The 3.9 Trillion pound Gorilla in the Room

Only a few short days after signing into law the largest government spending package on record, the President of the Unites States has submitted his budget outline to Congress. I repeat; budget outline. This mere 140-page document is not the actual budget nor will it resemble the final product very much. What it does is set up what will be an epic battle on the Hill. A battle for the ages; pitting old foes against each other with only the cries of class warfare and irresponsible and wasteful spending as their weapons. It will likely get ugly.

The President starts by very plainly stating that this is not his fault. He doesn’t name any names but he pulls no punches in calling out the Misplaced Priorities of administrations past. He then makes the case for crisis, complete with charts and graphs.

  • Unemployment: UP
  • Housing: DOWN
  • Manufacturing: DOWN
  • Confidence: Even More DOWN

Then it gets interesting as the first shots of class warfare are fired. Our nation’s wealthiest have accumulated a disproportionate share of the pie.  According to the IRS, the Top 400 Taxpayers in the US have seen their income quadruple since 1992.

Then he makes the case for Education and Health Care, both of which are in pretty sorry shape (my words, not his). The US Infrastructure gets a grade of “D” from the Civil Engineers of America. And let us not forget about Energy just because gasoline is under $2.00 a gallon. Talk about a big Gorilla.

The Budget preamble then starts spending a little money, although not in any detail yet. Expanding the Child Tax Credit for low income families, increasing Food Stamp Benefits, and increasing retirement benefits. Infrastructure spending is up next with a few billion dollars thrown in for high speed rail and improving Air Traffic Control systems. Port Security sees some cash, as does clean water, access to Broadband for rural areas, and science will get some research money.

Modernizing Federal buildings to cut the energy bill by 25% is up next, along with helping State and Local governments to do the same. The Electric Grid is ancient and must be modernized, so some money is headed that way. Pell Grants and Student Loans to get our kids college educated, and then tackle Health Care.

Let’s not forget about Defense Spending. That’s getting a nice boost in this budget, including more care for Veterans. One of everyone’s favorite expenditures, Foreign Assistance, gets put on a path to double in size. Of course, we’ve got war to pay for and up until now, the cash to pay for Iraq and Afghanistan has not been included in the budgets. It’s been paid for through supplemental spending bills.

For those who are a little taken aback by all the spending I’ve outlined, there are some cuts in government funded programs as well. Whew, I was getting nervous there myself. No more will we pay for cotton storage, and we’ll stop paying states to clean up Surface Mined areas if they’ve finished cleaning them. There’s a few other nickel and dime projects that will be cut off, but I got tired of reading them. They’re small though, rest assured.

Are you ready for a few numbers? Nothing heavy, I promise.

The cost of Social Security and Medicare combined exceed the total revenue collected from Individual Income Taxes.

SS & Medi Ind Income Tax Revenue

$1.087Trillion                        $958Billion

Defense Spending for 2009 exceeds the total money collected in Social Security payroll taxes.

Defense Social Security Payroll Tax Collected

$666Billion                                    $654Billion

Total projected government outlays for 2009 exceed total revenue collected by the largest amount ever.

Total outlays Total Revenue Collected

$3.9Trillion                                    $2.1Trillion

So the budget gauntlet has been thrown, and the opposition party will gear up their loins and prepare for battle.


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