If anyone had any doubt the United States is facing a full-scale debt crisis, a look at Washington’s out-of-control spending should wake him up. The bottom line is even if America axed every discretionary program in the budget, we would still be in debt. We are broke. The Dollar Vigilante ran the numbers beginning with:


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2010 tax receipts for the US federal government:

  • $1.061 trillion – Individual income taxes
  • $940 billion – Social Security and other payroll tax
  • $222 billion – Corporation income taxes
  • $77 billion – Excise taxes
  • $23 billion – Customs duties
  • $20 billion – Estate and gift taxes
  • $22 billion – Deposits of earnings
  • $16 billion – Other

…[I]f you exclude Social Security receipts, the total “income” (tax/theft) of the federal government for 2010 was $1.44 trillion.

Here are the Mandatory and Discretionary spending numbers for 2010:

Mandatory spending: $2.184 trillion

  • $677.95 billion – Social Security
  • $571 billion – Other mandatory programs
  • $453 billion – Medicare
  • $290 billion – Medicaid
  • $164 billion – Interest on National Debt
  • $11 billion – Potential disaster costs

Discretionary spending: $1.368 trillion

  • $663.7 billion – Department of Defense (including Overseas Contingency Operations)
  • $78.7 billion – Department of Health and Human Services
  • $72.5 billion – Department of Transportation
  • $52.5 billion – Department of Veterans Affairs
  • $51.7 billion – Department of State and Other International Programs
  • $47.5 billion – Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • $46.7 billion – Department of Education
  • $42.7 billion – Department of Homeland Security
  • $26.3 billion – Department of Energy
  • $26.0 billion – Department of Agriculture
  • $23.9 billion – Department of Justice
  • $18.7 billion – National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • $13.8 billion – Department of Commerce
  • $13.3 billion – Department of Labor
  • $13.3 billion – Department of the Treasury
  • $12.0 billion – Department of the Interior
  • $10.5 billion – Environmental Protection Agency
  • $9.7 billion – Social Security Administration
  • $7.0 billion – National Science Foundation
  • $5.1 billion – Corps of Engineers
  • $5.0 billion – National Infrastructure Bank
  • $1.1 billion – Corporation for National and Community Service
  • $0.7 billion – Small Business Administration
  • $0.6 billion – General Services Administration
  • $19.8 billion – Other Agencies
  • $105 billion – Other

The numbers are pretty simple.  The US government had total real tax receipts of $1.44 trillion in 2010.  This only pays for 66% of the Mandatory Spending, even if you got rid of 100% of the discretionary spending.

If ever there were an argument for phasing out federal agencies and returning to a Constitutional government, this would be it. Our politicians have neither eyes to see nor ears to hear that we are whistling past the graveyard.

(With apologies to John Derbyshire for the title.)


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