Revenue Growth Reminiscent Of An Earlier Time

by Michael Franc--Vice President, Government Relations--The Heritage Foundation

The Congressional Budget Office reports that federal revenues are on track to grow 12.8% this year. Last year, revenues grew at an even faster clip - 15.5%.

It's been a long time since federal tax receipts grew at such a torrid pace over a two year period. Back then, a powerful and fleet-footed rookie by the name of Mickey Mantle was trying to replace Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio in centerfield and Humphrey Bogart was pulling down an Oscar for Best Actor in African Queen.

By the end of this fiscal year, tax revenues consume 18.3% of Gross Domestic Product. Remarkably, given all the heated rhetoric about the fiscal devastation wrought by the Bush tax cuts, the tax burden will soon exceed the historical norm of 17.9% that has prevailed since World War II.

Liberals refer to this phenomenon as - "unanticipated revenues." Conservatives simply shrug their shoulders and say "we told you so."