"...This year, Washington will spend a near-record $31,154 per household and collect $26,761 per household in taxes.
The resulting budget deficit of $4,393 per household will bring the total national debt to $160,000 per household – all dumped in the laps of our children.
Federal spending has surged more than $7,000 per household since 2000, and is projected to expand another $6,000 to $9,000 per household over the next decade (all numbers in this article are adjusted for inflation).
Unless spending is reined in, similar tax increases must eventually result.
Washington will spend this year’s $31,154 per household as follows:
- Social Security/Medicare: $12,141. The 15.3 percent payroll tax, split evenly between the employer and employee, covers most of Social Security's and a small portion of Medicare's costs. The typical couple retiring today will receive Social Security benefits 13 percent higher than their lifetime contributions, and Medicare benefits that are triple their lifetime contributions into the system, even after adjusting for inflation and net present values. This system can remain sustainable only if there are enough workers to support all retirees, which is why it risks collapsing under the weight of 77 million retiring baby boomers. Unless reformed, these costs will leap to an unsustainable $30,000 per household over the next few decades.
- Anti-poverty programs: $6,143. More than half of this spending subsidizes state Medicaid programs that provide health services to poor families. Other low-income spending includes: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, housing subsidies, child care subsidies, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and low-income tax credits. President George W. Bush increased anti-poverty spending from $3,500 to $4,500 per household, and President Obama expanded it past $6,000, mostly due to ObamaCare costs.
- Defense: $4,696. The defense budget covers everything from military paychecks, to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the research, development and acquisition of new technologies and equipment. After averaging $6,500 per household during the Cold War (1947-1991), the collapse of the Soviet empire allowed 1990s lawmakers to slash defense spending down to $3,850 per household. The War on Terror pushed it back to $6,500 per household by 2010. Lawmakers have since cut defense spending per household by 28 percent, and today’s $4,696 per household level is projected to fall another $600 over the next decade, despite persistent global threats.
- Interest on the national debt: $2,121. The federal government is $20 trillion in debt. It owes $15 trillion to public bond owners, and the rest to other federal agencies (mostly to repay the Social Security trust fund, which lawmakers raided annually before the program fell into permanent deficit in 2009). Record-low interest rates have recently held down interest costs. However, the national debt is in the process of tripling from $10 trillion to nearly $30 trillion between 2008 and 2027, which will push annual net interest costs to nearly $4,500 per household – or double that cost if interest rates rise back to normal levels..."