Eye-Opening: The U.S. Budget Explained As a Family’s Household Budget

We have a hard time understanding big numbers, because we never encounter them in day-to-day life. “1 Trillion Dollars”? What does that even mean?

Carrie Lukas at NRO’s The Corner blog points us to something very helpful — explaining the U.S. Budget in terms of a household budget:

The Gainesville Tea Party seems to have the right idea: They take some of our key economic numbers — how much money the U.S. government brings in, how much it spends, and how much brave politicians are “cutting” to bring those numbers into balance — and simply lop off eight zeros (i.e., divide by 100 million) to make those numbers something that American families can relate to:

Why S&P Downgraded the US:
U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent [April] budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000

Let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:
Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Budget cuts: $385

As Carrie observed, this comparison is extremely eye-opening. It shows just how unsustainable and irresponsible our current government spending, debt and deficit is.

How on earth, in this context, can liberals and progressives continue to argue for even MORE spending and even LESS budget cuts? A family seriously carrying on business as usual with these sorts of numbers would be insane, or at the very least extremely imprudent.

How is this sort of spending, debt, and deficit possibly moral on a grand scale when we can see how clearly unwise it is on a family scale?

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22 thoughts on “Eye-Opening: The U.S. Budget Explained As a Family’s Household Budget

  1. Jason Griffin says:

    The Tea Party illustrated this well. We produced a similar short piece on what our budget deficit looks like compared to a monthly household budget. Either way, the numbers are astounding. More on my blog at http://www.jasongriffin.net/blog/2011/9/27/tea-party-group-shows-national-debt-as-household-budget.html

  2. DonH says:

    Nice post, but your budget cut doesn’t take into account base line budgeting and the fact that this cut is spread out over ten years. So if the family is like the government, next year they would plan to increase spending by $3,820 (baseline increase), from that increase they would “cut” around $38 and therefore only plan to spend $3,782 more than this year….sad

  3. Martial Artist says:

    Not to be overly pedantic, but you (and NRO) also need to list the details of the “Ryan Plan” to balance the budget using the same methodology. Let’s put EVERYTHING into perspective using the same scaling factors. The other thing that needs to be included are the so-called “savings” or “reductions” that BOTH PARTIES talk about—many of them are not actual reductions in spending from one year to the next, they are reductions in the amount by which a particular line item was going to be increased. Once again, apply the same scaling factors.

    The fundamental problem is that a (probable) majority of the American electorate has incorrectly become convinced that the Federal government can “insure” us all against a very large variety of unpleasant eventualities. Our elected officials have been complicit in selling this erroneous premise and have thereby validated the observation of the French economist Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850), who is quoted as saying that “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.”

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

    1. Joe M says:

      Martial Artist. There are many people that believe that something more significant than the Ryan plan would be helpful. However, are you suggesting that it’s comparable to the $385 number, once adjusted?

      1. Martial Artist says:

        @Joe M,

        Not at all. I have only the vaguest idea how the Ryan plan would fare using this method of simplification. I have heard people whose opinion I respect because I have found them to be reliably truthful assert that the Ryan plan simply will not actually solve the problem. Part of that was because it is virtually impossible for the present Congress to bind a future Congress. Part of the objection was that something a bit larger and more significant than “helpful” was required.

        I was simply asserting that the effect of every budgetary proposal would be more readily grasped if all of the numbers were scaled down to values that invite ready comparison by anyone who is numerate. The method used here meets that test.

        Pax et bonum,
        Keith Töpfer

  4. Scott in S says:

    Let’s analyze the “Family’s” budget for that $38,200. Housing: $22,000, Food: $5,000; Transportation: 4,000; Electricity: $3,500; Heat: $3,700. Now, what spending would you suggest that family cut? Similarly, what programs would you suggest we cut in order to balance the budget? I think you need to start listing what government programs you would like to cut when you advocate for spending cute. Otherwise your position is meaningless and empty.

