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  • In Pictures: 2011 Budget Chart Book Illustrates Our Fiscal Future

    America’s financial future is at a crossroads.  While Congress debates the right path to balance the budget and restore order to the nation’s fiscal house, now more than ever, citizens must understand the problem and what is at stake.

    The Heritage Foundation’s special preview of the 2011 Federal Budget Chart Book provides a user-friendly way to learn about the federal budget using pictures.

    Debt and Deficits Chart 1 shows that the United States’ debt is set to skyrocket unprecedented levels due to looming runaway deficit spending.  As shown in Chart 3, growing debt increases the amount the nation owes in interest, which represents taxpayer dollars which could be spent on other priorities.  As Congress prepares to once again address the debt ceiling, Americans should take note that the need to do so is occurring more frequently than ever, as Chart 6 depicts.

    Federal Spending Chart 7 shows that government spending, not dwindling revenue, is driving increasing deficits.  Federal spending has been on the rise for years, growing faster than both federal revenue and the median income, as Charts 2 and 3 reveal.

    The main cause for climbing levels of spending is growth in entitlement programs, as Entitlements Chart 1 shows.  Any solution that does not include reform of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will be inadequate.  Relying on higher revenue to pay for them would raise taxes to unrealistic levels, as shown by Chart 3, and solutions which focus on reductions of smaller programs would also be insufficient, as shown by Chart 5.

    Though Washington continues to consider tax hikes a viable choice to address runaway federal spending, taxes are already on the rise.  Federal Revenue Chart 1 shows that under several scenarios supported by members of Congress, revenue will climb to all-time highs.

    To get the federal budget back on track will require tough policy choices and bold reform to entitlement programs.  Several proposals to tackle the issue exist, including those from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), President Obama, and the President’s deficit commission.

    It’s now up to the American people to decide the best way forward, and here to help is the Budget Chart Book.  Visit today to view, interact with, and download the charts, or to share them on your blog or other network.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    8 Responses to In Pictures: 2011 Budget Chart Book Illustrates Our Fiscal Future

    1. StaticKlingon says:

      Unsustainable debt versus the overwhelming inertia of a populace that voraciously consumes government "services" and the politicians who pander to them. The proverbial rock and the hard place. This is a Rubik's cube with a ticking time bomb

      inside with no political solution in sight. This is real. As the late Dennis Hopper said: " Everything gets that way eventually." The joke's on us.

    2. buck novak presently says:

      Who cares about 2049. Most people will be dead by then. It will be somebody else's problem then. There is total disconnect between people and politicians. Politicians only get elected by promising the goodies. Who gets elected to say I am going to make your life miserable. Governments around the world are bankrupt. The real question is what will replace them and what is the future of money?

    3. Linda Maddox says:

      Why isn't anyone telling the truth?

      Obama is very serious about our debt. He knows what he is doing. He will increase it to the point that it brings about the total collapse of the United States economy.

    4. Laura Schlegel Chica says:

      Our taxes belong to sustaining socioeconomic/environmental infrastructure. The only thing that should ever be cut to our socioeconomic/environmental infrastructure should be waste, corruption/corporatocracy obstructionists. Without a society of informed active citizens fighting for socioeconomic environmental justice, history to present day has taught us ad nausea, the top few privatize profiteering and socialize poverty and environmental exploitation.

      Until we invest in shoring up The American Dream/middle class again, life empowering education, healthcare, jobs, industry, environment, tax and trade laws, there's not enough healthy, educated, engaged working people, industry, corporations or rich, paying into this vital infrastructure and therefore mounting numbers of people become more dependant on social services to survive high unemployment and poor health. We've got to turn this insane business model, that rewards hoarding profiteering via gambling and hemmorahaging US off shore (revenues, homes, retirement funds, jobs, industry, safety, and tons of toxins daily, etc) , around to opportunities for sane, sustainable profits for people, industry and the environment.

      It's become painfully clear, anyone in the way of this progress is continuing to support decades of encroaching privatizing policies that got US in this dangerous, messy house of cards, with global and generational affects, and should be held morally and economically accountable for millions of people suffering socioeconomic oppression and our addiction to mass exploitation of environment, now and for future generations.

    5. Sally Smith Butler C says:

      Every year my son who has Down's Syndrome must go before the county he lives in to have his retardation evaluated. This year, he received $51,624.36 which goes to a for profit agency to provide day services at $16,336.44 and residential services $35,287.92. His assesment was a joke and was performed in front of the for profit agency's boss. Therefore, he was determined to be more severe than in the previous county. Please note this does not cover his house, food, medical care, that is provided by his parents. This also does not cover disability pay.

      I can see why we are broke. At least use a not for profit with a simple assesment tool.

    6. Elaine says:

      It is going to be ugly. We have got to get our troops out of Libya and keep our money that has been going over there. We have to stop our money from going to Egypt and any other country that we have been sending money to. All states are going to have to rid themselves from the burdens of Unions and the greedy people that run them and the greedy people that belong to them. We have all got to go back to being on an equal level in our jobs and advancing on our on and stop leaning on a union to threaten our bosses and pay people the same amount of money when they produce less then the next guy. We have got to work together on an equal basis and stop the attacks. I do not like subsidizing those that just want to skim by when the hard workers usually end up on the short end of the stick.

    7. Spiritof76, NH says:

      Charts like these are helpful in an intellectual debate setting. In order for the people to support the drastic reduction in spending now and reduce the deficits significantly, you have to dramatize the current situation. For example, the Republicans must go to the local maternity wards and hang a backpack with words written "Just born but already owe $40,000" on every crib. You do that at every Congressional district in the country on the same day and ask the question, aren't we all greedy to subject our kids to indebtedness. That must be the reason to refuse to raise the debt ceiling.

    8. George Colgrove VA says:

      Spiritof76, NH said:

      ". . . aren’t we all greedy to subject our kids to indebtedness. That must be the reason to refuse to raise the debt ceiling."

      Argument signed, sealed and delivered. That is all that needs to be said.

      The "ruling class" greed for power, privaledge and wealth rests on the backs of the impoversed taxpayer in an economy with little or no promice who are coersed to pay high taxes which in turn limits any or all possibilities of a future.

      Some day we the people will answer for thier crimes. Our inaction and purposeful ignorance put upon us over the last decade will cost us. The sentance may verywell likely be living in a totalitorian regime under these rulling class members.

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