The cost of government in Iowa is higher than the top 24 grossing movies of all time. It is also more than the combined revenue from the NFL, MLB, Premier League, NBA, and NHL.
Most people know their annual income. The amount of revenue in our budgets determines our lifestyle, how much we save, and what we buy. However, the size of government is something few people know and understand and it also has a direct impact on our household budgets.
Can you relate to 38 billion dollars?
The state of Iowa can. According to an Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR) report, $38.25 billion was the overall cost of government in Iowa for FY 2018. Almost 80 percent, or $30.2 billion, comes directly from Iowans, or those visiting here, through various state and local taxes. The remaining $8.05 billion is from taxpayers nationwide and sent through the federal government.
We can try to personalize $38 billion by saying each Iowan has paid $12,149 or $30,170 per household, but that doesn't really show how massive the total is.
If you like movies, as of today, July 27, 2020, the combined lifetime gross revenue of the top 24 films, was $37.3 billion.
- Avengers: Endgame - $2,797,800,564
- Avatar - $2,790,439,000
- Titanic - $2,196,094,610
- Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens $2,068,223,624
- Avengers: Infinity War - $2,048,359,754
- Jurassic World - $1,670,400,637
- The Lion King - $1,656,943,394
- The Avengers - $1,518,812,988
- Furious 7 - $1,515,048,151
- Frozen II - $1,450,026,933
- Avengers: Age of Ultron - $1,402,805,868
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - $1,361,871,305
- Black Panther - $1,347,280,161
- Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi - $1,332,539,889
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - $1,308,467,944
- Frozen - $1,280,802,282
- Beauty and the Beast - $1,263,534,780
- Incredibles 2 - $1,242,805,359
- The Fate of the Furious - $1,236,005,118
- Iron Man 3 - $1,214,811,252
- Minions - $1,159,418,131
- Captain America: Civil War - $1,153,296,293
- Aquaman - $1,148,461,807
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - $1,141,986,831
How about professional sports? The combined gross revenue of the five largest sports leagues, before COVID-19, was $37.1 billion.
- National Football League - $13 billion
- Major League Baseball - $10.3 billion
- Premier League Soccer - $5.3 billion
- National Basketball Association - $4.8 billion
- National Hockey League - $3.7 billion
Both these examples are of smaller than the cost of government was in Iowa for 2018!
The government taxes much of our daily lives. When our taxes increase, more time is spent working for the government and not for ourselves or our families.
The IDR report also provides detailed expenditures for services and programs associated with the cost of state and local government. It is worth your time to take a look.
Don't forget; this is only for the state of Iowa. The federal government's total revenue for FY 2018 was $3.33 trillion, an amount 88 times greater than Iowa's.