Federal Tax Receipts To Set A Record


From the way President Obama and Democrats talk about taxes in America, you’d get the idea that our problem is that we aren’t taxed enough. Yet, according to the CBO, tax revenues are on pace to hit an all-time record this year.

The previous record was set in 2007, capping a multi-year expansion in federal tax receipts which followed the Bush tax cuts. The same tax cuts that Democrats claim caused budget deficits.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates the federal government is on pace to bring in a record $2.7 trillion in tax receipts this fiscal year.

The increase reflects a steady post-recession rise in revenues. They ticked up 6 percent in 2012, but according to the CBO could jump 11 percent in 2013. …

According to historical figures from the White House, the last tax revenue record was set in 2007, when the government raked in nearly $2.6 trillion. By 2009, tax revenue took a dive, before gradually building back up.

I pointed out back in November that federal tax receipts have actually grown 19% since grounding out in 2009, pointing out that we were getting near 2007’s record level again:

graph (3)

The problem is relentless growth in spending which has increased 27% under President Obama:

graph (1)

There’s no way around it. We have a spending problem.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • WOOF

    Revenues have not reached 2007 levels.
    Population has increased.

    • two_amber_lamps

      Whassamatter YIP? Your leftist self-loathing gettin’ the better of you?

      Here, you can do your part….


    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Which, funnily enough, is something you guys don’t like to talk about when we’re talking about employment numbers.

      But you’re right, we’re still behind the US historical average for revenues as a percentage of GDP, but that doesn’t change the fact that revenues are rising.

      We don’t need to raise tax rates. Revenues are already growing. We need to cut spending.

      • Thresherman

        Many thing affect revenues other than just population. One example is your flex account. Flex accounts are funded with money taken out pretax for healthcare and other allowed expenses. The Democrats have passed laws reducing the amount of what qualifies and Obamacare reduces the max amounts that can be set aside. As a result more and more of the average Joe’s income has been subject to taxation. This while the Dems brag about they are sticking it to the rich.

        • banjo kid

          The last democrat tax break I got was in the 70’s and it cost me $1,798.00 that year , Heh tax cut for who .???

    • mickey_moussaoui

      Economic growth hasn’t reached 2007 levels but spending is through the roof. Sooner or later Hugobama will figure out that you can’t squeeze water from a rock

      • WOOF

        You can harvest the oranges
        that have grown as big as pumpkins
        fertilized by loopholes and tax havens.

        • silverstreak
          • WOOF

            Step into the real world silverstreak.
            Corporations lobby and fight to not be taxed,
            to be protected from taxes other pay ,
            to harvest their workers tax payments,
            cause they do pay taxes.

          • silverstreak

            Step into the real world?
            I was a self employed business owner for 10 years so I know exactly what happens when the tax rates and equipment depreciation tables change.

            As far as harvesting others tax payments
            You mean like the millions of Americans that pay little to no income taxes but recieve a lot government services.Those that even get back more than they paid in (Earned Income Child Credit)because they had children they can’t afford to raise and expect me to subsidize their screwing.

            Decades ago I was like you but I realized that the key to my happiness was to stop running around trying to peek into other people’s pockets to see what they had but to do what I could to put more money in my pocket.

            In your world…people like me are greedy for wanting to keep what I have earned and people that want to help themselves to my property are not.

            For those who understand that taxes like crap always rolls downhill,no further explanation is necessary.

            For those who don’t understand,no further eplanation is possible.

          • WOOF

            Harvesting others tax payments: ”

            in Illinois the state income taxes
            withheld from your paycheck may be kept by your employer under
            a law that took effect in May. Continental Corporation
            (CONG.DE), the big German tire maker; Motorola Mobility
            MMI.N, the cell phone maker; and Navistar (NAV.N), the maker
            of diesel trucks for industry and the military, are in on the
            deal. State officials say a fourth company is negotiating a
            similar arrangement.

            Chrysler and Mitsubishi arranged deals with the state in
            the depths of the Great Recession in 2009; Ford got one in
            2007, since revised to let it keep half of its Illinois
            workers’ state income taxes.”

          • silverstreak

            This is a state issue and not federal.
            These are state income taxes and may be legal under the 10th Amendment.
            If you live a state where this is happening,you should contact your state rep.
            Since I do live in a state where this is happening,my state rep is going to hear from me.
            Legal or not…it still smells bad.
            Here in Georgia,we have been pushing for years to do away with the state income tax.
            Thanks for more ammunition for us to use here.

