The federal budget breakdown

Contributed by Shell Suber

While in New York last week I found myself in one of those “you know what is wrong with this country…” discussions I love to get into with my in-laws. They are from the NYC area and, while we agree on some matters of politics, we are miles apart on others, which is why I enjoy our conversations.

The discussion wound its way into a discussion of federal budget priorities, taxes and debt, which made me think of a piece Lisa Myers did for NBC Nightly News last spring. It breaks down how this year’s tax dollars were spent.

See this link for the video and transcript: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/36577348#36577348

What I think the average person will find surprising about this report is:

  1. the big 3 entitlements are so high (43% between Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare);
  2. the military budget is so low (only about 20% when many Americans think it’s much much higher);
  3. the taxes collected this year only cover about 61% of the spending with the remaining 39% paid with borrowed money (Hear that, kids?);
  4. and nearly half of American households pay no federal income taxes. None. Zip. Nada.

Of course, this is a simple pie chart and the federal budget is complicated but, as I like to say, its not THAT complicated! No more so than the Excel spreadsheet I use to manage my family budget, it just has more lines and columns and way more commas. But just like in my spreadsheet, the number at the top (income) better equal the number at the bottom (outgo) or we have a serious problem.

Well, folks, we have a serious problem.

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2 Comments to “The federal budget breakdown”

  1. Extremely well said.

  2. Shell: This is so well stated.

    The budget is so easy to understand when you think of it in these terms, and the fact that IRS revenues fail to cover expenses by 39% per year is the 600 pound gorilla in the room, that is getting ready to start kicking everyone’s A$$.

    So many politicians think, “well, if we eliminate this tax cut, or raise taxes on this vice, we will be okay, but in the end those minor changes will do little to shore up the 39% annual deficit spending that has become so acceptable.

    You know when the Republicans were in charge, the Democrats cried and moaned about our spending in Iraq and Afganistan ~ claiming that it’s costing too much and it increasing the deficit, and we’re going to loose anyway. Republicans justified the effort under the “National Security” heading ~ and proceeded to win Iraq with the surge that Obama is still not sure worked. Regardless, it’s important to have a free supply of oil from the east since the very fabric of your life (plastic) is a petroleum product, and for whatever reason, Democrats won’t let us remove that foul substance from underneath our own soil, to make Vasiline, Lipstick, Car Tires, Asphault, anything made of plastic, etc.

    When the Democrats get in charge, they do nothing to shorten the timeline to victory in either war theatre, and even simply conceed failure on a date certain ~ AND decide to push through their own vision of utopia that will have us looking more like France than the U.S. (Healthcare)

    I’m very concerned for our country.

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