Are you getting what you are paying for?

I am borrowing this from newsletter guru, John Mauldin, who apparently borrowed it from The Privateer. It is verifiably true, and stunning beyond words.

In 1909 the federal government had an annual budget of $0.8 billion (yep, just $800 million). The population was 90 million. The cost of government was $9 per capita. In 2009, the federal government had a budget of $3,550 billion (yep, $3.55 trillion). The population is just over 300 million. That is a cost of $11,675 per capita.

So, are we 1,200x better off than we were 100 years ago in government services? 1,200x. Stew on it.

Conservatives err when they solely focus on the unaffordable nature of present government. It is too big, period. Too expensive, yes. Irresponsibly expensive, yes. And just too big. 1,200x more expensive (adjusted for population growth, mind you) than 100 years ago. Anyone care to compound the math out another 100 years? Heaven help us.