Monday, November 17, 2008

Tax & Spend

Did we send Representatives to Congress or did we give a Credit Card to a College Kid?

There are 303,824,640 American Citizens as of July 2008 according to the CIA Factbook. An estimated 45.4% of Americans are taxpayers. An estimated 20.1% are under 15 and another 12.7% are over 64. Though 153,100,000 Americans are capable of entering the workforce, only about 137,936,400 Citizens are paying for the operation of our government.

So, when we start dividing up the cost of Congress' Spending Sprees, it's not the cost per citizen but the cost per taxpayer. The Federal Government collects $9,000 per citizen but of that only $5,749.00 is noticeable (Federal Withholding, 1/2 of Social Security and 1/2 of Medicare Taxes). The rest comes in hidden taxes, in higher costs of goods (Corporate taxes, Excise Taxes, Tariffs, Gasoline Taxes, Death Taxes, and Tobacco Taxes are all passed on to consumers.)

But it's much worse than that.
The Federal Government collects $19,911.50 per Taxpayer. The Federal Legislature spends $22,475.95 per Taxpayer. In other words, each taxpayer adds $2,564.45 in debt in 2009. Where does your money go?

$19,911.50 taxes per taxpayer to the Government
$22,475.95 spent per taxpayer by Congress.
$ 1,885.08 paid on Debt Interest.
$ 4,668.82 Social Security
$ 3,698.23 DoD: The Defense of the Nation
$ 2,957.89 Medicare
$ 1,623.93 Medicaid (partially matched by state funds)
$ 2,609.90 Unemployment & Welfare payments
$ 1,232.55 paid out for Economic Stimulus Bill (the check for $300 to $1,200 you received.)
$ 1,052.66 GWOT
$ 510.38 Dept of Health & Human Services
$ 429.18 Dept of Education
$ 324.79 Veterans' Administration
$ 279.11 HUD
$ 277.66 State Department/Diplomacy
$ 272.59 Homeland Security
$ 181.24 Dept of Energy
$ 150.79 Dept of Agriculture
$ 147.17 Justice Department (FBI/Attorney General)
$ 127.60 NASA
$ 90.62 Dept of Treasury (Money Counters)
$ 34.07 Legislative Branch
(and other Departments such as the EPA, Department of Labor, etc.)

Hidden in the figures above are "earmarks." Earmarks are specific spending that may or may not have anything to do with the Department to which it is budgeted. A classic example is the money in the Emergency Defense spending bill earmarked for New Orleans and other domestic spending. While it may or may not have been warranted spending, it was not Defense and should not be labeled as part of the DoD budget.

There were 2,275 earmarks on the DoD budget for $7.8 Billion. While these are added to the official costs of defending our Citizens, our Economy, and our way of life, they don't necessarily have anything to do with Defense.

There were 11,524 earmarks costing $16.5+ Billion in 2008 and much of the popularity of Representative Gordon came from his earmarks for Middle Tennessee, but our entire delegation was only able to garner $120.6 Million in Tennessee earmarks.

To get these goodies, Our Congressmen must support the earmarks of others. For the $119.62 per taxpayer in Earmarks, Tennessee received back $0.87 per taxpayer.

Meanwhile, the People of Petersburg have been forced to help pay the $192,000 to the Academy for Urban School Leadership in Chicago, IL as earmarked by Rep Rahm Emanuel, proposed Chief of Staff to Barack Obama.

And though Auburntown residents will be forced to Beg for Cannon County to get back funds they paid in, another $192,000 was earmarked for an afterschool program at the ABC Unified School District in Cerritos, CA.

Congress has become like a teenager with their first credit card, a card they don't have to pay. While everyone would like to have such a card, the taxpayers of Tennessee have to pay the bill. We have to reel in the spending habits of the children we have sent off to Washington.

Was that Stimulus Check you received really worth $1232.55? And you'll be paying the interest for decades to get that check. It costs the taxpayer a lot of money to send our money to Washington, a lot more than we get back after the bureacrats are paid to collect it, to count it, to process it and then to hear our local civil servants beg for some of it to come back.

And that $2609.90 in Unemployment & Welfare you're paying would equal $38,547.61/year for 9,339,100 Americans that were not working. I don't know anyone getting a $741.30 week Unemployment check so that money is going elsewhere. About 2/3rds of that is going elsewhere.

Now, I'm not an accountant. I'm just a Tennessee Veteran that knows a little math, but I do know that we can't afford to keep adding to our debt and hence our interest payments. I do know that it isn't financially responsible to keep adding to what the taxpayer is forced to pay. I know we have to cut spending.

Any Common Sense Congressman would understand this. A Common Sense Congressman would stand against the Waste of Washington. A Common Sense Congressman would recognize that it is a poor return on investment to pay $119.62 for an 87 cent paycheck.

TNTaylor©2008, Tennessee Taylor, all rights reserved.

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