Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Iowans for Ice Cream Based Priorities

Ever since Iowans for Sensible Priorities got its start here in the state, I've been doing some thinking about their message. They would have you believe that if we took 10% out of Defense spending and gave it to such wonderful things as lowering the debt of 3rd world nations and fully funding Headstart, this country would be so much more fair-er-ful.

The thing is, folks, when they throw that Wheel of Fortune colored pie graph at you, showing how BIG the defense spending is, what they are really showing you is DISCRETIONARY spending, not total spending. That is, this the amount of spending that Congress can vote on, not the total amount spent by the government, especially on FORCED spending, like Medicaid, Medicare, etc.

Here's data from the 2007 Proposed Budget, in billions:
Department Discretionary Mandatory Total
Defense $503.055 $ 1.808 $504.863
Health & Hm Services $70.635 $627.315 $697.950
Social Security $ 9.541 $614.917 $624.458

As you can see, HHS has a larger budget than Defense, but because the majority of Defense is Discretionary, it seems like a ripe target to pick apart. We are not forced by law to spend so much on Defense as we are on HHS (which includes Medicaid, Medicare, welfare, etc) and the Social Security Administration.

I'd like it for liberals to understand that while we have a fairly large defense budget, we have an even larger budget for the kinds of things they clamor for, such as insurance, medical services, welfare, disease prevention, etc. The total expenditures on HHS and SS are $1.3 TRILLION a year!

And, as a country we are not the worst offender in terms of defense spending per GDP. That award goes primarily to Islamic countries (12 out of the top 20). Russia is also above us in defense per gross domestic product. A strong defense is necessary to protect the components producing that level of GDP.

OK, I could probably stand a little less expenditure on Defense; I'm not convinced we need to be the World's Policeman, even if we're the only one out there capable of doing so. However, I also think we spend too much on other items, such as welfare, education, etc. I know, I sound like an EVIL conservative, but that's my world view; deal with it, pink boy!

So, you think you've got a better way to balance the budget? Check this out: The National Budget Simulation. Now you can play God (or Karl Rove) to slice and dice the budget like so many Ronco Slicermatics. Take that Granny! You too, Poindexter! Enjoy the game, children.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jordan said...

I cut the deficit by 1 billion dollars while giving an even bigger tax cut. I was extremely "liberal" with my spending cuts...

6:56 AM, October 05, 2006  
Blogger bgunzy said...

I was able to balance the budget. How? Cut Dept of Education to nearly nothing, and almost everything else by 10%. Then, increase the tax breaks for the poorest by 10% and decrease the breaks for the richest by 10%.

However, I increased spending to Veterans Affairs and directly to soldiers...they deserve it.

6:00 PM, October 05, 2006  
Blogger bgunzy said...

Update: Cut basically all spending by 10%, and eliminate Dept of Education, Prescription Health Benefit, Suplemental Security Income, Low-Income Family Support Payments, and Earned Income Tax Credit. Cut the tax breaks on all brackets by 10%, and cut Corporate tax breaks by 20%. Hold all other tax breaks at even. 4 billion dollar surplus.

6:20 PM, October 05, 2006  

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