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  • Top Ten Charts of 2009

    The Heritage Foundation’s 2009 Federal Revenue and Spending Book of Charts is one of the most heavily trafficked features on our homepage. Here, by traffic, are the Top Ten Charts of 2009:

    10. Federal Spending per Household Is Skyrocketing


    9. Obama’s Budget Would Increase Debt by 13.8 Percent of GDP Compared to CBO Baseline

    8. Defense Spending Remains Below Historical Levels Despite the War on Terror


    7. Entitlements Alone Will Eclipse Historical Tax Levels by 2052

    6. Federal Spending Has Increased Steadily Regardless of Congressional Leadership

    5. Entitlement Spending Will More Than Double by 2050

    4. Entitlements Alone Will Eclipse Historical Tax Levels by 2052

    3. Income Tax Receipts Stay Constant Even as Tax Rates Decline

    2. Federal Spending Is Growing Faster Than Federal Revenue

    1. The Top 10 Percent of Income Earners Paid 71 Percent of Federal Income Tax

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    34 Responses to Top Ten Charts of 2009

    1. rvpilot says:

      Wow, I've heard these statistics before but this is the first time I've seen them graphed. Proves the point of whose paying the load and whose got their hand out. Everyone has to participate for true equality. Let's pass the FairTax!!!!

    2. Carl T (Phx, AZ) says:

      Bubble HAS to burst somewhere…….its only going to get nastier…..the haves and have nots.

    3. Stephen, Logan Utah says:

      I guess in retrospect, Clinton was the best president this country has seen in the last 50 years, perhaps even back to FDR.

    4. Pingback: Top 10 Charts of 2009 | EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE

    5. Cathy Orman, Fl. says:

      Obama has got his hand in the "People" cookie jar and can't seen to get it out! As long as its not His money he doesn't mind spending the hard earned money of the "People". Shouldn't he be doing prison time for robbing the "People"!!

      Is it not time that We call him down on this and make him face the music. He may be the President but it does not give him the right to throw away our money as if he three sheet in the wind. He is destroying America by putting her into this much debt. America will never recover from this and our children and grandchildren for generation to come will suffer. He is robbing America blind, just like Burnie Maddoff did those other people! I say put him in prison and throw away the key, along with all his Czars, who is helping him robbed the "People". They're not dumb, they know just exactly what they are doing!!!

      They are setting this Country up to become a downtrotten socialistic, communist Country, who will be under the rule and thumb of the Government!! I think it is past time for an Impeachment to be call upon Obama and his Czars!!!

      They have broken laws and breached the "CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATE".

    6. Lars says:


    7. Barbara F Delo says:

      Who will pay for the greed of this generation…our next generation of Americans, today's high school and college students

    8. Stephen Zimmerman, I says:

      The subject of voting and taxation should be given more analysis. It seems patently unfair for a voter with no skin in the game to vote. Presently almost 50% of American citizens of taxpayer status do not pay taxes. Therefore, I propose that nobody that does not file an annual tax form be allowed to participate in any federal election.

      I would further propose that any recipient receiving Social Security payments be given the opportunity to refuse those benefits and receive a corresponding tax credit for that same amount.

    9. Lou Fougere, Cataume says:

      We need a consumption ("fair tax") badly to get taxes out of the hands of politicians. The current tax code is just a means of distributing the wealth regardless of how (or if) it has been earned. It is grossly unfair.

    10. nilo says:

      All hail the spendthrifts who have spent us into financial oblivion.

    11. Susan Stambersky says:

      I love your charts. A chart is worth a thousand words from an old Stat major!

    12. Cherrilie Vonnahme, says:

      Isn't it time the government starts to work for us instead of us working for them. They need to be replace with people that are for the people not for the democratic party. We need to get the government under control now. We aren't going to be able to support the government unless all the jobs that were lost are back. So the people who are unemployed can start to pay in taxes. We aren't replacing the loss of taxes by what the government is doing now. We also don't need their type of health care. If we get it where is the money going to come from to support it. The people can't support it or anything else.

