(REASON) -- Last week, The New York Times published an eye-opening tally of how much more the federal government is spending on each of us since Donald Trump was elected president. "Total federal spending has increased by $1,441 per person since 2016," reported Alicia Parlapiano and Quoctrung Bui, to a grand total of $14,652 per person per year. They came to their numbers by looking at actual federal outlays "for the 2016 fiscal year, adjusting for inflation and population changes" and comparing them to the budgeted amounts for the current fiscal year, which ends on September 30.
This revelation—which has generated a scant 45 comments as of this writing on five days after publication—should discomfit both Republicans and Democrats and conservatives and liberals/progressives. And it should absolutely enrage libertarians who believe in smaller government and the 42 percent of Americans who identify as politically independent and thus are less likely to buy into partisan spin. What exactly do we have to show for the $1,441 increase in spending per person since 2016? As important, given the massive amounts of waste, fraud, and abuse everyone agrees is rampant in government, do we really need to be shelling out $14,652 per person, per year? That figure will almost certainly go up next year.