The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

State/Local Spending Hikes Outpace Private Sector Growth by 90 Percent

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Government spending has continued to grow throughout the recession, as illustrated by the following trends:

Analysis from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University demonstrates that South Carolina governments are not alone in this trend.

Over the past 60 years, state and local spending has increased 10-fold, holding spending  constant to 1950 levels.

The private sector? A 5-fold increase.

Overall, state/local spending has grown at twice the rate of private sector spending.

More startling is the explosion in government spending over the past 10 years.

Between 1950 and 2000, state and local spending grew at 4 percent annually, compared to 3 percent in the private sector.

But between 2000 and 2009, the gap widened substantially. State and local spending grew 2.6 percent compared to private sector growth of 1.4 percent.


  • A 33 percent higher growth rate in local/state spending up to 2000.
  • An 86 percent higher growth rate in local/state spending after 2000.

Combine these figures with out-of-control federal spending, and you have a recipe for fiscal disaster.


Written by Jameson Taylor

August 19, 2010 at 4:24 pm

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