          • jl

            “Corporations lobby and fight not to be taxed..” Oh, my. What do expect them to do, lobby to BE taxed?

          • camsaure

            Right, even obuma is known to have lightened up on the taxation of his supporters and cronies. That should speak volumes.

      • two_amber_lamps

        Squeeze water from a stone? Funny, Obama said “yes we can!”

      • camsaure

        I wonder if he doesn’t already know this. Either he doesn’t care or is out to destroy America, I think both.

        • $8194357


        • banjo kid

          He knows it .

  • awfulorv

    It’s not enough. Somewhere out there are white people, other than the entertainment industry, union bosses, “special” millionaires, and favored politicians, who made too much last year, let’s get em.

  • Anon

    Apparently hack extraordinaire Rob Port has to use numbers out of context since the the budget as a percent of GDP totally destroys his argument and reveals the fundamental failure of the Republican policy under the Bush administration, namely that the deficit exploded under Republican control and that under the Democratic government revenues are about average and spending been reduced significantly. But hey, spin is all Rob has when reality doesn’t support his argument in any way; what a hack!


    • JoeMN


      Research shows that from the founding of our nation, 1787-1849 (63
      years) federal spending averaged 1.7% of GDP. For the next 51 years,
      1850-1900 (including fighting the Civil War) spending averaged only
      3.1%. From 1901 till 1930 (including fighting WWI) it never reached 8%,
      and averaged approximately 3.2%.

      At the height of the progressive movement (including FDR’s New Deal)
      federal spending as a percentage of GDP never went above the 1934 level
      of 10.7%. Even after the historic 1944 (WWII) level of 43.6%, spending
      had fallen by 1948 to 11.6% of GDP.

      In short, for the first 130 years of the U.S.’s 224 year existence,
      federal spending as a percentage of GDP averaged around 2.5%!

      So why is the 18-25% solution offered? At best politicians might be
      misusing or misrepresenting data, or using only a couple of decades for
      determining what’s “historical” and “average” spending. In all honestly,
      heuristic ignorance and the need for political capital is probably
      driving the rhetoric. What’s important is to realize the “parroting” we
      are hearing should be our canary in the mineshaft, warning us of the
      impending decline of our economy caused by excessive federal spending.
      Tying GDP to spending is also a great way to hide future massive spending increases.

      Simply project massive future growth resulting from all that spending

      • Anon

        Except tying GDP to spending is pretty much the only accurate measure of how much the government is spending. One dollar spent in 1801 is much different than on spent in 2013 and one dollar spent out of two is much different than one spent out of a million. As to your argument about the historic GDP growth rate, which curiously contradicts your position that GDP shouldn’t be tied to spending, the country’s obviously changed considerably in the last several hundred years. In case it hadn’t occurred to you, it wasn’t until after WWII that the United States became the world’s preeminent economic and political superpower and it accomplished that end thanks to increased military spending and ensuring the basic needs of its citizens were met through initiatives such public education, Social Security, etc. none of which which could be accomplished by the 2.5% GDP you appear to advocate. You’re vision of returning back to the dark ages is certainly only that will provide little appeal to the general population or those with a modicum of common sense, so please keep advocating your shortsighted, laughable position!

        • JoeMN

          . The point of the article was not to advocate for a return to 2.5 % GDP spending rates.

          That is your straw man fantasy.

          It was to point out how obscenely HIGH spending to GDP is today to those who wish to use it to mask out of control government spending.

          But since you insist on going there, I should ask you this;

          How much spending do you think is enough ?

          25 % of GDP ?
          30 % ?

          More ?

          To help in your decision, government spending in Greece is around 50 % of it’s GDP

          How is this working out for them ?
          We have a many times higher GDP than Greece.

          Our citizens (read government) must have MANY TIMES HIGHER needs than even the citizens of Greece.
          And speaking of per capita debt and Greece


          • JoeMN

            The 18-25 % GDP spending number does not include state and local spending

          • JoeMN

            One more point to make, Anon

            This article uses both spending and revenue to GDP ratios to make the outlandish claim that Greece has a revenue, rather than a spending problem.

            It’s producers must be under taxed.
            But they neglect the fact that Greece has among the highest effective tax rates on incomes of $100,000 in the world


            Plus Greece once again raised tax rates in January, including a new 26 % corporate rate.

          • $16179444

            facts …. liberals hate ‘em.

          • Guest

            You picked Grece why didn’t you pick a nation like Norway, Sweden, or Germany?

