Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.
The cats and I were trying to understand what all those useless eaters were fighting about in Washington DC. Decided it must be unhappiness about the way the money was spent in 2013, so I went for a look.
Turns out there are two types of spending going on. Mandatory spending is one, discretionary is the other. The chart above depicts where they spend the money coming out of taxes and they can tweak.
The “Social Security & Unemployment” and “Medicare & Health” take on a major fraction of the federal spending, amounting to about 58% of the total outlays, whereas “Military” spending appears to amount to just 18%. The problem with this representation is that the Social Security & Medicare are parts of the mandatory spending directly financed by the dedicated revenue raised from payroll taxes, as imposed by the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), not through the Federal income tax and thus represents a different Treasury account.
If we separate the mandatory spending and look only at the discretionary spending component appropriated by Congress on an annual basis and for which all the federal programs compete, a very different picture arises.
Probably that enormous portion of the budget being frittered away on non-defense spending is what has those people upset and shutting down the government. Each one of those non-defense slices could be halved or quartered easily so’s to provide a means of continuing and even increasing defense spending without anyone feeling the pinch.
The US isn’t even spending half as much on national defense as the rest of the world combined is spending on theirs. It’s no wonder those elected representives and senators are digging in their heels. They’re scared.
Congress knows their primary responsibility is to protect the citizenry from foreign invaders and likely they won’t give an inch until they know they’re doing it.