    1. Joe M says:

      Scott in S. Where did you get the idea that a large proportion of what the government spends is on housing for Americans? Last time I checked, the government is not providing me housing, food, electricity or heat. I guess you could argue that they contribute to transportation through roads. But, I’m supplying the car, gas, insurance and taxes to cover the roads. — Your numbers are arbitrary and not founded on what the government is actually spending our money on. Furthermore, just because the government spends money on some effort does not mean that they are very good at it or that removing that program means we don’t care about something or that it will go to the wayside. A lot of proposals have been made over the years to make our economy more solvent. A lot of such proposals are being made now. The point of this article is that the only concessions DEMOCRATS have been willing to make right now amount to $385 out of a $16,500 shortfall while we’re already $142,710 in the red. — To play devils advocate, part of the reason we’ve arrived at this situation is that this amount of debt is that some people justify the amount of debt due to our growth of GDP. Of course, that has slowed down significantly due to the excessive tax burden and regulation heaped upon American businesses. We’re about to get hit with a fast moving problem if something significant isn’t done about this.

      1. scott s says:

        I guess you were absent when your teacher taught you what a metaphor was. My point was that it’s inherently dishonest to say “cut the budget” without suggesting what you would cut. Do you want to cut defense, medicare, social security? What governmental programs are you going to eliminate to save 30% to balance the budget. Should the “family” in the metaphor go without electricity, food, or housing? What do we as Americans want to do without in order to cut the budget? It’s irresponsible to suggest that the budget problem can be solved by cutting programs without being realistic about how that will harm real Americans.

        1. Joe M says:

          Scott S. I was taught that a metaphor is supposed to suggest a resemblance. Your comparison doesn’t resemble what the government does at all. — What is dishonest about saying that we should cut the budget? “That” we should do so and “how” we should do so are two things that can be discussed separately. — Your argument is a false dilemma. While I could give you a list of programs and entire departments that I think should be cut, a large amount of spending cuts can be made through reform. — I find it remarkable that anyone would argue that the government is so efficient that no cuts or reforms could be made without “harming real Americans.” Do you really believe that?

          1. Brian C says:

            Joe,

            I believe it is not true that a large amount of spending cuts can be made through reform. Most of the budget goes to medicare, medicaid, social security, and defense. The inefficiencies, or pork, while disheartening, account for a small percentage of the budget.

          2. Joe M says:

            Brian C. You should tell that to Obama. He has been claiming that he would find the cuts we need in pork and inefficiencies for the good part of 4 years now. — Look around for the reform proposals being made for those programs. The Ryan plan. Raising the retirement age for Social Security. Etc. A lot of reforms have been proposed that project to lessen the costs of those programs. Bush proposed privatizing Social Security. I don’t see why that option isn’t still on the table. It would work both to cut the SS cost to the government and would help spur growth in private investment. Two things that we desperately need.

