Synopsis of the article:
Short and sweet- Here’s thing about the hilarious, made-up fraud called The Fiscal Cliff, taken at face value:
The Bush Tax cuts will automatically expire if no agreement is reached.
If President Obama and the Democrats do what all elected officials are especially good at- nothing- then just allowing the Bush Tax cuts to expire will create an estimated surplus revenue of $11.3 Million dollars an hour.
They don’t need to make a single offer, negotiate a single thing, nor make any compromises what so ever.
The estimated Defense budget is $19.3 Million dollars an hour.
The revenue from allowing the tax cuts to expire will defray all but $8 Million dollars an hour. So essentially almost 23% of our Federal Budget will become “found money.”
Why is there all this talk about austerity?
Reality Check: If President Obama and The Democrats do absolutely nothing to ward off the alleged fiscal cliff, the Bush tax cuts for the super wealthy will automatically be ended.
They don’t need to make any offers, offer any negotiations, accept no compromises.
This will provide an estimated $11.6 Million dollars an hour in revenue, according to The National Priorities Project as reported in The Huffington Post. That is just under 1.2 trillion dollars a year, according to simple math where you multiply one number by another and end up with what’s called a “total.”
One of the major ‘entitlements’ about to be offered up for ‘austerity’ is called “Pensions.” This is Social Security payments made to people who have spent their entire adult lives paying into Social Security who are now retired. These payments have already been made, they are in no way a drain on Federal Revenue- and yet both parties continue to present that they are a major cause of fiscal woe. In fact, for the 2012 estimated Federal budget these payments represent 22% of the entire budget, or $805.6 Billion dollars. It is a reflection of our mutual stupidity that we even allow the government to include ‘the cost’ of this program in it’s budget when it is, in fact, already paid for.
But that’s beside the point …
Another major ‘entitlement’ in the budget for 2012 is “Healthcare.” It represents 23% of the projected budget, and amounts to $866.1 Billion dollars. In fact, under what we call “obamacare” this is amount of money our government has agreed to pay private health insurance companies, out of tax revenue, despite the known fact that insurance companies contribute nothing to actual patient care and on average a full third of premiums are spent on billing, administrative costs, and advertising, according to an article in PolitiFact Oregon.
Oh, by the way, salaries and bonuses for CEO’s and Boards of Director are in a category called “exclusions,” and as such the cost of these are not factored in, nor do they even need to be reported as a part of the Medical Loss Ratio. The Medical Loss Ratio describes the percent of every dollar that an insurance company takes in that goes to actual medical costs.
FYI- any cuts made to this will be for Medicare or Medicaid, and will not include any loss of income for the insurance providers.
A big “entitlement” scheduled to go under the knife of austerity is “Welfare.” This is the Federal amount paid to the States for Food Stamps, Cash Benefits, and Emergency services such as temporary shelter. It represents 12% of the projected budget for 2012, or $431.5 Billion dollars.
Expect to see cuts made in “Education,” which represents 3% of the budget at a cost of $121.1 Billion.
Other budget expenses, also up for trimming are: “Protection,”2% ($58.7 Billion),”Transportation,” 3% ($104.9 Billion), “General Government” 1% ($32.6 Billion), and “Other Spending” 4% ($141.5 Billion).
Then we have “Interest.” This is what we’re paying on our debt. It represents 6% of the 2012 projected budget, or $241.6 Billion dollars. This is essentially an interest only payment, not enough to buy down the principle.
Oh yeah- almost forgot one other budget item: “Defense.” It comes in at 25% of the entire budget, or $925.2 Billion dollars. That’s just about $11.9 Million dollars an hour. Don’t expect to see any significant cuts in this area.
So to recap- if President Obama and the Democrats do what all elected officials are especially good at- nothing- then just allowing the Bush Tax cuts to expire will leave a total deficit of $.3 Million dollars an hour. That works out to $29,216,637 Million dollars a year- or roughly 10% of the 1% we have already budgeted for “General Government.”
The increased revenue will almost completely offset the Military budget. Almost 25% of the cost of our Federal budget will be negated.
If you want to quibble about these budgetary figures, don’t come to me, take it to http://www.usfederalbudget.us/defense_budget_2012_3.html.