NUMBERS ANYONE?

I have read my fair share of ranting asking how Obama will pay for his expansive budget plan. In particular the following parts are controversial to the Anti-Obama voters:

• A $65 billion-a-year health plan
• $15 billion in green energy spending
• $85 billion in tax cuts and credits
• A $25 billion-a-year increase in foreign aid
• $18 billion a year in education spending
• $3.5 billion for a national service plan

Oh the avaricious right would have you believe Obama is planning on spending, spending, spending…with no means to pay for it. This is a silly accusation. We, lefties, think in terms of people but we are not stupid. Some prefer numbers, even if they distort information to get them. But for the sake of prosperity, let’s discuss Obama’s economic plan on terms they can comprehend, figures. I was digging around in the federal budget for 2008 today, searching through hidden drawers, finding little tidbits to see what numbers I could use that would be fair and accurate. I found some.

In 2008, Bush requested a sum of $141,700,000,0001 (yes, folks BILLIONs) in appropriated (discretionary) funds to be allocated for Department of Defense emergency operations in the Global War on Terror. This is not base funding, it is not the mandatory funding allocated for defense…it is in addition to it, it is extra emergency SUPPLEMENTAL funding allocated for the “War on Terror”. This money is even above and beyond the $70,000,000,000 ($70.0 BILLION) allocated in the 2007 Defense Appropriations Act for such purposes. This is $388,219,178.10 per day in ADDITIONAL emergency supplemental funds (back-up to the back-up emergency funds) allocated to a war that should have never been started and will not continue, if Obama becomes President.

This is a good number to begin with, don’t you think? It is not the regular budget. It is not the defense budget (which can be argued and skewed in every direction). This is simply surplus-surplus funds (not as in extra money we have to spend frivolously but simply extra money allocated frivolously) sent over to this illegitimate war, a war Obama never wanted us to get into and fully intends on pulling us out of as soon as safely possible, upon election. A war McCain supported from the beginning and has no solid intention or concrete plan on ending.

That money alone would pay for the majority of “spending” Obama has planned. Let’s look at the remaining amount. $211.5 Billion dollars was the original amount of the “offensive suggestions”, right? Subtract the $141.7 billion (just one year’s supplemental back-up emergency funding for the war that will end under Obama) and this leaves a balance of $69.8 billion.

Let’s not forget Obama’s budget will provide a comprehensive health care plan for everyone, green energy spending (READ: LEGITIMATE MEANS TO END DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL AND GET US OUT OF THE ENERGY CRISIS WE ARE IN), $85 billion in tax cuts and credits for 95% of American households (immediate and long-term financial relief), more foreign aid (which will help improve foreign relations, which…um, will, uh, help reinforce the allies we have not alienated in the past eight years through our excessive use of military might, ignoring our own international agreements and throwing diplomacy out the proverbial window), a better educational system (paying teachers more, focusing on math and science to ensure our future generation is competitive in the technology of tomorrow, helping families afford college etc.) and expands our national service plan (helping people to work within their own communities to improve their own lives and the lives of others, to improve the community and the country as a whole).

However, I digress, back to the $69.8 billion dollars that needs a home in the budget.

Let’s eliminate the tax cuts for the richest 10% of Americans (who hold over 70% of the nation’s wealth)2 GASP! Or we can simply deny the additional $70 billion Bush requested for the 2009 version of the $70 billion extra supplemental funds asked for this year, to fund his War on Terror. Looks like the rich don’t even have to help. Simply ending the excessive spending on a war that Obama does not support will pay for all of his proposed spending with some left over ($200,000!).

But, now that I have done all this research, let’s play with the numbers a little, shall we?.

Pretend for a moment, not that we steal from the rich, but that we make them pay the taxes they should already be paying. After all, our taxing system is progressive. It was introduced as progressive, accepted as such and should remain as such. Translation: each person pays as per their income. The rich will pay more than the poor, but such is the progressive tax system in the United States.

The rich can afford more, so they should pay more…period.