    2. Don says:

      Here is a place to start. Make your picks for cuts, I’ll make mine and anything on both lists goes. Seems to be a good place to start.
      • Access Board
      • Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
      • Administration for Native Americans
      • Administration on Aging (AoA)
      • Administration on Developmental Disabilities
      • Administrative Committee of the Federal Register
      • Administrative Conference of the United States
      • Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
      • Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
      • African Development Foundation
      • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
      • Agency for International Development
      • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
      • Agricultural Marketing Service
      • Agricultural Research Service
      • Agriculture Department
      • Air and Radiation Hotline
      • Air Force
      • Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (Treasury)
      • Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives Bureau (Justice)
      • American Battle Monuments Commission
      • AmeriCorps Recruiting
      • AMTRAK (National Railroad Passenger Corporation)
      • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
      • Antitrust Division
      • Appalachian Regional Commission
      • Architect of the Capitol
      • Archives (National Archives and Records Administration)
      • Arctic Research Commission
      • Armed Forces Retirement Home
      • Arms Control and International Security
      • Army
      • Army Corps of Engineers
      • Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Interagency Coordinating Committee
      • Atlantic Fleet Forces Command
      • Bankruptcy Courts
      • Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation
      • Bonneville Power Administration
      • Botanic Garden
      • Broadcasting Board of Governors (Voice of America, Radio|TV Marti and more)
      • Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade (Treasury)
      • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (Justice)
      • Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
      • Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection
      • Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)
      • Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
      • Bureau of Industry and Security
      • Bureau of International Labor Affairs
      • Bureau of Justice Statistics
      • Bureau of Labor Statistics
      • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
      • Bureau of Prisons
      • Bureau of Reclamation
      • Bureau of the Census
      • Bureau of the Engraving and Printing
      • Bureau of the Public Debt
      • Bureau of Transportation Statistics
      • Capitol Visitor Center
      • Census Bureau
      • Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
      • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
      • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
      • Central Command (CENTCOM)
      • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
      • Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
      • Chief Acquisition Officers Council
      • Chief Financial Officers Council
      • Chief Human Capital Officers Council
      • Chief Information Officers Council
      • Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee
      • Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
      • Civilian Radioactive Waste Management
      • Coast Guard
      • Commerce Department
      • Commission on Civil Rights
      • Commission on Fine Arts
      • Commission on International Religious Freedom
      • Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Commission)
      • Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled
      • Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements
      • Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States
      • Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
      • Community Planning and Development
      • Compliance, Office of
      • Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US CERT)
      • Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
      • Congressional Research Service
      • Constitution Center
      • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
      • Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
      • Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
      • Copyright Office
      • Corporation for National and Community Service
      • Corps of Engineers
      • Council of Economic Advisers
      • Council on Environmental Quality
      • Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
      • Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
      • Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims
      • Court of Federal Claims
      • Court of International Trade
      • Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia
      • Defense Acquisition University
      • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
      • Defense Commissary Agency
      • Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA)
      • Defense Contract Management Agency
      • Defense Field Activities
      • Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS)
      • Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA)
      • Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)
      • Defense Legal Services Agency
      • Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)
      • Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board
      • Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA)
      • Defense Security Service (DSS)
      • Defense Technical Information Center
      • Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
      • Delaware River Basin Commission
      • Denali Commission
      • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
      • Department of Commerce (DOC)
      • Department of Defense (DOD)
      • Department of Defense Inspector General
      • Department of Education (ED)
      • Department of Energy (DOE)
      • Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
      • Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
      • Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
      • Department of Justice (DOJ)
      • Department of Labor (DOL)
      • Department of State (DOS)
      • Department of the Interior (DOI)
      • Department of the Treasury
      • Department of Transportation (DOT)
      • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
      • Director of National Intelligence, Office of
      • Domestic Policy Council
      • Drug Enforcement Administration
      • Economic Adjustment Office
      • Economic Analysis, Bureau of
      • Economic Development Administration
      • Economic Research Service
      • Economic, Business and Agricultural Affairs
      • Economics and Statistics Administration
      • Education Department
      • Election Assistance Commission
      • Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of
      • Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
      • Employment and Training Administration
      • Endangered Species Committee
      • Energy Department
      • Energy Information Administration
      • English Language Acquisition Office
      • Engraving and Printing, Bureau of
      • Environmental Management (Energy Department)
      • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
      • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
      • European Command
      • Executive Office for Immigration Review
      • Export-Import Bank of the United States
      • Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO)
      • Farm Credit Administration
      • Farm Service Agency
      • Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board
      • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
      • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
      • Federal Bureau of Prisons
      • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
      • Federal Consulting Group
      • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
      • Federal Election Commission
      • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
      • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
      • Federal Executive Boards
      • Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
      • Federal Financing Bank
      • Federal Geographic Data Committee
      • Federal Highway Administration
      • Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac)
      • Federal Housing Finance Agency
      • Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds
      • Federal Interagency Committee on Education
      • Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy
      • Federal Judicial Center
      • Federal Labor Relations Authority
      • Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer
      • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
      • Federal Library and Information Center Committee
      • Federal Maritime Commission
      • Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service
      • Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
      • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
      • Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)
      • Federal Railroad Administration
      • Federal Reserve System
      • Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
      • Federal Student Aid Information Center
      • Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
      • Federal Transit Administration
      • Financial Management Service (Treasury Department)
      • Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, National Commission
      • Fish and Wildlife Service
      • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
      • Food Safety and Inspection Service
      • Foreign Agricultural Service
      • Foreign Claims Settlement Commission
      • Forest Service
      • Fossil Energy
      • Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board
      • General Services Administration (GSA)
      • Geological Survey
      • Global Affairs (State Department)
      • Government Accountability Office (GAO)
      • Government Ethics, Office of
      • Government National Mortgage Association
      • Government Printing Office (GPO)
      • Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration
      • Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation
      • Health and Human Services Department
      • Health Resources and Services Administration
      • Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control Office
      • Helsinki Commission (Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe)
      • Holocaust Memorial Museum
      • Homeland Security Department
      • House Leadership Offices
      • House of Representatives
      • House of Representatives Committees
