Where Does Our Tax Money Go?

The Washington Times has a breakdown of where the  $21,992 collected per household goes.  By the way, the federal government will spend $24,106 per household.  I don’t know how you do your budget in your house, but that doesn’t add up at mine.

Here’s a quick list of where the money goes, with some commentary on where it would go if I were king, errr, in charge:

1.  Social Security/Medicare, Current Spending:  $8,301

If I could choose, this amount would be zero.  I’m heartless, what can I say?  Oh yeah, I’m not a socialist either. 

I’d spend:  $0

Running total–$0

2.  Defense, Current Spending: $4,951

I actually support defense spending.  However, I don’t support offense spending.  Afganastan–okay.  Iraq–not.  That would just about 1/2 the $1618 per household in added spending since 9/11.  I’d be willing to go with the status quo for now and not close existing bases. 

I’d spend:  $4,142 

Running total–$4142

3.  Anti-poverty programs, Current Spending: $3,550

Since the “War on Poverty” started in the 60s, the percentage of people living in “poverty” in this country–the only country in the world where most people in poverty have cable tv and are fat–has not decreased.  I’d have to reduce spending in this categroy by about $3,550 per household.

I’d spend: $0 

Running Total–$4,142

4.  Interest on the federal debt: $2,071

At 7% interest, that makes the principle on the national debt at about $29,585 per household.  I’d want us out of debt as quickly as possible.  I’d be willing to use the $3,550 we were spending on poverty to make this happen.  Spending at total of $5,621 per household to pay down the principle wold have us out of debt in 2013, provided we operated on a balanced budget going forward.  This money would not be collected in taxes once the debts were paid.  Right now, we are in a mess, and we have to get out.

I’d spend: $5,621 (with a guaranteed tax cut as soon as it is paid off) 

Running Total $9,763

5.  Federal employee retirement benefits, Current Spending: $907

I don’t think we can get out of this, and we should provide full retirement for military at all times.  Bite the bullet and pay this one.

I’d spend:  $907, and I’d cut as many federal jobs as possible 

Running Total $10, 670

6.  Health research/regulation, Current Spending: $664

Sorry, let the market decide, and let the market do its own research. This money could instead be used for health insurance by individuals.

I’d spend:  $0 

Running Total:  $10,670

7. Veterans’ benefits, Current Spending: $627

The one place I would be in favor of increased spending, up to say, $1,000 per household.  These guys deserve better–they deserve the best.

I’d spend:  $1, 000 

Running Total:  $11,670

8.  Education, Current Spending: $584

Don’t get me started on this one.  $0

I’d spend:  $0 

Running Total:  $11,670

9. Highways/mass transit, Current Spending: $418

$0.  States can handle this. Well, most states can.  Lousisana and Mississippi would be in a world of hurt.

I’d spend:  $0 

Running Total:  $12,670

10.  Justice administration, Current Spending: $392

Even without ending the war on drugs, this could be reduced by $100 per household by eliminating the Department of Homeland Security.

I’d spend:  $292 

Running Total:  $11,062

11.  Natural resources/environment, Current Spending: $305

We need to start weening this off of the gov’ment teat as well, but this is probably not the time to start.  With all the other changes I’ve proposed along with the current political climate, I’m okay with leaving this for now.  But I’d go after it in the future…

I’d spend: $305 

Running Total:  $11,367

12.  International affairs, Current Spending: $304

This has doubled since 2001.  Reduce to a more reasonable level by cutting in half.  Another one I’d attack further down the road.

I’d spend:  $152 

Running Total:  $11,519

13.  Unemployment benefits, Current Spending: $299


I’d spend:  $0.  Obviously

Running Total:  $11,519

14.  Community and regional development, Current Spending: $282

This is definitely a job for state and local government.

I’d spend:  $0

Running Total:  $11, 519

The remaining $451 allocated to various programs I will leave in, not because I’m generous with your money, but because it would take to long to deal with in this post.  There are lots of subsidies involved there that I’d want to end ASAP.

Final Total:  $11,970

That’s a savings of $12,136 per household, with another $5,621 in savings coming in 7 years when all debts are paid.  Sure, this isn’t exact, and there are plenty of things that should be considered to adjust these number, but you see where I’m going.  Much of what the federal government is doing could be better handled at the state and local levels (the way the Founders intended).  For the most part, this would cause an increase in local taxes in all probability, but it would also make local politicians accountable and open up the market for people to relocate to areas where tax dollars are spent more wisely.

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5 Replies to “Where Does Our Tax Money Go?”

  1. I would add in probably $5 per household to start a Constitutional Reading Program. This program would involve providing a copy of the US Constitution to every schooled aged child between the ages of 8 and 18.
    If any child ever lost their copy, the government would provide them with a new one.

    I would aslo add another $4 to cover the cost of a Constitutional Testing Program. Pretty simple program really….
    Each student must pass an exam on the US Constitution each year they are in high school in order to advance and graduate.

  2. Heh. SVD, I like the idea with a couple of exceptions. I’d let the households save the $5 for the gov’ment supplied Constitution and let them buy it on the open market for $.25 or so.

    On Constitutional testing, I’d leave that up to individual schools (since the gov’ment) wouldn’t be running them).

    I do like the idea of a Constitutional/civics quiz included on every ballot for national elections.

  3. Sad Cox,

    I like where you are coming from, and feel your energy would be best spent working on earmarks. Your lack of understanding of fundamental economics is startling. There is no free lunch, and much of that money will still be spent. I will not spend time explaining how, since I believe it will fall on deaf ears. Enjoy this period of your life…White, healthy, entitled. You may be pals with John Galt now…write me back in 50 years.

  4. I like most of your ideas except the one on insurance.
    If there were cures for disease instead of treatments
    then we wouldn’t need health insurance at all.
    It’d be a direct business transaction between Dr and patient. I don’t see paying these monster money market managers any more money. And if they can find a killers dna from a muddy, bloody strand of hair found out in the middle of the woods then they can cure disease!

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