Posts tagged spending
May 6th is the date. Tired of the Blount County Commission supporting special interests and the status quo at the expense of taxpayers? Then let your voice be heard by voting for Blount County’s future by supporting fiscally responsible representation.
No Incumbents – 14 Candidates will defend Blount County
By Michael Snyder
18 Stats That Prove That Government Dependence Has Reached Epidemic Levels
Did you know that the number of Americans getting benefits from the federal government each month exceeds the number of full-time workers in the private sector by more than 60 million? In other words, the number of people that are taking money out of the system is far greater than the number of people that are putting money into the system. And did you know that nearly 70 percent of all of the money that the federal government spends goes toward entitlement and welfare programs? When it comes to the transfer of wealth, nobody does it on a grander scale than the U.S. government. Most of what the government does involves taking money from some people and giving it to other people. In fact, at this point that is the primary function of the federal government.
Just check out the chart below. It comes from the Heritage Foundation, and it shows that 69 percent of all federal money is spent either on entitlements or on welfare programs…
So when people tell you that the main reason why we are being taxed into oblivion is so that we can “build roads” and provide “public services”, they are lying to you. The main reason why the government taxes you so much is so that they can take your money and give it to someone else.
We have become a nation that is completely and totally addicted to government money. The following are 18 stats that prove that government dependence has reached epidemic levels…
#1 According to an analysis of U.S. government numbers conducted by Terrence P. Jeffrey, there are 86 million full-time private sector workers in the United States paying taxes to support the government, and nearly 148 million Americans that are receiving benefits from the government each month. How long can such a lopsided system possibly continue?
#2 Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have jobs.
#3 The U.S. government has spent an astounding 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs over the past five years.
#4 Today, the federal government runs about 80 different “means-tested welfare programs”, and almost all of those programs have experienced substantial growth in recent years.
#5 Back in 1960, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 10 percent. In the year 2000, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages was approximately 21 percent. Today, the ratio of social welfare benefits to salaries and wages is approximately 35 percent.
#6 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the total number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to nearly 47 million.
#7 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps. Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.
#8 It sounds crazy, but the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of the nation of Spain.
#9 According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps is now greater than the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
#10 According to a report from the Center for Immigration Studies, 43 percent of all immigrants that have been in the United States for at least 20 years are still on welfare.
#11 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, more than 70 million Americans are on Medicaid, and it is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
#12 The number of Americans on Medicare is projected to grow from a little bit more than 50 million today to 73.2 million in 2025.
#13 Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars over the next 75 years. That comes to approximately $328,404 for each and every household in the United States.
#14 If the number of Americans enrolled in the Social Security disability program were gathered into a single state, it would be the 8th largest state in the entire country.
#15 In 1968, there were 51 full-time workers for every American on disability. Today, there are just 13 full-time workers for every American on disability.
#17 Overall, the Social Security system is facing a 134 trillion dollar shortfall over the next 75 years.
#18 According to the most recent numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau, an all-time record 49.2 percent of all Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program each month. Back in 1983, less than a third of all Americans lived in a home that received direct monetary benefits from the federal government.
Many will read this and will assume that I am against helping the poor. That is completely and totally not true. There will always be people that are impoverished, and this happens for many reasons. In many cases, people simply lack the capacity to take care of themselves. It is a good thing to take care of such people, whether the money comes from public or private sources. In every society, those that are the most vulnerable need to be looked after.
But it is a very troubling sign that the number of people on government assistance is now far, far greater than the number of people with full-time jobs. This is not a sustainable situation. The federal government is already drowning in debt, and yet more people become dependent on the government with each passing day.
The long-term solution is to get more Americans working or starting their own businesses, but the federal government continues to pursue policies that are absolutely killing the creation of jobs and the creation of small businesses in this country. So our epidemic of government dependence is going to continue to get worse.
And many of these programs are absolutely riddled with fraud and corruption. Just check out the following excerpt from a recent Natural News article…
To understand the extent of this fraudulent waste, go no further than Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who raked in $20.8 million from Medicare in 2012 alone. Dr. Melgen isn’t the only one bathing in the fraud of this crony government program. Medicare dished out over $1 million to almost 4,000 doctors in 2012, according to the new data release analyzed by The Washington Post.
Jonathan Blum, principal deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is calling on the public for help in identifying fraud. He says, “The program is funded by and large by taxpayer dollars. The public has a right to know what it is paying for. We know there is fraud in the system. We are asking for the public’s help to check, to find waste, and to find potential fraud.”
Instead of fixing their own problems, they want us to help them do it.