      • House Office of Inspector General
      • House Office of the Clerk
      • House Organizations, Commissions, and Task Forces
      • Housing Office (HUD)
      • Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor Commission
      • Immigration and Customs Enforcement
      • Indian Affairs, Bureau of
      • Indian Arts and Crafts Board
      • Indian Health Service
      • Industrial College of the Armed Forces
      • Industry and Security, Bureau of
      • Information Resource Management College
      • Information Resources Center
      • Innovation and Improvement Office
      • Inspectors General
      • Institute of Education Sciences
      • Institute of Museum and Library Services
      • Institute of Peace
      • Inter-American Foundation
      • Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group
      • Interagency Council on Homelessness
      • Interior Department
      • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
      • International Labor Affairs, Bureau of
      • International Trade Administration (ITA)
      • International Trade Commission
      • Interpol
      • James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation
      • Japan-United States Friendship Commission
      • Job Corps
      • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
      • Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries
      • Joint Chiefs of Staff
      • Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
      • Joint Fire Science Program
      • Joint Forces Command
      • Joint Forces Staff College
      • Joint Military Intelligence College
      • Judicial Circuit Courts of Appeal
      • Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
      • Justice Department
      • Justice Programs, Office of
      • Justice Statistics, Bureau of
      • Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of
      • Labor Department (DOL)
      • Labor Statistics, Bureau of
      • Land Management, Bureau of
      • Legal Services Corporation
      • Library of Congress
      • Marine Corps
      • Marine Mammal Commission
      • Maritime Administration
      • Marketing and Regulatory Programs (Agriculture Department)
      • Marshals Service
      • Mediation and Concitiation Service, Office of
      • Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission
      • Medicare Payment Advisory Commission
      • Merit Systems Protection Board
      • Migratory Bird Conservation Commission
      • Military Postal Service Agency
      • Millennium Challenge Corporation
      • Mine Safety and Health Administration
      • Minority Business Development Agency
      • Mint
      • Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
      • Mississippi River Commission
      • Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation
      • Multifamily Housing Office
      • ational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
      • National Agricultural Statistics Service
      • National AIDS Policy Office
      • National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
      • National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare
      • National Capital Planning Commission
      • National Cemetery Administration (NCA)
      • National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform
      • National Constitution Center
      • National Council on Disability (NCD)
      • National Counterintelligence Executive, Office of
      • National Credit Union Administration
      • National Defense University
      • National Drug Intelligence Center
      • National Economic Council
      • National Endowment for the Arts
      • National Endowment for the Humanities
      • National Gallery of Art
      • National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
      • National Guard
      • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
      • National Indian Gaming Commission
      • National Institute of Food and Agriculture
      • National Institute of Justice
      • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
      • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
      • National Interagency Fire Center
      • National Labor Relations Board
      • National Laboratories (Energy Department)
      • National Marine Fisheries Service
      • National Mediation Board
      • National Nuclear Security Administration
      • National Ocean Service
      • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
      • National Park Foundation
      • National Park Service
      • National Railroad Passenger Corporation (AMTRAK)
      • National Reconnaissance Office
      • National Science Foundation
      • National Security Agency (NSA)
      • National Security Council
      • National Technical Information Service
      • National Telecommunications and Information Administration
      • National Transportation Safety Board
      • National War College
      • National Weather Service (NOAA)
      • Natural Resources Conservation Service
      • Navy
      • Northern Command
      • Northwest Power Planning Council
      • Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology
      • Nuclear Regulatory Commission
      • Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board
      • Oak Ridge National Laboratory
      • Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
      • Office for Civil Rights, Department of Education
      • Office of Compliance
      • Office of Disability Employment Policy
      • Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE)
      • Office of Government Ethics
      • Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
      • Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
      • Office of Mediation and Concitiation Service
      • Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)
      • Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
      • Office of Refugee Resettlement
      • Office of Science and Technology Policy
      • Office of Scientific and Technical Information
      • Office of Special Counsel
      • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
      • Office of the Director of National Intelligence
      • Office of the Pardon Attorney
      • Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS)
      • Open World Leadership Center
      • Overseas Private Investment Corporation
      • Pacific Command
      • Pardon Attorney, Office of
      • Parole Commission (Justice Department)
      • Peace Corps
      • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)
      • Pentagon Force Protection Agency
      • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
      • Policy Development and Research
      • Political Affairs (State Department)
      • Postal Regulatory Commission
      • Postal Service
      • Power Administrations
      • President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
      • Presidio Trust
      • Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office
      • Public and Indian Housing
      • Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (State Department)
      • Radio and TV Marti (Español)
      • Radio Free Asia (RFA)
      • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
      • Railroad Retirement Board (RRB)
      • Reclamation, Bureau of
      • Refugee Resettlement, Office of
      • Regulatory Information Service Center
      • Rehabilitation Services Administration (Education Department)
      • Research and Innovative Technology Administration
      • Research, Education and Economics (Agriculture Department)
      • Risk Management Agency (Agriculture Department)
      • Rural Business and Cooperative Programs
      • Rural Development
      • Rural Housing Service
      • Rural Utilities Service
      • Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
      • Science and Technology Policy, Office of
      • Science Office (Energy Department)
      • Scientific and Technical Information, Office of
      • Secret Service
      • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
      • Selective Service System (SSS)
      • Senate
      • Senate Committees
      • Senate Leadership
      • Senators on the Web
      • Small Business Administration (SBA)
      • Smithsonian Institution
      • Social Security Administration (SSA)
      • Social Security Advisory Board
      • Southeastern Power Administration
      • Southern Command
      • Southwestern Power Administration
      • Special Forces Operations Command
      • State Department
      • State Justice Institute
      • Stennis Center for Public Service
      • Strategic Command
      • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
      • Supreme Court of the United States
      • Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement
      • Surface Transportation Board
      • Susquehanna River Basin Commission
      • Tax Court
      • Taxpayer Advocacy Panel
      • Tennessee Valley Authority
      • Trade and Development Agency
      • Transportation Command
      • Transportation Department
      • Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
      • Transportation Statistics, Bureau of
      • Treasury Department
      • TRICARE Management
      • Trustee Program (Justice Department)
      • U.S. AbilityOne Commission
      • U.S. Access Board
      • U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
      • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
      • U.S. Coast Guard
      • U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
      • U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
      • U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
      • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
      • U.S. International Trade Commission
      • U.S. Military Academy, West Point
      • U.S. Mission to the United Nations
      • U.S. National Central Bureau – Interpol (Justice Department)
      • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
      • U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
      • U.S. Sentencing Commission
      • U.S. Trade and Development Agency
      • U.S. Trade Representative
      • Unified Combatant Commands (Defense Department)
      • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
      • United States Mint
      • Veterans Affairs Department (VA)
      • Veterans Benefits Administration
      • Veterans Day National Committee
      • Veterans’ Employment and Training Service
      • Vietnam Educational Foundation
      • Voice of America (VOA)
      • Washington Headquarters Services
      • Weather Service
      • West Point (Army)
      • Western Area Power Administration
      • White House
      • White House Commission on Presidential Scholars
      • White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance
      • White House Office of Administration
      • Women’s Bureau (Labor Department)
      • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

