Sunday, 6 November 2011
The following email was sent to us… an interesting exercise in math:
A million dollars?
Just save $500 every week for the next 40 years.
To get to a billion dollars
You would have to save $500,000 dollars per week for 40 years.
And a trillion?
That would require $500 million every week for 40 years.
The sheer enormity is hard to grasp.
If the total cost of the “bailouts” are $12.8 Trillion, and the government added no new debt from now on —
that would mean 6.4BM – $6,150,000,000 a week would have to be “paid back” for 40 years in order to pay it all the debt, and
without paying any compounded interest: principle only.
Then I found out that during FY 2010, the federal government collected $2.16 trillion in tax revenue. (80% income &SS tax, 10% corporate. 10% other).
So if the US government closed down all services and spent every penny it brings in from our taxes, just to service the debt of the one bailout, it works out to about 1 billion a week for 40 years. oh, at ZERO interest.
and that will never add up.
they spent 10X what they bring in a year, just in the one bailout.
Ironic we can all see the economic bomb sitting there, but cannot hear the ticking,
or know when it will blow – but the numbers dictate it must, and soon.
please respond if you can explain how these conclusions are mis-calculated —
I want to be very very wrong.
….and a final point:
US GDP is reported to be about $15,000,000,000,000/yr — that’s $288 billion a week.
We live in the wealthiest country the world has ever known, by a large margin.
(Next is China at 5.8 tr, over 50% smaller)
But the government has had almost endless debt spending since 1953 — even with the huge amount of actual wealth generated, they will not stop overspending – will not keep a balanced budget, ever.
We must have a balanced budget amendment, as many states do, or even if this is impossibly solved, it will be forever repeated.
They never will if we don’t force them – so it must be a constitutional amendment.
Keeping a balanced budget is common sense, practical, and common.
Only the reckless don’t.
It will take a year or two to come to pass once we all insist, but first we the people must constantly insist!
Finally, savings can and must be done immediately.
Trimming waste sounds like a good place to start.
Annual US government waste is now at an all-time high —
just our WASTE each year is now equal to the entire economy of Canada:
- The federal government made at least $72 billion in improper payments in 2008.
- Washington spends $92 billion on corporate welfare (excluding TARP) versus $71 billion on homeland security.
- Washington spends $25 billion annually maintaining unused or vacant federal properties.
- Government auditors spent the past five years examining all federal programs and found that 22 percent of them — costing taxpayers a total of $123 billion annually — fail to show any positive impact on the populations they serve.
- The Congressional Budget Office published a “Budget Options” series identifying more than $100 billion in potential spending cuts.
- Examples from multiple Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports of wasteful duplication include 342 economic development programs; 130 programs serving the disabled; 130 programs serving at-risk youth; 90 early childhood development programs;75 programs funding international education, cultural, and training exchange activities; and72 safe water programs.
- Washington will spend $2.6 million training Chinese prostitutes to drink more responsibly on the job.
- A GAO audit classified nearly half of all purchases on government credit cards as improper, fraudulent, or embezzled. Examples of taxpayer-funded purchases include gambling, mortgage payments, liquor, lingerie, iPods, Xboxes, jewelry, Internet dating services, and Hawaiian vacations. In one extraordinary example, the Postal Service spent$13,500 on one dinner at a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, including “over 200 appetizers and over $3,000 of alcohol, including more than 40 bottles of wine costing more than $50 each and brand-name liquor such as Courvoisier, Belvedere and Johnny Walker Gold.” The 81 guests consumed an average of $167 worth of food and drink apiece.
- Federal agencies are delinquent on nearly 20 percent of employee travel charge cards, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission spent $3.9 million rearranging desks and offices at its Washington, D.C., headquarters.
- The Pentagon recently spent $998,798 shipping two 19-cent washers from South Carolina to Texas and $293,451 sending an 89-cent washer from South Carolina to Florida.
- Over half of all farm subsidies go to commercial farms, which report average household incomes of $200,000.
- Health care fraud is estimated to cost taxpayers more than $60 billion annually.
- A GAO audit found that 95 Pentagon weapons systems suffered from a combined $295 billion in cost overruns.
- The refusal of many federal employees to fly coach costs taxpayers $146 million annually in flight upgrades.
- Washington will spend $126 million in 2009 to enhance the Kennedy family legacy in Massachusetts. Additionally, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) diverted $20 million from the 2010 defense budget to subsidize a new Edward M. Kennedy Institute.
- Federal investigators have launched more than 20 criminal fraud investigations related to the TARP financial bailout.