And of course they always want more of our money to help fund these programs. In fact, according to Americans for Tax Reform, Barack Obama has proposed 442 tax increases since entering the White House…
-79 tax increases for FY 2010
-52 tax increases for FY 2011
-47 tax increases for FY 2012
-34 tax increases for FY 2013
-137 tax increases for FY 2014
-93 tax increases for FY 2015
Perhaps not coincidentally, the Obama budget with the lowest number of proposed tax increases was released during an election year: In February 2012, Obama released his FY 2013 budget, with “only” 34 proposed tax increases. Once safely re-elected, Obama came back with a vengeance, proposing 137 tax increases, a personal record high for the 44th President.
The more we feed the monster, the larger and larger it grows.
And yet poverty is not decreasing. In fact, the poverty rate has been at 15 percent or greater for three years in a row. That is the first time that has happened in decades.
Barack Obama promised to “transform” America, and yet poverty and government dependence have just continued to grow during his presidency.
Not that anyone really believes anything that he has to say at this point. In fact, one recent survey found that only 15 percent of Americans believe that Barack Obama always tells the truth and 37 percent believe that he lies “most of the time”…
A Fox News poll released Wednesday shows that six out of every ten Americans believes that President Barack Obama lies to the American people, at least some of the time. A plurality – 37% – say that he lies “most of the time,” while another 24% say he lies “some of the time.” Another 20% say he lies once in awhile, while only 15% say that he never lies.
So what do you think?
This article first appeared here at the The American Dream. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Do you know where your 2014 taxes will go?
Well, here’s an amazing infographic which breaks it out beautifully*
This graphic comes out every year and I still find it fascinating. (And depressing.)
Click on the graphic for a much larger version.
* A very important note on this graphic – It doesn’t break out Social Security (the largest federal outlay, paid through payroll taxes) Medicaid, or Medicare which are all much larger than anything listed here. Still the detail on the discretionary budget is valuable.
By Ron Paul
Another Phony Budget Debate
Anyone watching last week’s debate over the Republican budget resolution would have experienced déjà vu, as the debate bore a depressing similarity to those of previous years. Once again, the Republicans claimed their budget would cut spending in a responsible manner, while Democratic opponents claimed the plan’s spending cuts would shred the safety net and leave vital programs unfunded. Of course, neither claim is true.
The budget does not cut spending at all, and in fact actually increases spending by $1.5 trillion over ten years. The Republicans are using the old DC trick of spending less than originally planned and calling that reduced spending increase a $5.1 trillion cut in spending. Only in DC could a budget that increases spending by 3.5 percent per year instead of by 5.2 percent per year be attacked as a “slash-and-burn” plan.
The budget also relies on “dynamic scoring.” This trick is where the budget numbers account for increased government revenue generated by economic growth the budget will supposedly unleash. The claims are dubious at best. Of course, reducing government spending will lead to economic growth. But real growth requires real cuts, not this budget’s phony cuts.
As important as reducing spending and balancing the budget is, focusing solely on budget numbers ignores the root of the problem. The real problem is that too many in Washington — and the nation as a whole — refuse to consider any serious reductions in the welfare-warfare state.
I have always maintained that the logical place to start reducing spending is the trillions wasted on our interventionist foreign policy. Unfortunately, there are still too many in Congress who claim to be fiscal hawks when it comes to welfare spending, but turn into Keynesian “doves” when it comes to spending on the military-industrial complex.
These members cling to the mistaken belief that the government can balance it budget, keep taxes low, and even have a growing economy, while spending trillions of dollars policing the world, and propping up some governments and changing others overtly or covertly. Thus, President Obama is attacked as soft on defense because he only wants to spend $5.9 trillion over ten years on the military. In contrast, the Republican budget spends $6.2 trillion over the next decade. That is almost a trillion more than the budget’s total so-called spending cuts.
If there are too many fiscal conservatives who refuse to abandon the warfare state, there are too many liberals who act as if any reduction in welfare or entitlement spending leaves children starving. I agree it is unrealistic to simply end programs that people are currently dependent on. However, isn’t it inhumane to not take steps to unwind the welfare system before government overspending causes a bigger financial crisis and drags millions more into poverty?
Far from abandoning those in need of help, returning the responsibility for caring for the needy to private charities, churches, and local communities will improve the welfare system. At the very least, young people should have the freedom to choose to pay a lower tax rate in exchange for promising to never participate in a government welfare or entitlement program.
Last week’s budget debate showed how little difference there lies between the parties when it comes to preserving the warfare-welfare state. One side may prefer more warfare while the other prefers more welfare, but neither side actually wants to significantly reduce the size and scope of government. Until Congress stops trying to run the world, run the economy, and run our lives, there will never be a real debate about cutting spending and limiting government.
A First Look at a New Report on Crony Capitalism – Trillions in Corporate Welfare
One of the primary topics on this website since it was launched has been the extremely destructive and explosive rise of crony capitalism throughout the USA. It is crony capitalism, as opposed to free markets, that has led to the gross inequality in American society we have today. Cronyism for the super wealthy starts at the very top with the Federal Reserve System, which consists of topdown economic central planners who manipulate the money supply and hence interest rates for the benefit of the financial oligarch class. It then trickles down through lobbyist money into the halls of Washington D.C., and ultimately filters down to local governments and then the average person on the street gaming welfare or disability.
