The price of one ounce of gold exceeded $1,500 yesterday, and immediately the media was filled with explanations. Jan Harvey, writing for Reuters, said gold was benefiting from “the threat of a downgrade to the United States’ triple-A credit rating this week and fresh worries over euro zone debt [that] fueled fears over the outlook for both the dollar and the euro.”

When the federal government took over General Motors in July of 2009, it was “the only way to avoid an economic calamity,” according to President Obama.

Stuffed full of $50 billion of taxpayers’ money, GM began to revive, a little. It had lost an amazing $103 billion over the previous five years, partly by acceding to union demands for generous compensation packages (including payments to workers even when the plants where they worked weren’t even running!), and partly by misreading market conditions and their competition.

Each year, American taxpayers lose anywhere from 20 to 50 percent of their income to the federal and state government in taxes, with the additional cost of filing taxes averaging approximately $20 billion annually. However, those figures pale in comparison to the 20 shocking tax-related facts put together by Business Insider, ones that will reportedly “make your head explode.”

As the supporters of President Barack Obama have complained about tax cuts for the rich during the ongoing budget debate, one group of Americans has escaped their notice: the 45 percent of Americans who will pay no federal income tax at all for 2010.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute released a report today entitled Ten Thousand Commandments: An Annual Snapshot of the Federal Regulatory State, compiled by Wayne Crews, which reveals that the cost to Americans for complying with federal regulations far surpasses the amount of the federal budget deficit.