The US government admits to spending $3.7 trillion during FY2012. I say admits, because despite the fact that the government ran a $98 billion budget deficit during the month of July alone, it claims that the debt has been exactly the same for the last 117 days. The ‘facts’ coming out of the Federal government cannot be trusted. None of them. Not the numbers on unemployment, inflation, spending, not one.
With that being said, the government supposedly took in $2.4 trillion in tax revenue, meaning that they are spending about $1.45 for each dollar that is taken in taxes. That extra 45 cents is done through borrowing. As I mentioned earlier, that number is likely much, much higher.
Where does all of this money go? Well, the majority of it goes to so-called ‘mandatory spending’ and interest on the money that we have already borrowed. Mandatory spending includes entitlements like Medicare, Social Security, VA benefits, etc. which are REQUIRED by law to be paid. Interest on the debt must also be paid. The money that must be paid totals about $2.5 trillion a year. You get that? Social Security, interest on the debt, Medicare, and the like already total more than we take in through taxes.
The remainder of what the government does, Welfare, Food Stamps, the Military, the Courts, jails, etc, account for the other $1.3 trillion of spending.
The only way out of this mess is not more taxes. Increasing the taxes of all Americans by a third (133% of last year)
would still require that all government discretionary spending be cut in
half. Spending has GOT to be cut across the board, even mandatory items like Social Security, along with the pet project of the right, the military.
Since we spend more on the military than every other country combined, maintaining a military presence in 150 countries worldwide (75% of the world’s nations), in addition to roaming the world’s oceans playing cop to the world, there is plenty here to cut. South Korea, Japan, the UK, and Germany account for $10 billion in base support costs, plus the cost of the 137,000 personnel in those countries. For example: The German Army has 62,000 troops. There are about 47,000 American troops in that nation. Why are we providing 40% of Germany’s defense? No, we can cut the Army in half, and cut the Air Force, Marines, and Navy budgets by a third, and still outspend our next closest competitor (China) by a margin of 4 to 1. That will save us about $300 billion a year.
Social Security and Medicare are breaking us. An immediate cut to SS disability. One in 20 US adults is collecting disability. I personally know three people who are, and they seem to have no problems riding roller coasters or going out partying. There are lawyers out there that make a living on disability payments for “back injuries” and “fibromyalgia.” Cut that disability in half, save $45 billion. In fact, Social Security and Medicare will have to be cut in half immediately, and phased out over five years, or we are going to eventually be forced into third world nation status.
Food stamps? Gone. Welfare? Gone.
Other steps like legalizing drugs would save the nation $100 billion a year, not to mention removing the funding from criminal gangs and the corresponding reduction in crime.
Real cuts are going to have to be made, or this nation will collapse under the weight of spending. However, I don’t see it happening. No, I think we are going to ride this spending train all the way to the bottom.