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  • Morning Bell: America's Budget Crisis in Pictures

    It’s pretty clear to most Americans that Washington is broken and spending money well beyond the country’s means. In fact, Sunday marked three years since the U.S. Senate last passed a budget. Getting the fiscal house in order clearly isn’t their top priority. But just how bad is the country’s spending and debt crisis? Heritage has the answer in its newly released 2012 Edition of the Federal Budget in Pictures.

    Whether you’re interested in learning how fast federal spending is growing, how big the tax burden is, what debt will look like in the future, and how soon entitlement spending will implode, Heritage has the answer in easy-to-understand charts. Here’s a taste of just some of the information Federal Budget in Pictures offers:

    Each American’s Share of Publicly Held Debt Is Skyrocketing

    As Washington continues to spend dramatically more than it can afford, every American will be on the hook for increasing levels of debt. Without reining in spending, the amount of debt per citizen will skyrocket. In 1970, each American’s share of publicly held debt was $6,435. Today, it’s $36,267. Where will it be in 2036? Click here to see the astounding facts for yourself.

    What if Families Handled Finances Like the Federal Government Does?

    In 2010, median family income was $51,360. If a typical family followed the federal government’s lead, it would spend $73,319 and put 30 cents of every dollar spent on a credit card. This family would have racked up $325,781 in credit card debt–like a mortgage, only without the house. What credit card company would continue lending money to this family? All those numbers can be hard to visualize, so see for yourself what it looks like in one of our latest charts.

    Obamacare’s Barrage of Tax Hikes

    Do you know about all the tax hikes that Obamacare imposes? They’re not coming all at once, and the cost gets higher each year, totaling more than $500 billion over 10 years. Obamacare’s higher tax rates on income and investment will slow economic growth, leaving hardworking American families and businesses worse off. A particularly harmful new payroll tax on investment income goes into effect in January 2013. It’s time you saw what all these taxes look like and how much they will cost. Check it out in our Obamacare tax hike chart.

    Discretionary Spending Cuts Alone Will Not Balance the Budget

    How bad is America’s entitlements crisis? (That includes spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other mandatory programs, plus interest.) The fact is, annual spending on entitlement programs is massive compared to other federal spending priorities. Cutting discretionary spending is necessary, but cuts to foreign aid alone or pulling out of Afghanistan will not close the deficit. Entitlement programs must be reformed. But to really understand how big entitlement spending is compared to other programs, you’ve got to see the comparison in this chart.

    Those are just four examples of the kind of visual information we offer in our latest Federal Budget in Pictures. But there are dozens of others showing how the debt is on track to fuel an economic crisis, how defense spending would plummet under President Obama’s budget, how Heritage’s New Flat Tax simplifies the tax system, and how entitlement spending will nearly double by 2050.

    It’s one thing to say that America faces a fiscal crisis. It’s another thing for Congress and the president to do something about it. So if you really want to understand the problem, take a look at Heritage’s Federal Budget in Pictures. Today’s fiscal crisis is not a pretty sight, and ignoring it will make matters far worse.

    Heritage’s Federal Budget in Pictures is also available in Spanish at Libertad.org.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    27 Responses to Morning Bell: America's Budget Crisis in Pictures

    1. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      We are in a crisis because organizations like Heritage and other pay as you go businesses continue to support the same life-long politicians. As long as Republican lifers and some Democrat lifers give lip-service to little bits of the people's agenda, Heritage continues slobbering over them.

      Start supporting:

      No pensions for politicians…state & local
      No automatic salary increases for politicians
      No pay after serving in office
      Eliminate full-time status…they are on recess as much as they are in Washington or Harrisburg

      Heritage…stop pandering to life-long politicians…I know having dinner with Boehner or others you consider important people make you all feel important…but like the public, you are being used…And, I for one, refuse to pay for your enjoyment.

      (I know this will not be posted…)

    2. Claudia says:

      I would like to know why Social Security is called an entitlement when working people have paid into it all their lives. If they had put that money in a savings account, I'm sure they would be better off at retirement. If money had not been removed to pay other debts, my understanding is that it would be funded today. I'm sure it's not as simple as the government paying back what is owed to the fund but I am annoyed when it is called an entitlement when it's money that I paid out of my paycheck for 32 years.

      • GWB says:

        What about the T-Bonds or whatever instruments the Fed has used to borrow from the fubd during the "surplus" years….
        Yeah…that makes it part of the deficit, but the Fed bastards have to pay back their borrows, before they fault SS…

        As far as Medicare…The Fed has to get the Hell out of bed with Pharma, and Medicine, and treat them like the rest of the civilized World does, when covering health matters, and reduce the Insurance outfits to mere transfer pusher flunkies…….

      • they forced social security and medicare on us and we paid.they stole the funds first to buy the votes with welfare and then medicaid .what is next on the mind of alibaba and the dem.senate.wake up america what else do they have to take away before oyu do something .term limet all of them.

      • O2BMe says:

        You are right. We were not given a choice when FDR started social security. At the time my Uncle said it was just another tax. He was right. Maybe the program would have worked if Congress hadn't kept tinkering with it, I don't know. They just want to convince everyone it is an entitlement that we are now not entitled to it. Part of it is the public went to sleep and never complained when Congress kept changing the rules and finally dumped the money into the general fund. Galveston managed to opt out of Social Security some way and their fund is in good shape even in this recession.

