I downloaded the excel spreadsheet, hid all columns except 2000 and 2012, then calculated the percentage difference discarding a few columns where the numbers were negative or the calculations infinite.
Wages are up 44%, military spending is up 145%, total outlays are up 112%.
Let's dig deeper.
What are veteran's affairs programs and homeland security? By any rational measure of sanity, those programs constitute defense spending.
How much of NASA is really defense spending? How much of department of education spending is free tuition for those putting in military service? What about the department of state? How much of the cost of building the embassy in Iraq and other places is buried there?
Let's go further yet and investigate the 2012 OMB budget. Specifically, consider the separate budget item of $96.7 billion for "Overseas Contingency Operations".
Where was that line item in 2000?
What about the "National Intelligence Program" at 52.6 billion? Is that not defense?
Let's ignore all of that and simply total up Defense, Homeland Security, and Veteran's Affairs.
2000 Total (281,028 + 13,159 + 47,044) = 341,231
2012 Total (688,254 + 60,443 + 129,186) = 877,883
Percentage Increase 157%
I suggest defense spending is out of control, as is nearly everything else.
Medicare and Medicaid
Medicare and Medicaid are not broken out in the spreadsheet, so here are the numbers from the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget (which contains the most current estimate of 2012 spending), and the Fiscal Year 2002 Budget (which contains actual spending for 2000).
Medicare 2000: 200,588 Medicare 2012: 480,202
Medicaid 2000: 117,744 Medicaid 2012: 283,597
Medicare spending is up 139% Medicaid spending is up 140%
Where's the Problem?
All things considered, what's the bigger problem? Failure to collect more taxes, or out of control spending?
It's Only Make Believe
Regardless of your answer to the preceding question, one thing is for certain: The purported effort to balance the budget is nothing more than an exercise in make believe.
With a tip of the hat to Conway Twitty I offer this musical tribute.
Can we get President Obama, Ben Bernanke, and John Boehner to do a remake? If so, we need background vocals. I propose Nancy Pelosi, Dick Cheney, Hank Paulson, Barney Frank, Tim Geithner, along with international rock stars Angela Merkel, Shinzo Abe, and Mario Monti.
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