I tweeted about a great infographic on the national budget, deficit, and debt that the Washington Post put together. It is a little dated, but still applicable. It is awesome, go and read through it, play with it, and understand it.
I then got this email. What a great way to understand the crisis that we are in … not purely because of the finances, but because of the inability to agree to fix it.
The U.S. Congress sets a federal budget every year in the trillions of dollars. Few people know how much money that is so federal spending needs to be broken into simple terms to be understood.
Let’s put the 2011 federal budget into perspective:
U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
Recent budget cut: $38,500,000,000 (about 1 percent of the budget)
It helps to think about these numbers in terms that we can relate to. Therefore, let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family.
Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700
Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200.
Amount of new debt added to their high-interest credit card: $16,500.
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710.
Because the Jones’ realized they’re in trouble, they decided to become responsible and cut their spending. After a lot of posturing and wrangling, they agreed to cut a whopping $385 from their budget.
Here is the bottom line, reform has to happen now, not later. Entitlements make up almost 2/3 of the national budget.
When you add it up, our Country spends almost 100% of the revenue it generates on entitlements and interest on our debt alone. This is before defense, before education, before roads, before anything else!
This simply does not work! There is talk about the need for a scalpel approach, but that isn’t the case. We need dramatic changes, and we need them now. We have tremendous assets, and a tremendous nation, but that doesn’t change the situation we are in financially. If you equate this to a family, we would call their situation dire, and in need of immediate correction.