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From ConnectTheDotsUSA.com –
SLIDE 2: Federal Spending 2011 Script: So let’s break it all down Suze Orman style. Here’s the 2011 Federal budget all in one beautiful pie chart. If you master this, you’ll understand way more than most. The budget year actually started Oct 1, 2010. We kept the government open for half the fiscal year with a series of Continuing Resolutions (aka CRs). And we’re off to the same start using CRs for the 2012 budget. Total spending in 2011 was approximately $3.64 Trillion, so each 1% equals about $36 Billion or $36,000 Million.
Everything in red is Mandatory spending, meaning it is dictated by existing law and very difficult to change without a Battle Royale. This makes up about 2/3 of the entire budget and includes Social Security 20%, Medicare 13%, Medicaid 8%, other Safety Net programs 10% and Interest on the long-term debt 7%. Note that Social Security and Medicare have their own dedicated revenue stream through the payroll tax.
Everything in yellow is Discretionary spending, which is what is hammered out each year between Congress and the President. What I found most surprising is that almost all Military spending ($728 Billion), including the two wars, is negotiated each year. And it makes up more than half of our Discretionary spending. That leaves only about 14% of the entire budget — these little bitty 1% and 2% slivers over here — that are “non-military discretionary” spending.
It includes things like Education, Energy, Environment & Science, Veterans Affairs, Housing, Transportation. And that’s exactly where the Republicans recently got $38 billion slashed out of about $255 Billion in the 6 month budget left. That cut is little more than 1% of the entire budget, but it’s a gigantic chunk out of these little slivers.
Note that Foreign Aid is only about 1% of the budget. In a recent poll, most people mistakenly believe it is a whopping 27% and that just eliminating foreign aid will solve our budget problems.