America’s Budget & Income
As a country, we accumulate and spend money. LOTS of money. But what do we spend it on and where does it come from? I have no idea, but fortunately, somebody figured it out and dropped the data in two easy to ready pie charts.
I love pie charts. It’s like pizza data. If any chart is cool, it’s the pie chart. The pie chart is the Fonzie of charts. If you were in a bar and the juke box didn’t work, a pie chart wearing a leather jacket would come out of the bathroom and be like, “Aaaaaaaaaaaa!” and fix that shizzle.
Anyway, on to the data.
Of late, there has been a lot of talk about what we spend our money on and how we need to reign that spending in to curb our ever increasing debt. As we can see, entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security make up nearly 50% of federal spending, which seems like a lot. The Defense Department takes a big bite, too; the military industrial complex isn’t free, you know.
Now let’s take a look at where the money actually comes from.
Shock of shocks, 47% of federal revenue comes from individuals paying their income taxes, which makes sense – where else is the government going to get money from? And we’re at 47% with taxes being at a 30 year low; it’s still a big piece of the pie. And let’s not forget that social security and social insurance tax receipts are probably almost entirely composed of payroll taxes, so that’s again the American tax payer combing for over 80% of all federal revenue. Corporate America is chilling at 8%, like a lifeguard that is busy chatting up chicks instead of watching the kids in the pool – the dude has this huge ‘loophole’ tattoo on his bicep.
I keep hearing that we need to cut back on Medicare and Social Security spending, but I don’t see why. That cash get’s spent here in the United States, so it just flows back into the economy and given that over 80% of all federal funds is generated by Americans, I think it’s fine to go ahead and spend that money on Americans. You know, to keep them alive and what not. For some who take advantage of these programs, the prospect of losing that is dangerous to their well being and baffling because they’ve been paying into the program for most of their lives. Think about it – you flip burgers at McDonald’s, you’re paying into social programs; you teach high school French, you’re paying into social programs, you’re the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, you’re… oh. Oh. But you get my point. If Americans are creating 80% of the wealth, it seems only fair that we spend about 50% of the money directly on Americans.
I don’t have any problem with the military – in fact, I’m a big fan. I love the new MQ-9 Reaper Drone and I get that they are not free. I think we need these; this is where modern warfare is going – unless our government orchestrates another farce like Iraq, the days of typical boots on the ground war seem like they’ve been over for a long time. These days, you go in, complete a limited mission and get out – you’re not advancing a line like in World War II or something. Missions like Seal Team 6’s already legendary Bin Laden raid and the dozens of drone bomber attacks is the future, and I understand this has to be paid for. The Reaper program has cost the American tax payer $11.8 billion, with each unit costing about $154.4 million (that’s four aircraft and other associated hardware), and I think that’s money well spent. But don’t tell me that because we spent $12 billion on UAVs that there’s nothing left over for band-aids, because it’s just not true.
The money is there; I know because I’m one of the people that’s paying in. We need everyone to pay their fair share so we can provide the services our citizens deserve. Sure, we need to cut out the fat, and I’m all for efficient programs, but when I hear people saying we only need to take slices from that one side of the pie that takes care of folks, I get suspicious. It seems to me that the folks taking the slices are the very ones who can afford to buy whatever they need and to hell with everybody else. That’s not good policy. That’s not supposed to be the American way.
So grow up, get responsible and stop being assholes.