    13. Bill, Columbus OH says:

      A picture is worth a thousand (maybe a trillion) dollars.

    14. Everett - Houston, T says:

      My friend Stephen (Logan Utah) seems to have forgotten that Clinton had the help of a conservative Congress lead by Newt Gingrich!

    15. Pingback: HAPPY NEW YEAR! « The View from Southern California

    16. David Orange City, says:

      Let's not forget that it is Congress that has control of the purse strings. The apparent balance of government spending during Clinton's terms was a result of the Republican controlled Congress. Look up "Contract with America". Combine the Democrat controlled Congress with a ultra liberal Democrat president, and what do you expect? Tax and spend government, creeping entitlement spending, and a form of democratic socialism. Check out the excessive personal spending of Pelosi and Obama …. they have no concern about the national debt. It's all about buying votes and fostering their political agenda. Those bottom 50% of taxpayers are essentially in the Democrat's pockets as far as voting goes. Push that 50% to 60%, and there you are; Democrats perpetually winning elections. Welcome to socialiam.

    17. Ted Spickler says:

      Everyone forgets that during the Clinton years we had four years of a Republican led "Contract With America" that held the line on the usual out-of-control federal spending hikes. Clinton gets all the credit for an apparent surplus, Newt Gingrich gets none.

    18. Antonio, Lexington, says:

      Stephen from Utah, remember that dear ole slick wille had a republican congress with a slant towards less spending and reform, unlike the bush republican congress that tried to out democrat the democrats and increased spending. willie just took credit for what the congress did, he did not direct it.

    19. Mark, Belleville, IL says:

      Its time the tax payers of our great country wake up,, and vote out the same old tax and spend !!!! congress rather they be Republican or Democrat..

    20. Bruce, Hillsboro Ore says:

      One more for Stephen. Also remember Clinton cut the military funding in half to try to balance his budget. GW had to spend up to balance the Clinton era military spending cuts.

      Clinton will go down in history as one of the worst only to be out done by the present one, Obama.

    21. Dan, Honolulu says:

      After seeing these graphs, it is clear that current government spending levels are unsustainable. Anyone who has studied how medicare and medicaid has been bankrupting this countries budget, already knows that adding 40 million more Americans to a similar system will only burst the bubble sooner.

      Something will have to give and history shows it will be the people, not the government, doing the giving. We can all tell our grandchildren how great our country use to be, and how we use to have the best healthcare in the world, while we are flying to third world countries to get medical care our country will have to trim back on due to costs.

    22. Bj says:

      To the person that stated Bill Clinton was the best President. He cut the active Mil in half and then had to used the National Guard to back the active and reserve forces. By thee was the guards were set up to protect the US durning any war. The active duty and reserve were suppose to fight but cutting the reserve and active left a lack of troops to cover that duty. He did cut the budget but at what cost.

    23. MissIndependent, Ola says:

      The only reason Clinton's spending looks to be the best is because he spent his first year trying to grow the govt. via his healthcare reform (which failed); soon thereafter, the GOP reclaimed Congress, so he couldn't go hogwild.

    24. T.Anderson, CO says:

      FDR was a disaster and a coward. FDR's foolish actions prolonged the Great Depression by at least 7 years by most accounts (over 10 by others), and FDR repeatedly lied to Churchill who begged for help defending Britain from the Nazis. If Japan had never bombed Pearl Harbor it is doubtful FDR would ever have ever entered WW-II, or at least would have delayed even longer, thereby changing the entire outcome of the war. FDR and Neville Chamberlain were terrible and foolish politicians, dangerously naive, ignorant of history, and far too weak — just like BO.

    25. Jerry A says:

      When all three branches of government are in the hands of one party, the country is in trouble without a doubt.

      The Republicans proved that in the last decade.

