Friday, October 1, 2010

Taxpayer Receipt

Sullivan, once again. I liked the actual dollar figures, but figured it might be better to list the items as a percentage of your overall tax liability. So here goes:
Social Security 19.2722%
Medicare 11.5835%
Medicaid 7.1348%
Interest on the National Debt 5.3154%
Combat Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan 4.2439%
Military Personnel 3.5702%
Veterans' Benefits 1.3824%
National Parks 1.2844%
Federal Highways 1.1831%
Health Care Research 0.8619%
Foreign Aid 0.8533%
Education Funding for Low Income K-12 Students 0.7069%
Military Retirement Benefits 0.6037%
Pell Grants for Low Income College Students 0.5509%
NASA Space Program 0.5202%
Internal Revenue Service 0.3276%
Environmental Clean Up (EPA) 0.2161%
The FBI 0.2076%
Head Start 0.2020%
Public Housing 0.1944%
Drug Enforcement Agency 0.0581%
Amtrak 0.0413%
Smithsonian Museum 0.0207%
Funding for the Arts 0.0044%
Salaries and Benefits for members of Congress 0.0035%

As you can see, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid make up nearly 38% of this taxpayer's obligation, and this is for the median taxpayer. Right now (pdf), entitlement spending makes up about half the federal budget, and will increase to two-thirds in the next 20 years. If any voter out there believes that these three items should not be part of any serious discussion about reducing the deficit, then they're not serious, or simply uninformed. By being able to see in black and white where one's tax dollars are going, one becomes a more informed citizen.

Who would oppose implementing such an idea? Republicans, perhaps, who risk being discovered as the fiscal frauds they really are (remember, it was Republicans who added $32 trillion for Medicare D without offsetting one penny in revenue generation)? Democrats, who want to keep Social Security in a "lock box?" Until both sides sit down and take an honest look at how our federal dollars are being spent (foreign aid less than 1%, Head Start less than 0.25%), we'd be well on our way to real budgetary discipline, and WE THE PEOPLE could take credit for it.

Raising the retirement age to 67 will go a long way in adding to the Social Security coffers by delaying the paying out of benefits.

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