David Wessel on Virginia, Germany and Interest on the U.S. Debt – PBS Newshour 10-25-12

David Wessel of the Wall Street Journal reported:

  • Last year 63% of the federal budget was spent without a vote of Congress – auto pilot spending for promises made in the past. The federal government spent 9.5%  of the federal budget on heathcare in 1960, 25% in 2012, and the CBO predicts 33% in a decade. 
  • If we fired every federal employee we would only make a small dent in the deficit.  Most of the money that the government collects gets paid out in benefits, state and local government grants and contracts.
  • 20% of the federal budget is now spent on defense, last year more than the next 17 largest defense budgets combined. Each aircraft carrier cost 11 billion.
  • Interest on the national debt was 6% of all federal spending last year.
  • Federal tax burden was 19% in 1979, 14% in 2007 and lower now. The federal budget is $3.6 trillion. The feds took in 1.3 trillion in tax revenues last year, but the values of loopholes, deductions, etc is estimated at $1.1 trillion.

Read the full article at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/businessdesk/2012/10/david-wessel-on-viriginia-germ.html