If Richie Rich earns a billion dollars, he should have to pay the appropriate amount of taxes. Lisa Lackey is underemployed, she still pays her fair share even if she can’t afford them. Joe Average, gets a promotion and doesn’t see it all reflected on his next paycheck but he continues to pay his taxes as well. Lisa and Joe continue working hard to get promotions, hoping someday they can retire without financial worries. And both still pay their fair share year after year because neither can afford the same accountant who ensures Richie Rich receives fat and unnecessary tax-breaks.

Let’s for fun (hypothetically) take away the $116.6 billion in tax cuts for the richest 10% in FY 2009 and see what sort of fun we can have…

We could provide:3
34,365,274 People with Health Care for One Year OR
120,711,046 Homes with Renewable Electricity for One Year OR
2,518,359 Public Safety Officers for One year OR
1,999,571 Music and Arts Teachers for One Year OR
18,027,211 Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
907,020 Affordable Housing Units OR
51,391,674 Children with Health Care for One Year OR
16,001,098 Head Start Places for Children for One Year OR
1,915,400 Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
1,684,667 Port Container Inspectors for One year

Healthy, smart fun for everyone! Why don’t we discuss the realistic trickle down effects of this kind of spending rather than the non-existent theoretical trickle-down effects of laissez-faire type of economy the right-wing philistines prefer? Those who consistently bark about the unnecessary governmental spending by the Liberals, conveniently forget or justify their own spending (unnecessary wars, big corporations, corporate welfare due to excessive to excessive de-regulations, tax cuts for the rich…etc.)

Make no mistake about it, we are not talking about our everyday budgets here. We are talking about the country’s budget. Numbers look larger, more frightening, perhaps even irritating when we, the citizens, are struggling to make ends meet but Obama’s numbers are no bigger than McCain’s or any other President in the past for that matter. And Obama does have a plan on how to come up with the money. Numbers, such as these, seem astronomical to the average American but every national budget plan is more or less the allocation of our tax dollars to different priorities. So, ask yourself, do you want to take care of the economy with the same policies that got us here? Or do you want to try a sensible way?

  1. http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy08/pdf/budget/defense.pdf []
  2. http://solutions.powersimsolutions.com/Ranking/HistoricalPerspective.aspx []
  3. http://www.nationalpriorities.org/tradeoffs?location_type=1&state=888&program=276&tradeoff_item_item=999&submit_tradeoffs=Get+Trade+Off []

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “NUMBERS ANYONE?”

  1. Tom Humes Says:

    Nice Site layout for your blog. I am looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Humes

  2. Jamie Holts Says:

    Thanks for posting the article, was certainly a great read!

  3. Terence Says:

    Yay! You have more people visiting!

    This article is rather interesting, and clearly you only crunched enough numbers to justify the Obama plan. There was quite a bit extra but that was still only three items on the national budget. I wonder how much a dull analysis would find for use.

  4. What about HR-3221? Says:

    While the US was watching the voting between Senate and House over the $700 Billion Bailout, Pelosi had a Bill go into affect.
    HR-3221, an extremely expensive Low-Income Homeownership and Low-Income Housing Bill.
    The Vacant homes all across the US are to be Re-furbished and Re-Sold.
    These homes will be sold with the Assistance of Low-Income DAP from Fed of $7,500 Tax Credit. And the loans will go up to 40 years. The Max Price for a Single Family is going to be $141.000.
    There is also Funding for the Section 8 Program as well. Even though there was already an expensive Funding bill that was signed into Law on July 14th, 2008, HR-1851, we have even more Section 8 Funding with HR-3221.
    Now I ask you, why are these people still buying homes. These are Welfare Mother’s, SSI-Supplemental Security Recipients.
    So, what would they be doing buying homes up to $141,000.
    But, that’s what was happening during the days I was trying to figure how much more taxes I will have to pay.
    You can post and say that Bush is making everyone pay more, but in reality the Low-Income Housing is costing too much along with excessive Entitlements for people that pay ZERO taxes. ZERO contribution.
    I live all around SSI’s so I know what these Frauds are really like, and they live extremely well. Most if not all own their homes free & clear thru inheritence, and pay $360 a year in Property taxes, with 95% of that returned to them from the State at the end of the year.
    They pay nothing. They sit, watch soap operas answer Polls, and over-eat.
    Most are on SSI/SSP for Depression or Anxiety. Most are Alcoholic and/or Meth addicts. So, because they are addicts, they get paid.
    This will be expected to grow as they are all wanting Obama only to get him to ‘give them more on their checks’.
    If nobody is working anymore, who will pay?
    Remember there’s alot of Boomer’s that are going to retire or early retire to stay out of paying excessive taxes for even more low-income assistance funding programs.
    I don’t understand why any person with a normal brain would want to vote in a tax strangeler.
    There’s No Health Care plan anymore! What! That’s over now.
    You need to update your garbage on here, and add more of your Grand Theft Democrats excessive low-income assistance funding programs costs.
    As usual another site fashioned after huffington post, how this guy is going to give Foreign Aid, (he said he cannot do that one either), sheesh..