          • JoeMN

            Of those three, lets pick Sweden because it has the highest spending/GDP ratio of the three, even slightly higher than Greece.
            And Sweden seems to be weathering the storm rather well as of late.
            So of course this implies that the rest of those countries, Germany, Norway, and the US, and even Greece.should be able to INCREASE government spending (by a bunch in our case), without it negatively affecting private sector growth…… right ?
            Well, if we examine Sweden a little closer, the truth comes out
            Government spending in Sweden (starting at a point of insanity) is trending downward while the economy responds positively.
            By contrast, Sweden has significantly cut government spending without
            equivalent increases in taxes. Sweden’s finance minister, Anders Borg,
            successfully reduced welfare spending and pursued economic stimulus
            through a permanent reduction in the country’s taxes, including a
            20-point reduction in the top marginal income tax rate. As a result,
            Sweden’s economic growth has, of late, trumped every other European
            country’s. Sweden’s commitment to reform has paid off in economic
            Another big factor at play here is the amounts of economic freedoms in these various countries.
            Sweden ranks 18th in the economic freedom index (Mostly free)
            Greece ? Not so good. Yet tax cuts still provide stimulus.
            (Of course economic stimulus in Venezuela could be had as easily as giving back the cement plant Chavez stole).
            What this all boils down to is that while we are already cranking out trillion dollar deficit’s annually, Krugman style gas pedal through floorboards government spending would allow us to boast higher spending/GDP numbers than Greece.
            But we will beat them to the poor house as well.

          • Guest

            This fails to mention the policies that they took before the recession to balance their budget, an overall healthy business market before the recession, and that they decided never to adopt the Euro. They are described as market socialism which is why they rank relatively high for economic freedom. Personally I think the economic freedom and property rights is more important than government spending. Despite having what we would call draconian government spending even with the cuts they have close to the same per capita income as us and have a much much healthier balance sheet.

          • JoeMN

            They are described as market socialism which is why they rank relatively high for economic freedom


            I would emphasize “market” over “socialism” when defining economic freedom

            But hey, as long as those socialists now understand which side their bread is buttered on.

            Now, if we could only do something about capital formation


          • Guest

            I agree I think our tax code attempts to do too much and is overcomplicated. Many regulations need to be stripped and streamlined although good regulation is necessary. Interest groups in our country are too good at getting government fixed to benefit them. On the tax side I don’t believe we are overtaxed seeing that our rates were up until January at the lowest national rates they have been in the lifetime of most all Americans. But like I said the code is far to complicated and very economically inefficient.

          • Guest

            I also agree with you in the respect that Obama is mistaken in his jobs summit, thousands of people pursuing their own self interests will be more productive than a panel of even the most talented Americans trying to figure out what to incentivize Americans to do.

        • Thresherman

          Anyone who thinks that we are not spending too much money and turns a blind eye to the crippling effects of our current runaway entitlement programs should be the very last to call someone else shortsighted. Entitlement spending is simply unsustainable, yet the liberals think that they can ignore that and still pretend that they still have a valid position on the country’s finances.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Still the most accurate, descriptive, lucid messages of the last four years: OneBigAssMistakeAmerica

  • sbark

    Indicates, that even with real Obama induced Unemployment near 14.5%, the economy slow due to ever increasing govt intervention into business …………there is hope to actually start to repay the 16 trillion debt and get back to a balanced budget………..hope from the remnants of a free economy and capitalism………
    ….but if Obama can add another 8 trillion to our debt as his spending trend and ObamaCare would do……….and Int rates take off upward when investor confidence erodes………………that hope fades quickly.
    Welfare and entitllement spending already eats up 100% of even this record Fed Treas. inflow………..add on the burden of even just 10% int. rate……..and the debt eats the economy alive……….
    The House has to hold the line………its the last chance to keep the decline of this country yet a choice, rather than a acheived end goal of Obama and the radical left.
    We are seeing some shift in Dem’cat’s Loyalty priorities…..back toward the USA as a society at the top of their Loyalty list……….even see it in the media, as they cant cover the idiotic wail of crisis after crisis by the left all the way back to Clinton era.

  • $8194357

    And they are still spending so much they need to borrow 46 cents on the dollar?
    Greedy communist a$$hats.

    • banjo kid

      spending has to be looked at as revenue enhancements . as the unemployed has to be looked at as an increase in jobs.

      • sbark

        echo’s of Nanny Pelsoi…..

        • banjo kid

          That is all that is emitting from the skull of mush she has . I was being ferocious err feciesouse faceciese aww heck I was trying to be funny .