As such, we now live in a culture of corruption and theft that is pervasive throughout society. One thing that bothers me to no end is when fake Republicans focus their criticism on struggling people who need welfare or food stamps to survive. They have this absurd notion that the whole welfare system doesn’t start with the multinational corporations and Central Banks at the top. In reality, it is at the top where the cancer starts, and that’s where we should focus in order to achieve real change.
That’s where a new report from Open the Books on corporate welfare comes in. In a preview of the publication, the organization notes:
If Republicans are going to get truly serious about cutting government spending, they are going to have to snip the umbilical cord from the Treasury to corporate America. You can’t reform welfare programs for the poor until you’ve gotten Daddy Warbucks off the dole. Voters will insist on that — as well they should.
So why hasn’t it happened? Why hasn’t the GOP pledged to end corporate welfare as we know it?
Part of the explanation is that too many have gotten confused about the difference between free-market capitalism and crony capitalism.
And part of the problem is corporate welfare that is so well hidden from public view in the budget that no one has really measured how big this mountain of giveaway cash to the Fortune 500 really is. Finding out is like trying to break into the CIA.
Until now. Open the Books, an Illinois-based watchdog group, has been scrupulously monitoring all federal grants, loans, direct payments and insurance subsidies flowing to individuals and companies.
It’s an attempt to force federal agencies to release information on where the $4 trillion budget is really spent — and Open the Books will release a new report on corporate welfare payments to the Fortune 100 companies from 2000 to 2012.
Over that period, the 100 received $1.2 trillion in payments from the federal government.
That number does not include the hundreds of billions of dollars in housing, bank and auto company bailouts in 2008 and 2009, because those payments and where they went are kept mostly invisible in the federal agency books.
As suspected, the biggest welfare queens in the U.S. are the super wealthy themselves, but they’d rather you focus on some single mother on welfare simply trying to survive.
I have been trying to track down the full report with no luck as of yet. If I am able to, I will update this post.
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Black Budget Spending with CAFR Expert WALTER BURIEN
Produced by NextNewsNetwork
Published on Mar 6, 2014
Every year, the Federal Government spends trillions of dollars. Budgets of states, counties and cities also put out vast sums of money for goods and services. Official agencies are required to document their spending, so these expenses can be viewed by the public. One of the statements used to fill this requirement are called Comprehensive annual financial reports, or CAFR’s.
Although designed to deliver information to the public, these reports are usually so large and confusing, they can not be understood by most people. It takes years to learn how to properly interpret one of these massive statements.
Walter Burien is an expert on CAFR reports. He is a former Navy veteran and has worked trading commodity futures.
Burien is our guest on the show today. He is here to talk to us about CAFR’s, and what they mean to ordinary Americans. We will discuss black-budget spending, as well as the causes behind greater levels of spending.
Download your free Next News “Heroes & Villains” Poster here: http://nextnewsnetwork.com/the-2013-h…
By RPI Staff
Rep. Walter Jones: More Spending on Afghanistan is ‘Insanity’
Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC), an RPI Advisory Board Member, delivers hard-hitting questions and comments during a House Armed Services hearing this week on the “State of Al Qaeda, its Affiliates, and Associated Groups: View From Outside Experts.” On the continuing controversy over the US/Afghanistan status of forces treaty and the prospect of ten more years of spending money in Afghanistan, Rep. Jones has this to say:
The people in my district, the third district of North Carolina, the home of Camp LeJeune Marine Base, 60,000 retired military, do not understand the stupidity of this policy in Afghanistan. On the 30th of January, in the Washington Post, and I’m sure you probably read it, after billions in U.S. investment, Afghanistan’s roads are falling apart.
Watch the short video segment of Rep. Jones’ excellent comments here:
By Russ Choma
K Street’s Fortunes Decline for Third Year
For the third straight year, spending on K Street is down, with only a handful of industries spending more on lobbying in 2013 than they did in 2012.
First the good news
But their counterparts, gun rights groups, were No. 3 on the list of those showing the most growth in their spending, and spent far more to begin with. In 2012, gun rights advocates spent $6.1 million on lobbying, and in 2013, they spent $15.1 million, for an increase of 147 percent.
Once again, the total number of lobbyists employed at the federal level also declined, reaching its lowest point since 2002. According to the lobbying disclosures, there were 12,283 registered lobbyists in 2013, down from 12,436 in 2012 — a 1.2 percent decline. The number of lobbyists peaked in 2007 at 14,838 and has been on a slide ever since. Last year’s total is a 17.2 percent decline since that peak.