  5. chrysd says:

    Need to post this on Facebook. It isn’t just the pols who are cluess.

  6. Ronald J. Rolling says:

    How come we have to make it this simple for our elected representatives to see that what they are doing won’t work? (Then, again, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.)

    1. Scott S says:

      Why don’t we make sure that all Americans pay a fair tax? Right now, rich investors pay a measly 15% tax rate, while a firefighter pays 35%. Ass Elizabeth Warren said “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own — nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police-forces and fire-forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory — and hire someone to protect against this — because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea. God bless — keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is, you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.” EQUAL TAXES FOR ALL AMERICANS.

      1. Joe M says:

        Scott S. Your premise is simply false. While there are some examples of wealthy people getting out of paying taxes, the vast majority of wealthy people pay significantly higher tax rate than firefighters and other lower wage earners. The rest of your argument breaks down due to this. It is the lower wage earners that should be thanking corporations and the wealthy for carrying the bulk of the tax burden for them for this long.

        1. Gras says:

          Not true at all. The maximum federal tax rate is 35% right now. You reach it when you start making $65k per year. Therefore it’s impossible to pay more than that in taxes.

          1. Joe M says:

            Gras. I’m not sure where you got that information. It’s incorrect: http://www.mydollarplan.com/tax-brackets/ — Also, the maximum rate is not the effective rate that is paid after deductions, credits, etc.: http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/warren-buffetts-tax-story-is-bogus/

      2. Doug says:

        Who made this contract? I didn’t sign any contract. We have a constitution, but I have no contract with you or anybody else. We are a country guided by laws not a contract. SHOW ME THE CONTRACT! Who made up this contract? A contract is a formal agreement between two parties. I didn’t make such an agreement, did you?

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