01 October 2010

So where does it go

This has been going around... but it's instructive to point out to people where the money really goes, and most people don't have a clue. You can see immediately that it's the top 5-6 things that need to be trimmed somewhere or somehow to really make a dent (none of which are being put on the table for most tea party types or the GOP pledge lately). This doesn't show longer term trend growth for spending of different types (medicare/aid/OASI), which is even worse than this mere "right now" problem, but that's a much harder problem to demonstrate to people what long-term opportunity costs are anyway. But I'd settle for people realizing just how expensive entitlement programs are relative to things they think we need to gut (foreign aid for instance).

Social Security $ 1,040.70
Medicare $ 625.51
Medicaid $ 385.28
Interest on the National Debt $ 287.03
Combat Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan $229.17
Military Personnel $192.79
Veteran’s Benefits $74.65
National Parks $ 69.36
Federal Highways $ 63.89
Health care research (NIH) $ 46.54
Foreign Aid $46.08
Education Funding for Low Income K-12 Students $ 38.17
Military Retirement Benefits $ 32.60
Pell Grants for Low Income College Students $ 29.75
NASA Space Program $28.09
Internal Revenue Service $17.69
Environmental Clean Up (EPA) $11.67
The FBI $11.21
Head Start $ 10.91
Public Housing $ 10.50
Drug Enforcement Agency $3.14
Amtrak $ 2.23
Smithsonian Museum $ 1.12
Funding for the Arts $0.24
Salaries and benefits for members of Congress $0.19
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