      I'm sure the pendulum will swing back now as the mean spirited and alienated voters from both parties look to turn the "bums out" that aided the financial crisis, created new theatres of war, that promise but can't do anything about foreclosures and unemployment without throwing huge gobs of tax money at targets they can't seem to hit.

    26. JDG, South Dakota says:

      It is really cold here in SoDak. It is so cold I saw a Democrat with his hands in his OWN pocket!

    27. Tony, Atlanta, GA says:

      These charts need to be seen on tv, probably by FOX and let all Americans see this mess. Even the Gov't educated could understand a chart and then lets hear the Democratic answers to reality. The GOP needs to get this out and remember that the last two years for Bush had Pelosi control.

    28. Drew Page, IL says:

      Mr. Obama and his liberal colleagues in Congress have seen fit spend this country out of debt. It can't be done and anyone with a brain knows this.

      One reckless spending plan after another is all that is coming out of Congress these days,all in the name of bettering the country. National health care, Cap & Trade, Stimulus 1, Cash for Clunkers, Stimulus 2 all being rammed down our throats during a time of massive unemployment, housing foreclosures, massive and historic national debt and war in two theaters.

      This is worse than foolishness. It is irresponsibility to the tenth power. It is bankrupting and weakening our nation.

    29. Bill, Montana says:

      Can you blame them for voting for more government? No cost for more and more benefits…

    30. Emily3264, Rainier, says:

      It's easy preaching to the choir. Everyone who "gets this" needs to devote a few hours getting on other blogs frequented by the well-intentioned "greater good" group. These are reasonably intelligent people who continue to support the ideals of the collective solving individual problems because it's made to sound good and make them feel good by the Left. As more and more conservatives challenge them with REALITY, facts and figures some will begin to catch on.

    31. lm,Tennessee says:

      It shows that the top 1 per cent of tax payers pay 40 per cent of the tax and that the bottom 50 per cent only pay 3 per cent. What's not shown in any of the charts is that a huge number in that bottom 50 per cent not only don't pay any tax but receive tax credits giving them $5000 to $8000 tax refunds even when they don't pay in any tax. Big welfare payouts that the top 10 per cent pay for!!! And the more welfare payments paid out, the less incentive there is for those people to work any harder.

    32. Jackie, New York Cit says:

      What are they going to do when we run out of 'rich' people?

    33. Drew Page, IL says:

      To Jackie, NYC – I'll tell you what they are going to do when they run out of "rich" people; they will simply change the definition of the word "rich".

      According to IRS statistics for the year 2007, 50% of all wage earners made $35,500 or less and in combination paid only 2.89% of all income taxes. Those who made $410,000 or more were in the upper 1% of all earners and they paid 40.4% of all income taxes.

      In the U.S., we tend to think that anyone who makes twice as much as we do is "rich". Workers in India,Pakistan, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Mexico think anyone who earns $20,000 a year is "rich".

      Many people, perhaps too many, are predisposed to think that "rich" people don't pay "their fair share" of taxes. Whatever your income bracket, rest assured that there are millions of people out there who think you are "rich". Our President and his administration pander to that disposition. It is a strategy of divide and conquer. It creates class envy and animosity, even hatred. Even worse, it pits us against each other and keeps us distracted from looking at what our politicians are doing.

      This the same tactic is employed by governments in poor countries when pointing to the U.S. When those in other countries see someone in the United States earning $25,000 or $30,000 a year, that is only an impossible dream to them. When they see a majority of Americans owning their own home, or owning two or more automobiles, or filling their shopping carts with an abundance of food, is it any wonder that there is jealousy, class envy, animousity and even hatred. Political leaders in all countries are quick to capitalize on such feelings and channel them to their own benefit.

    34. Evan, Anchorage says:

      The charts are very clear that when Reagon cut taxes–deficits went up. When Bush cut taxes, deficits went up. Tax revenues may had gone up, but not enough to off set the tax cuts.

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