Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Federal budget is just like any other

The federal budget involves income (taxes collected) and expenses. The US government is in debt, just like the vast majority of Americans. So while we are all trying to pay off credit cards and cover house and utility payments at the same time, the government is trying to pay off debt and keep itself running. 

There are two things anyone on a budget can do when expenditures outstrip income: 1) cut expenses and 2) increase income. For a lot of us, #2 is pretty hard unless you go on a successful job search, so cutting expenses is the way to go. And that's what Congress has currently been trying to do, not because they can't increase income but because they choose not to. How can Congress increase income? By raising tax rates, reducing tax breaks, eliminating tax cuts, and generally making those who don't pay their fair share do so (see this enlightening video if you think big corporations pay too much). 

So why are we cutting services to the most needy while not increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations? The old investigators' axiom is to follow the money.

Want to better understand the budget? Here are some nice graphics to help. Perhaps the most disturbing to me is this one.

1 comment:

  1. Well said.

    It just makes too much sense, I guess. It's times like these that I wish we were Vulcans! :)

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