  5. Meg Says:

    Thanks for reading my blog and for the comparison to Huffington Post. Thank you for sharing your opinion as well.

    However, you are off on your assessments. I would like some data or credible sources to back up your claims. I give my sources. I give data to back up my claims. I expect the same of you.

    Your premise is skewed. Your neighbors would not be on Section 8 or Housing Assistance, if they inherited their homes and do not owe any money on them. You have made a lot of vitriol claims reminiscent of the Reaganeer type rhetoric perpetuating the myth of the welfare queen.

    Furthermore, many low-income families benefiting from Section 8 funding, including HR-3221 and HR-1851, help Iraq veterans and their family upon their return from the illegitimate and illegal war in Iraq. Each program you discussed is a separate program. I think you must be confused.

    And where do you live that a decent home goes for $140,000? The median cost of a home in the U.S. is $215,000 (National Association of Realtors) and the lowest median in the country is in the Midwest at $180,000. These are the depreciated values currently being seen due to the economic and mortgage crises. I would venture to say any home under $140,000 is going to be a fixer-upper, first-time buyer home in a not-so-great neighborhood.

    What I have learned is that Republicans talk about the spending habits of the Democrats and the social welfare and the social spending programs. What they don’t talk about is their own spending habits: corporate welfare (i.e. tax breaks for the rich and the corporations).

    Look, we have a progressive tax system in this country. If you make $100 you pay X amount. If you make $1,000,000 you may Y amount. Everyone is supposed to pay their fair share. With Republicans, most people still have to pay taxes but the corporations and those earning the most in the country do not pay. They receive tax cuts and breaks, shirking their responsibility and reducing the money going into the public purse. This is not even addressing the money they shuffle overseas to offshore mailboxes to avoid having a taxable US address and again shirking their tax responsibilities.

    So, if in any given year the very wealthy and the corporations paid their FAIR and LEGAL share, then we would have more money in the public purse. But since they get these tax cuts and can afford ridiculous tax attorneys and accountants to find every loophole for the taxes not already cut for them, there is less to spend. Certainly, Republicans can talk about spending less. But do they really? Sure, they don’t support social programs for the people. They don’t want to help the majority of people. They want to help the corporations and the obnoxiously rich. There is no difference as far as the bottom line. The money gets spent one way or another.

    Whether you skim the money coming in or going out, isn’t it all the same? At least Democrats want to take care of the majority of the people rather than only the top 10% and the corporations who are shirking their patriotic duty by NOT paying every single dime they owe in taxes in the first place. Much like a storekeeper who skims the till in the morning, Republicans simply sneak their spending in, in a different manner. Democrats say what they are going to spend their money on and it is the majority of the people.

    The spending is done with both parties. It is simply a matter of where and how. Democrats focus on spending it on we, the people….you know the first three words of the Constitution. Republicans focus on this because they sneak the money out before it even reaches the records and thusly they “seem” not to be spending much. They are also not collecting what they should.

    I am neither a hardcore Democrat nor fixed. What I am, is a free-thinking, researcher who likes to separate the truth from the rhetoric. You have done neither. I challenge you to give me solid information.

Leave a Reply