost of producing vital goods and services.

Regulations are a cancer on our economy, and things will never improve unless the next president stems the tide of the regulatory state.  That is the only potent weapon in the war on poverty.  Take a look at this analysis from CNS news of the latest poverty numbers and welfare spending figures.  Can anyone honestly say that more welfare spending in the answer?

The federal government spent enough money on federal means-tested welfare programs to have sent each impoverished household a check for nearly $60,000, according to figures from the Census Bureau and the Congressional Research Service(CRS).

According to a report from the CRS produced for Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), $1 trillion was spent on federal welfare programs during fiscal year 2011 – with $746 billion in federal funds and $254 in state matching funds.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that there were approximately 16.8 million households living below the federal poverty level of $23,000 per year for a family of four in 2011. ( See:  2011 Households Below Poverty 2011.pdf )

If each of the estimated 16.8 million households with income below the poverty level were to have received an equal share of the total welfare spending for fiscal year 2011, they each would have received $59,523.

So after spending $60,000 per household per year on welfare programs, poverty is at an all-time high!  When will we learn that we can’t tax, regulate, or subsidize our way out of poverty?  Our Republic will never recover unless we restore the free market and place a moratorium on major federal regulations.  We already tried the Great Society; let’s try something that will actually work.