Some Government Spending

Progressives in Congress and the White House are loathe to reduce spending—especially actual reductions, not just the reduced rates of growth that they, along with too many Republicans, masquerade as spending reductions.  This reluctance is part of why they’ve been so indisposed toward passing a budget, which would make their spending excesses even more apparent.

Bret Baier, of Fox News, though, has dug out some numbers illustrating the present excesses.  Just last November, for instance, the Federal government collected $5 billion in total revenue, while spending $11 billion, each day of the month, for a spending excess of $6 billion per day.  The table includes Baier’s numbers and provides some of the biggest spending sources.  (The Totals sums won’t agree  between across and down due to rounding.)

Spender Daily Tab ($billion) Monthly Tab ($billion) Projected Annual Tab ($billion)
Department of Health and Human Services

3

90

1,080

Social Security

2.5

75

900

Department of Defense

1.8

54

648

interest on the national debt

0.85

25.6

307.4

Totals

8.2

244.6

2,935

Notice that the two biggest spenders are Obamacare—HHS—and Social Security: two of the entitlements which the Progressives have already said are not negotiable—no matter the damage to our economy.

Notice further that those $300+ billion in debt interest are utterly withdrawn from our economy; it’s just the vig on our debt.  Those dollars don’t circulate.  Moreover, that vig doesn’t pay down the debt a single fēn (分).  Then, too, when interest rates revert to our historical levels in the neighborhood of 5% from our current roughly 0.25%, those interest payments will explode to the region of $6,148 billion—over $6 trillion.  Per year.

No wonder the Progressives are so reluctant to discuss spending or actual deficit elimination and debt reduction.  That would be hard.

2 thoughts on “Some Government Spending

  1. I have one thing to say on this, other than the numbers are frightening. Social Security IS NOT an entitlement. Everyone who works (legally that is) contributes to THEIR Social Security Account. That is THEIR money, NOT the governments’. Do NOT call it an entitlement. If Social Security goes down, that is the result of theft!

  2. Everyone who works (legally that is) contributes to THEIR Social Security Account. That is THEIR money, NOT the governments’.

    The second part is true as far as it goes; the first is a common misconception.

    Second part first. The taxes collected for Social Security (and for Medicaid and Medicare) certainly are the monies of the individuals paying and not the government’s. Government has nothing of its own; it can only take from others.

    First part second. Those payroll taxes that fund Social Security, et al., go, first, to pay a current retiree, and second, if there’s any left over, into a general (Social Security) pool for payout to later, generic, retirees in their turn. For the last several decades, the payouts have been so great and the payroll tax collections so small (demographics, not anyone’s laziness and not any economic result as a primary cause) that there has been no money left over for that general pool. It’s being drawn down, and that’s the fund that’ll be emptied in just a few short years. The payroll tax collections will continue, but they’ll be sufficient to fund retirees at only 75% of the current…benefit…level. In a normally strong economy.

    None of that money is set aside for the account/benefit of the one who paid in those taxes.

    Since these monies are paid out to others and not held FBO the payer-in, Social Security is nothing but a government program of wealth redistribution–an entitlement program.

    Eric Hines

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