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Less filling!   Tastes great!  
Less filling!   Tastes great!

Less Spending!   More Taxes!

Cut Entitlements!    Tax the Rich!

Governments don't run solely on "good intentions," you know.

Ever wonder, what in the world do they spend all that Tax Revenue on anyways?

If only we could check out that Government "checkbook" ....

Want to know what you really value in life -- just check what you've spent your income on over the years.  Where your spending receipts are, so is your heart-burn.

OK, since the "Less Spending" crowd cites the White House OMB Budget page, I thought I'd check it out too, to see what I could find there ...

Yikes!  So many links ... so many piles of data.  How is a person with a PC and a spreadsheet, ever to make sense of it all?

Start Clicking.   Start downloading.  Start reading.  Check the footnotes.

I found this rather quickly.  It kind of looks like a bottom-line checkbook:

Table S-6. Proposed Budget by Category as a Percent of GDP


That "kind of" spotlights our Nation's spending priorities ... Outlays vs Receipts;  Mandatory vs Discretionary spending;  Security vs Non-security.

Looks like Non-security spending is about half of Security spending, roughly speaking.

And Mandatory spending (aka. "entitlements") is almost twice of both of those, roughly speaking.  (Must be why Republicans target them?)

And Total Receipts (ie Tax Revenue) is roughly 70 to 80% of ALL those "Outlay" spending programs.  I guess we just borrow the rest each year -- you know, like never paying off your credit cards -- and always keep a floating "credit balance" from year to year. Because Emergencies happen.

But those are all "projected numbers," looking forward. Based on what -- more GOP good intentions? ... Extending our Historical trend-lines, assuming "rational minds" will eventually prevail, in our dysfunctional House of Representatives?

Certainly there must be another way to get a handle on where were going, and where we've been -- when it comes to our Nation's Spending Priorities.

Assuming the Bush Tax Cuts finally sunset -- WHAT in the world will all that new-found Revenue Windfall end up being spent on?

Perhaps the White House OMB Historical page, can lend us a clue, whether our country will end up "Less filling or Tasting great" ...

Table 4.1 -- Outlays by Agency: 1962-2017


This looks promising, but ugh!  so much data, it's making me cross-eyed.  Isn't there a way to make these Historic Spending Priorities more comprehensible?

Two words:   Pie Charts  (... with "priorities" sorted from Top to Least, for selected years.)













Two more words:  Longitudinal Snapshots  (... comparing "apples to apples" over time;  by using my favorite "data-trick" -- Adding a 4th-data-dimension: using "color codes" for comparing categories, across the selected historical snapshots. Whew!  Enjoy.)

compares Priorities: 2012 to 2000


compares Priorities: 2000 to 1990



compares Priorities across all four snapshots: 2012, 2000, 1990, and 1972


OK, that kind of gives a "Big Picture" sense of where were going, based on where we've been -- with regards to our Nation's Spending Priorities.  Historically speaking, anyways.  Because stuff changes.

The one question remaining, I guess.  WHERE in the world does America WANT to end up, in the long run?

If the "past is prolog" -- Look Out.  Blood will continue to trump our intellectual treasure.

If where you spend your Treasury receipts, indicates the priorities your National heart and soul;  we should take great care, to check that track-record once in a while. And try to remind Congress, WHY WE PAY TAXES, and what it is that WE expect from it.

Because as we all know -- Congress could use a little help, as it once again so carefully tackles, that long very tedious process of balancing the Nation's books.  Year after year.  Cliff after cliff.  Hostage after Fiscal hostage.

No worries, Folk -- Congress is all over it.  Lol. (I guess, that's why I blog.)

Until WE spell out where WE want to go as a {democratic-progressive} Nation, there's very little chance we'll actually end up there.

Remember it's OUR Future -- at least it used to be.  Congress needs to wake up and smell the 21st century coffee.  And talk to a few green-eye-shade economists already.  Ask them for a chart or two, before maxing out next year's check-book, again.

Increasing Revenue, is HOW we can afford all this "nice stuff" in the first place.  As I recall, according to the Constitution.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
    -- Here's how.

    by jamess on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 03:29:50 PM PST

  •  if common sense could direct our future (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LinSea, Words In Action

    Here is MY priorities spending targets, (off the cuff)  say for 2020:

    1    Department of Health and Human Services
    2    Social Security Administration (On-Budget)
    3    Department of Transportation
    4    Department of Education
    5    Department of Agriculture
    6    Department of Veterans Affairs
    7    Department of Labor
    8    Department of Housing and Urban Development
    9    Small Business Administration
    10    Environmental Protection Agency

    11    Corps of Engineers--Civil Works
    12    National Science Foundation
    13    Department of Energy
    14    Office of Personnel Management
    15    Social Security Administration (Off-Budget)
    16    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
    17    Department of State
    18    Department of Commerce
    19    Department of the Interior
    20    International Assistance Programs

    21    Department of Defense--Military Programs
    23    Department of the Treasury
    24    General Services Administration
    25    Other Independent Agencies (On-Budget)
    26    Other Defense Civil Programs
    27    Department of Justice
    28    Executive Office of the President
    29    Judicial Branch
    30    Legislative Branch

    I wonder if WE can create new "Outlay Agencies" someday, say

    Dept of Renewable Power
    Dept of Fixing Stuff
    Dept of Human Potential

    Dept of Micro Loans
    Dept Climate Monitoring
    Dept of Hunger and Food

    Dept of World Peace
    Dept of Great Ideas
    Dept of Human Knowledge

    etc. etc.

    Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
    -- Here's how.

    by jamess on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:15:02 PM PST

    •  but here is the reality, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      in which we live, as of 2012:

      1    Department of Health and Human Services
      2    Department of Defense--Military Programs
      3    Social Security Administration (Off-Budget)
      4    Department of the Treasury
      5    Social Security Administration (On-Budget)
      6    Department of Agriculture
      7    Department of Veterans Affairs
      8    Department of Labor
      9    Department of Education
      10    Office of Personnel Management

      11    Department of Transportation
      12    Department of Homeland Security
      13    Department of Housing and Urban Development
      14    Other Independent Agencies (On-Budget)
      15    Other Defense Civil Programs
      16    Department of Energy
      17    Department of Justice
      18    Department of State
      19    International Assistance Programs

      20    National Aeronautics and Space Administration
      21    Department of Commerce
      22    Department of the Interior
      23    Environmental Protection Agency
      24    Corps of Engineers--Civil Works
      25    National Science Foundation
      26    Judicial Branch
      27    Legislative Branch
      28    Small Business Administration
      29    General Services Administration
      30    Executive Office of the President

      I still don't get why Treasury's in the Top 5 ?

      I thought TARP was over.  And don't they have a "printing press"?

      It must be all those T-Bills coming due.  (must be when they tap that Social Security Administration (On-Budget), too -- with those quick IOU's)

      Isn't it time to fix the Filibuster?
      -- Here's how.

      by jamess on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 04:43:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Sustainable Energy were the bulk of the DOE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    budget, I would give that a huge boost. Also, hopefully the Department of transportation would give huge electric car grants and focus as much on mass transit R&D as roads, though we do need to fix/replace the roads and bridges that have become unsafe.

    And I personally think the Defense budget could be cut in half and defense personnel could give first dibs at all those new jobs in sustainable energy and transportation...

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 12:49:50 PM PST

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