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  • Powerball Jackpot Taxes: How Much Government Would They Pay For?

    The two lucky winners of the Powerball jackpot are a part of Powerball history. Of course, the winnings are subject to federal taxes, making the spoils a little less sweet. But since the President wants to tax the wealthy, let’s see how much taxing these new multimillionaires buys us in the way of government.

    Let’s assume that the two winners who will split the jackpot take the estimated $379.8 million lump sum. After all, with President Obama’s call for a tax increase on upper income earners, a call echoed by Warren Buffett, these newly minted millionaires could face a 39.6 percent rate—not the current 35 percent.

    Suppose they’re smart, though, and take the money this year. Then the federal government keeps $132.9 million and the winners keep $246.9 million—less whatever state and local taxes they will owe.

    Total spending in fiscal year 2012 was $3.54 trillion. Put in other terms, the government spent an average $9.7 billion a day, $404.1 million an hour, and $6.7 million per minute. Do the math, and that $132.9 million in tax revenue would fund the entire federal government for a whopping 20 minutes.

    But what if you just wanted to pay for one part of government? Congress, perhaps. In 1981, former Senator John Breaux (D–LA) famously quipped to reporters, “My vote can’t be bought, but it can be rented.” Well, for $132.9 million, the entire legislative branch could be “rented” for less than 10 days.

    Sure, a few hundred million dollars is not a lot of money by Washington standards. After all, the federal government has to pay the interest on debt accumulated from past deficits, and it has core functions such as funding our national defense. But this simple exercise puts the massive size and scope of the federal government into perspective. Federal spending is already at 23 percent of GDP, well above the historical average level of 20.2 percent. Driven largely by rising entitlement program spending, total spending is on course to reach 43 percent of GDP within a few decades. (continues below chart)

    More revenue through higher tax rates on high-income earners, as the President proposes, won’t solve the federal government’s fiscal problems. It’s clear how much government that actually buys. No, instead it’s time for the President to start offering proposals to cut spending.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Powerball Jackpot Taxes: How Much Government Would They Pay For?

    1. Bobbie says:

      what was that?

    2. Steven says:

      Forget the taxes. The ENTIRE payout would only last 52 minutes.

    3. Sol of Texas says:

      Yes — even if the Progressives obtained their great dream of taxing wealth instead of income, irresponsible spending can never be offset be oppressive taxation.

      BTW … who in their right minds would purchase a lottery ticket for future value (FV, aka annual payments) rather than present value (PV aka cash payment)? Based on the 2012 national election outcome, I conclude — "quite a few".

    4. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Watch Obama redistribute the winnings to those who didn't win.

    5. JOHN PAUL JONES says:

      I added it up. Including gas tax,sales tax,property tax,state income,medicare tax,social security tax and federal income tax, I pay 58% of my current income. Adding a rise of the upper tax bracket will take me to 69%. Something I call "UNFAIR SHARE". When I retire, I will need to find a country that considers what a fair share should be. Might be Hong Kong.

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