What if the Federal Government Was Turned into a 501c3 Non-Profit?

May 18, 2023 | Bubble Monitor, No Bull Economics

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Given all the focus on the debt ceiling, we propose a thought experiment in which all 100 federal agencies must compete for charitable donations. If taxpayers get to choose for themselves what to fund, what might we learn? 

  • The federal government is “obligated” to spend $4.6 trillion in FY23, with spending by the largest agencies outlined in the bottom table. This represents nearly $30,000 per taxpayer (2020 total) or 37% of the country’s 2020’s total adjusted gross income.   
FY23 Obligated Spending Amount Graph
  • Let’s imagine that each of the 100 federal agencies had to compete for their own charitable donations (only the largest agencies are listed below).
  • Perhaps the feds would quickly learn how to get government spending under control if taxpayers were given a vote of how to spend their own hard-earned dollars.
FY23 Obligated Spending by Agency

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