Our National Values- Reflected In Our Spending Priorities:NOT

A few years ago, somebody handed me a pen at a community event that had a little handle on the side that you could pull out, revealing two charts that unfurled to around 5 x 7, large enough to make their points. (current versions below)


Total Outlays (Federal Funds): $2,650 billion
MILITARY: 54% and $1,449 billion
NON-MILITARY: 46% and $1,210 billion

Thinking about the current debate over the utility of bank bailouts  vs. universal healthcare I was reminded of them. - I keep wondering, IF 60-70% of Americans want universal healthcare, WHY are our (bad?) political actors saying that its off the table?
What is tying their hands? Perhaps the charts help explain one of the many reasons why. We are spendng more money on our military than the whole rest of the world, combined, is spending on theirs!

(US on left, rest of world on right)

Source for 2009 pie chart figures:"The pie chart figures are from an analysis of detailed tables in the "Analytical Perspectives" book of the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2009. The figures are federal funds, which do not include trust funds -- such as Social Security -- that are raised and spent separately from income taxes. What you pay (or don't pay) by April 15, 2008, goes to the federal funds portion of the budget. The government practice of combining trust and federal funds began during the Vietnam War, thus making the human needs portion of the budget seem larger and the military portion smaller. "
Thats it.  The above quoted text and images come from this site.

Tags: bailout, bailout for bankers, cashfortrash, Federal Budget, GWOT, Healthcare, ponzi scheme, Priorities (all tags)



Would I be spending the same amounts?

 If they let me do the budget, then my pie chart would have no slices at all. It would just have a big "Single Payer Health Care" label on the whole pie. Because I'm a progressive, and I have a better understanding of these things than most people due to my heightened sensitivity, which is born of a tougher life than most people have had to deal with.

by QTG 2009-04-21 10:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Would I be spending the same amounts?

Lulz.  You're lying, and I can tell!

by fogiv 2009-04-21 02:51PM | 0 recs
Re:Do I have to

reply to you and the reply to myself any number of times thereafter? Don't you sass me, young man!

by QTG 2009-04-21 04:45PM | 0 recs

A chart-dispensing pen??

I guess this is what you get from a room full of incredibly wonky Bond fanatics.

by January 20 2009-04-21 01:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Our National Values- Reflected In Our Spending

A bit more complete picture:

SS: 21%
DOD: 16.6%
Unemployment/Welfare/other mandatory spending: 11.2%
Interest on National Debt: 9%
Medicaid and SCHIP: 7.2%
Global War on Terror: 5%
Health and Human Services: 2.4%
DoE: 1.9%

to see the rest go here:http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en /e/ef/Fy2008spendingbycategory.png

by jsfox 2009-04-21 02:02PM | 0 recs

so while I agree we spend too much on defense we do spend more on people oriented items, unless you consider SS, medicare and medicaid recipients something other than people.

by jsfox 2009-04-21 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: follow-up

Isn't GWOT mostly off-budget?

by QTG 2009-04-21 04:48PM | 0 recs
Federal Government's Priorities?

I do think the original chart is misleading, but what should our Federal government's priorities be?  Defense does come to mind.  Don't you think most of the rest would be better handled by the states, where we are closer to where the money is spent?  

Everyone would be more involved in the process.  One is a lot more cautious spending one's own money than somebody else's.  That does not just mean keeping the costs down it also means getting the best schools, etc.  There is no reason we should not have most of those other responsibilities at the local and state level.  

What is the logic behind believing my President can do a better job than my Governor at the fixing "crumbling infrastructure" in my neighborhood?

by Classical Liberal 2009-04-21 08:39PM | 0 recs
Kool aid?

Its pretty clear that Social Security, having been paid for out of a separate fund, is not part of the yearly budget. So the chart is accurate.

People just hate the idea of "their" government spending more than the whole rest of the world combined to keep corporate profits high, especially when those same corporations are laying off Americans and dont really have as much of a connection to the wealth of most Americans as they once had.

Their jobs have been traded away as a bargaining chip.

So that leaves us with a situation in which we pay so that a very few can be richer and, our money supports torture, etc, and that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

If I was naive enough, I'd want it to be that 20% figure too. That sounds reasonable.

by architek 2009-04-22 03:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Kool aid?

Yes Social Security is paid out of a separate fund,  but it is still a government mandatory expenditure. And was included in the Presidents 2009 budget. So when looking at government expenditures you need to look at the entire picture not just the one that fits your argument. This is like Bush keeping the wars in Afghan and Iraq wars off the books because he didn't like how it looked.

by jsfox 2009-04-22 04:47AM | 0 recs
which he did do...

Social Security is not controllable, as its money that is already put aside.

The military budget is. We can decide not to start wars.

When we spend money on unnecessary wars, we lose credibility when real wars come along.

by architek 2009-04-24 05:14AM | 0 recs
Your logic is flawed.

1. Social Security Budget HAS NOT BEEN set a side.  Since we spent it with our general fund, I would doubt that when the time comes you will deny using the general fund to make it whole.

  1. The Federal government can not control the economy.
  2. Not all wars are started by the US.  It is really an arrogant statement to say otherwise.

We did not form a federal government to run our retirement fund, we put it together to defend us from external threats.  We may agree on several places our military should not be or should not have been, but it isn't like either party is listening to our concerns.  

by Classical Liberal 2009-04-25 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Our???

I'd spend it all on paid bloggerz.

by Jess81 2009-04-21 04:24PM | 0 recs


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