Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Wasteful spending

President George W. Bush vetoed a bill to fund education, health care and job training, while signing a $459 billion bill to increase the Pentagon's non-war funding. He said he didn’t want wasteful spending.

The US debt is now at $9.1 trillion. It will likely reach $10 trillion soon – that’s a 1 with 13 zeroes. Interest on debt has to be paid. The numbers are interesting: In 2006 debt interest was $406 billion on a $2.6 trillion budget. In other words, the US government spends 16% of its entire budget on interest. Let’s put that number in perspective: while the US is spending $406 billion a year on interest, it spends $15 billion on NASA, $56 billion for the Department of Transportation, and $61 billion on education.

You’ve probably heard about the apocryphal Chief Marketing Officer who said that her company wastes 50% of their advertising money, she just doesn’t know which 50%.

There is no question about wasteful spending by the US government. The question is, which of that spending is wasteful? Do I hear any votes for the $406 billion in interest?

No comments: