Pouring Through the Federal Leviathan

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 and is filed under Debt, Taxes, Uncategorized

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Have you ever wondered how much the government spends on a particular program?  Spend some time and comb through the financial statements on outlays and revenues for FY 2012 (ending September 30, 2012) from the Treasury Department.  Click on the September issue of FY 2012, and take a look at the leviathan.

Here is a summary of the federal budget broken down by category of spending (in billions):

Category Net Outlays
National Defense  $          680,413.00
International Affairs  $            47,236.00
General Science, Space, and Technology  $            29,226.00
Energy  $            14,760.00
Natural Resources and Environment  $            41,843.00
Agriculture  $            19,711.00
Commerce and Housing Credit  $            40,333.00
Transportation  $            91,206.00
Community and Regional Development  $            26,113.00
Education, Training, Employment and Social Services  $            89,063.00
Health  $          346,707.00
Medicare  $          471,789.00
Income Security  $          542,227.00
Social Security  $          773,288.00
Veterans Benefits and Services  $          124,603.00
Administration of Justice  $            57,557.00
General Government  $            23,436.00
Net Interest  $          222,470.00
Undistributed Offsetting Receipts  $        (103,535.00)
Total  $      3,538,446.00

Here are some interesting observations:

  • The federal government took in just $66.647 billion in unemployment payroll taxes, yet spent $96.1 billion on unemployment benefits.  Another year-long extension of super long term unemployment benefits was passed as part of the fiscal cliff deal.
  • We spent a whopping $80.4 billion on Food Stamps
  • Gross outlays for the Department of Education almost topped $100 billion.  Will we ever spend enough to placate the “throw more money at the problem” crowd?

It’s important to remember that the government took in $2.45 billion in revenue.  So despite the cries of default in the event that we fail to raise the debt ceiling, we will have more than enough money to pay our vital bills and interest on the debt.

What observations did you find regarding the federal budget?