Thursday, March 29, 2007

Breaking Down What $3,000,000,000,000 Really Means

...Like a Dervish

A three trillion dollar Federal budget: that's what the U.S.A. is running on. Or will run on, according to an interesting story on National Public Radio.

A $3,000,000,000,000 budget.

That's a lot of change.

Imagine that the image above is a pie chart. How much of those dollars are used for what we consider the government, i.e., the "everyday" government? I am talking about services we all know and love, such as transportation, environmental regulation, education, etc.

Look at the image above, and then divide it into four (25% each slice). Now take three of the four slices, then a little more. Eighty percent of the Federal budget is NOT for the typical government services we all think about (like those above):

  • Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare (about 40%)
  • Military (about 20%)
  • Homeland Security, National Security, and veterans' care (about 20%)
The 25% that is left over is still too much to take into account how little we spend on typical government services.

Take one-fourth of the pie, then split it four ways. Of those four pieces, take three. That gives you 18.75%.

In reality, of the projected $3 trillion budget, only 17% will be dedicated to the actual day-to-day functioning of the United States. That's about $510 billion dollars.

Here is a re-worked version of the image above, complete with a simple pie chart.

I don't know about you, but this boggles my mind.

When the Baby Boomers begin to retire en masse, the shit is going to hit the fan.

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