      • Rod says:

        The "entitlement" problem with SSI isn't the hard working people, like yourself, that put into the program… it's the scammers that have figured out "the system pays". Attorney's advertising on TV for more victims of the harsh existance as they try surviving in in America. (land of opportunity) If the scammers put as much effort into justifying "what they deserve" into productive labor we all would be better off!

    3. Don Huber says:

      Is it just the taxpayer, you and me, who are concerned about the debt crisis? This not getting better, but worse on a daily basis.

    4. Bob Ward says:

      What an excellent means — graphs and charts — HF uses to convey what is clouded, jaded, and otherwise difficult to comprehend as it relates to illustrating the ineptness our Federal government is directly responsible for. Sooner or later, the "Fat Lady" otherwise known as "Ms. Unsustainable Debt" will sing her song of our country's economic epitaph!

    5. Bobbie says:

      aren't executive orders direct violations against democracy? Isn't democracy a word of convenience when it's only heard from the President and his cohorts to say "it's what the people want?" "it's what Americans want!" Everything government proposes is directly against practicality and reason of, for and by the people and the goal said by the same people with government titles at all levels of government is only speculative that doesn't come to be!

      Please give America her freedom back! These people with government titles and endless paychecks are killing necessary leadership roles that takes better people of good will to restore America's greatness! None of Obama's helpers nor Obama himself, have what it takes to respect individuals, personal freedom and liberties. They play dumb to it, hide from it and change history because of it!

      The people are much wiser to care for each other where Obama's government only cares on focus to destroy what America and her people had going. Freedom and liberty!

    6. John Hudson says:

      Lots of great, factual information here as always.

    7. I have to say that I am getting really tired of people calling medicare and social security "entitlements". It makrs it sound as though the gubmint is giving us that. But all working Americans pay into them their entire lives on the belief that we will then get that money back when we need it. Just because they raided those funds and are now trying to cover, does not make them entitlements.

    8. Jack Becker says:

      i wonder what brilliant plans[other than tax the rich which you can see won't work] that the dems have to solve this problem which will kill this country as we know it

      • Jack W Estes says:

        Spot on. We The People are sliding down a rusty razor blade into a pool of iodine at near supersonic speed, thanks to Obama and his pollyana agenda for making us all equally poor and disenfranchised.

        Gitimout in 2012

        Jack D Bear – Dallas

    9. Victor Barney says:

      With a promised "Marxist" takeover in charge(remember "fundamental transformation of government stuff?), I expect a total mandated marxist(Anti-Christ by definition) financial collapse by the end of this coming October, 2012! And remember, about 70% of our population is made up of "gatherer's, or people who just LIVE to be given things! I'm talking about our women through their biology and our blacks by a combination of biology and choice. No? We'll talk again about that in Novemember! WATCH!

    10. historianMI says:

      I am a member of the Heritage Foundation, and glad to be one, but I have questions about this "Flat Tax" idea. They say "the devil is in the details," and I have seen precious few details. I am retired, my miniscule pension keeps me from filing any 1040 or paying income tax, Federal or state. I want to know, and I am serious about this, how will a "Flat Tax" affect me? I could "afford" to pay something, but I object (sorry about that) to paying 23% or whatever and millionaires also paying only that much. I want information, not rhetoric or blurbs.

    11. Sam says:

      Economics is not a science. In addition, man mistook measurement for understanding. This is a world of compensation and he who would be no slave must consent to have no slave.

    12. Pingback: La crisis presupuestaria de Estados Unidos en gráficos | Heritage Libertad

    13. Harriet Hale says:

      It boggles my mind how The Heritage Foundation and other organizations and politicians just ignore the benefits of The FAIR TAX. The main problem with a flat tax is that Congress can tinker with it and make it complicated again and reward special interest groups. It also keeps the IRS active. Please show some support to the FAIR TAX bills currently proposed in the House and the Senate!

    14. entitlements are welfare payments and medicaide for those that normaly vote for democommies

    15. RennyG says:

      I have an idea!!! Instead of having an election and listening to all the cut throat advertisement, just give the election to Obama, he is going to win anyway because of his "ability!" Then we can give "all" the money, DNC, RNC and Obama that they have and give it to the less fortunate!!!! That way they are happy, Obama is happy and we don't have our taxes raised!!!
      It is a shame what happens to a "Country" when you take "GOD" out of it!!! IT FAILS!!!!!
      As Victor said, October is as good a time as any, why wait!!!!

      • Bobbie says:

        Are you being facetious, RennyG? You're not drinking the kool aid are you?
        Please don't poison your mind…

    16. Kim Newlin says:

      When is our President and Congress going to get our Budget Blanced and pay off the National Debt without raising our taxes, this is the most important Issue facing our Nation today and if not dealt with we are all doomed!!!! Rember this when you vote in NOV 2012!!!!!!!

    17. JonathanH says:

      A problem with these charts is they assume the federal government can go on borrowing at the current rate indefinitely. Not so. At some point investors will go elsewhere. I don't know when this will happen – wish I did; I'd make a lot of money – but that they will is not in question. Just look at Europe now; that's our future. And when it happens, it ain't going to be pretty.

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