How much does government cost the average citizen? Wouldn’t we all like to know!
In 1932, The American City attempted an approximate answer using the National Industrial Conference Board’s “Cost of Government in the United States, 1929-1930” publication.
Tax collections of all government divisions in 1930 offered the following breakdown:
Federal $3.468 billion or $28.15 per capita
State $1.78 billion or $14.45 per capita
Local $5.018 billion or $40.73 per capita
Total $10.266 billion or $83.33 per capita
Of the Federal Government expenditures, the author writes, “It is worth noting that only 10 per cent [sic] is attributable to general government costs, 2.1 per cent to highways, 5.5 per cent to economic development, 2.5 per cent to education and social welfare, 3.2 per cent to public utilities, 3.6 per cent to miscellaneous; while practically all of the remaining 73.1 per cent represents the cost of past and future wars.”