Image credit: https://www.opensecrets.org
By Ron Paul
Warfare, Welfare, and Wonder Woman — How Congress Spends Your Money
Supporters of warfare, welfare, and Wonder Woman cheered last week as Congress passed a one trillion dollar “omnibus” appropriation bill. This legislation funds the operations of government for the remainder of the fiscal year. Wonder Woman fans can cheer that buried in the bill was a $10,000 grant for a theater program to explore the comic book heroine.
That is just one of the many outrageous projects buried in this 1,582 page bill. The legislation gives the Department of Education more money to continue nationalizing education via “common core.” Also, despite new evidence of Obamacare’s failure emerging on an almost daily basis, the Omnibus bill does nothing to roll back this disastrous law.
Even though the Omnibus bill dramatically increases government spending, it passed with the support of many self-described “fiscal conservatives.” Those wondering why anyone who opposes increasing spending on programs like common core and Obamacare would vote for the bill, may find an answer in the fact that the legislation increases funding for the “Overseas Continuing Operations” — which is the official name for the war budget — for the first time since 2010. This $85 billion war budget contains $6 billion earmarked for projects benefiting Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, and other big defense contractors.
Ever since “sequestration” went into effect at the beginning of last year, the military-industrial complex’s congressional cheering session has complained that sequestration imposed “draconian cuts” on the Pentagon that will “decimate” our military — even though most of the “cuts” were actually reductions in the “projected rate of growth.” In fact, under sequestration, defense spending was to increase by 18 percent over ten years, as opposed to growing by 20 percent without sequestration.
Many of the defenders of increased war spending are opponents of welfare, but they are willing to set aside their opposition to increased welfare spending in order to increase warfare spending. They are supported in this position by the lobbyists for the military-industrial complex and the neoconservatives, whose continued influence on foreign policy is mystifying. After all, the neocons were the major promoters of the disastrous military intervention in Iraq.
While many neocons give lip service to limiting domestic spending, their main priority remains protecting high levels of military spending to maintain an interventionist foreign policy. The influence of the neocons provides intellectual justification for politicians to vote for ever-larger military budgets — and break the campaign promises to vote against increases in spending and debt.
Fortunately, in recent years more Americans have recognized that a constant defense of liberty requires opposing both war and welfare. Many of these Americans, especially the younger ones, have joined the intellectual and political movement in favor of limiting government in all areas. This movement presents the most serious challenge the bipartisan welfare-warfare consensus has faced in generations. Hopefully, the influence of this movement will lead to bipartisan deals cutting both welfare and warfare spending.
The question facing Americans is not whether Congress will ever cut spending. The question is will the spending be reduced in an orderly manner that avoids inflecting massive harm on those depending on government programs, or will spending be slashed in response to an economic crisis caused by ever-increasing levels of deficit spending. Because politicians are followers rather than leaders, it is ultimately up to the people what course we will take. This is why it is vital that those of us who understand the dangerous path we are currently on do all we can to expand the movement for liberty, peace, and prosperity.
Tim Carney writes in the attached piece that the small government types have established beachheads in Washington DC.
We have said that the Tea Party barbarians are at the gate and are now coming over the walls.
Matt Kibbe has talked about the “hostile takeover” going on in the GOP driven by people committed to small government.
But we are all saying the same thing. Serious change is here and a lot more is coming to Washington DC.
The DC Republicans are sort of amazed by the whole phenomenon. Wasn’t it just 3 years ago that everything was normal? What happened? The GOP got defense money and farm subsidies. The Dems got social programs. We yelled at each other a little bit. But in the end everyone knew the game. Get to DC and gather power. Get to DC and gather fame. Get to DC and gather money. Then these Tea Party people showed up and started bitching about cutting spending. What’s worse is that many of them actually meant it.
“Do you know how embarrassing it is when you’ve called yourself a ‘conservative’ for your entire career and then some snot nosed new congressman from Missouri or some other God forsaken place says on TV the you aren’t. And then offers proof?”
“No, I don’t Senator.”
“Well I’ll tell you. It’s damned embarrassing.”
“We should have killed the Internet when we could have. Now everyday people actually know what’s going on. And, well, that’s damned embarrassing too.”
(From The Washington Examiner)
Floor leaders and committee chairmen have always been the GOP’s main contact point with corporations’ political action committees and lobbyists. If a member stays on the good side of party leaders, the leaders make a phone call to a lobbyist who throws the member a fundraiser.
Similarly, if a staffer always played nice with the Establishment, that brought with it job security: Even if your boss retired, you could land on your feet, as the leadership would recommend you for a job in another office, or K Street would hire you.
You can see how this would make dissenting staffers and members watch their words and actions. Sure, members were allowed to vote against the leadership – as long as the leadership didn’t need your vote. But at the end of the day, you had to play ball, otherwise you got no money for re-election, and no jobs for you or your staff.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org