The Real Budget for 2015 is what is discussed here – not the Paul Ryan chimera budget or that gift the Republicans want to offer the American people wherein they take back whatever of our tax monies they have not yet gotten their hands on.
The total budget for 2015 includes about 3.9 trillion in spending. This makes up about 21% of all the money spent in the United States during this budget year. Some money is for mandatory programs and some for discretionary programs. This chart sums up the spending in both areas.
This chart shows where the money for the budget items comes from:
The following chart shows our debt:
This final chart shows that tax breaks are greater than our discretionary budget. Tax breaks do not change until the tax code changes and right now we find it impossible to change the tax code because of the pledge the Republicans signed with the group Americans for Tax Reform. They did make their promise to American citizens, but I am not sure how many citizens were actually privy to the pledge. I do know that Grover Norquist threatens to see than anyone who breaks their pledge will not get reelected and he has managed to make that stick.
So our “poor” Congress people (especially the Republicans) have put themselves between that proverbial rock and a hard place. The only way they can solve the debt is to cut social programs (and they really don’t mind because, after all, they reason, the programs are making people lazy) or to raise taxes either by actually raising taxes on the wealthy or by closing tax loopholes, neither which they can only do without costing them their remunerative jobs. We can see why they are so avid to close out the Social Security Program; it is because they owe it so much money and we are the least scary people our government owes money to.
Why aren’t we angry about this? I’m thinking that most Americans do not think that there is anything effective that they can do. That’s why I am so cheered to hear the Progressives out there saying “Let’s expand Social Security”. I really believe that, whether it is a fantasy or not, it is what America needs to do until a new program is put into place – a new program that works as well as this one has but which does not ever allow the money people pay into the program to be touched, no matter how desperate things get.
By Nancy Brisson