- Despite trillion-dollar deficits, last year’s 10,160 earmarks included $200,000 for a tattoo removal program in Mission Hills, California; $190,000 for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming; and $75,000 for the Totally Teen Zone in Albany, Georgia.
- The federal government owns more than 50,000 vacant homes.
- .The Federal Communications Commission spent $350,000 to sponsor NASCAR driver David Gilliland.
- Members of Congress have spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars supplying their offices with popcorn machines, plasma televisions, DVD equipment, ionic air fresheners, camcorders, and signature machines — plus $24,730 leasing a Lexus, $1,434on a digital camera, and $84,000 on personalized calendars.
- More than $13 billion in Iraq aid has been classified as wasted or stolen. Another $7.8 billion cannot be accounted for.
- Fraud related to Hurricane Katrina spending is estimated to top $2 billion. In addition, debit cards provided to hurricane victims were used to pay for Caribbean vacations, NFL tickets, Dom Perignon champagne, “Girls Gone Wild” videos, and at least one sex change operation.
- Auditors discovered that 900,000 of the 2.5 million recipients of emergency Katrina assistance provided false names, addresses, or Social Security numbers or submitted multiple applications.
- Congress recently gave Alaska Airlines $500,000 to paint a Chinook salmon on a Boeing 737.
- The Transportation Department will subsidize up to $2,000 per flight for direct flights between Washington, D.C., and the small hometown of Congressman Hal Rogers (R-KY) — but only on Monday mornings and Friday evenings, when lawmakers, staff, and lobbyists usually fly. Rogers is a member of the Appropriations Committee, which writes the Transportation Department’s budget.
- Washington has spent $3 billion re-sanding beaches — even as this new sand washes back into the ocean.
- A Department of Agriculture report concedes that much of the $2.5 billion in “stimulus” funding for broadband Internet will be wasted.
- The Defense Department wasted $100 million on unused flight tickets and never bothered to collect refunds even though the tickets were refundable.
- Washington spends $60,000 per hour shooting Air Force One photo-ops in front of national landmarks.
- Over one recent 18-month period, Air Force and Navy personnel used government-funded credit cards to charge at least $102,400 on admission to entertainment events, $48,250 on gambling, $69,300 on cruises, and $73,950 on exotic dance clubs and prostitutes.
- Members of Congress are set to pay themselves $90 million to increase their franked mailings for the 2010 election year.
- Congress has ignored efficiency recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services that would save $9 billion annually.
- Taxpayers are funding paintings of high-ranking government officials at a cost of up to$50,000 apiece.
- The state of Washington sent $1 food stamp checks to 250,000 households in order to raise state caseload figures and trigger $43 million in additional federal funds.
- Suburban families are receiving large farm subsidies for the grass in their backyards — subsidies that many of these families never requested and do not want. 
- Congress appropriated $20 million for “commemoration of success” celebrations related to Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Homeland Security employee purchases include 63-inch plasma TVs, iPods, and $230 for a beer brewing kit.
- Two drafting errors in the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act resulted in a $2 billion taxpayer cost.
- North Ridgeville, Ohio, received $800,000 in “stimulus” funds for a project that its mayor described as “a long way from the top priority.”
- The National Institutes of Health spends $1.3 million per month to rent a lab that it cannot use.
- Congress recently spent $2.4 billion on 10 new jets that the Pentagon insists it does not need and will not use.
- Lawmakers diverted $13 million from Hurricane Katrina relief spending to build a museum celebrating the Army Corps of Engineers — the agency partially responsible for the failed levees that flooded New Orleans.
- Medicare officials recently mailed $50 million in erroneous refunds to 230,000 Medicare recipients.
- Audits showed $34 billion worth of Department of Homeland Security contracts contained significant waste, fraud, and abuse.
- Washington recently spent $1.8 million to help build a private golf course in Atlanta, Georgia.
- The Advanced Technology Program spends $150 million annually subsidizing private businesses; 40 percent of this funding goes to Fortune 500 companies.
- Congressional investigators were able to receive $55,000 in federal student loan funding for a fictional college they created to test the Department of Education.
- The Conservation Reserve program pays farmers $2 billion annually not to farm their land.
- The Commerce Department has lost 1,137 computers since 2001, many containing Americans’ personal data.
Pick the Low-Hanging Fruit
Because many of these examples of waste overlap, it is not possible to determine their exact total cost.
Yet it is evident that our government loses hundreds of billions of dollars annually on spending that most Americans would certainly call wasteful.
Lawmakers seeking to rein in spending and budget deficits should begin by eliminating this least justifiable spending.