Talk:United States federal budget

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


The FY2008 proposal has been made, if anyone wants to dive in. -- Beland 13:14, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

___ Many informations of this article are very old (2009). Where is the update?. ___

I'm surprised there is no mention of the criticism that has been raised against including the trust funds in the federal budget (see e.g. Social Security is a budget completely separate (at least by law) from the rest of the federal budget. Other countries with comparable retirement programs, e. g. Germany, do not report their budget as part of the government tax allocation. This issue should at least be mentioned in a serious article about the federal budget.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

The link to the CNN article is broken. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:17, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Are these budget totals adjusted for inflation or are they real world dollars? (talk) 21:23, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Why is spending highlighted with a huge graph, when the other half of the budget -- revenue -- is ignored? (talk) 01:01, 11 January 2008 (UTC) DOR (HK) Jan 11, 2008

A question I can answer! Because like all good accounting sheets, expenditures=revenues! That is because (see below) we are borrowing money from the Chinese! So a statement of revenue it wouldn't be very enlightening, officially. You probably mean before borrowing. Ah. Another story. Student7 (talk) 02:47, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

I believe Obama's budget includes funding for the War in Iraq, while Bush's budget did not. Isn't it comparing oranges to apples this way? --Wprange (talk) 03:48, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

A better measure than the deficit is the change in national debt, because of various accounting complexities. The debt increased by a trillion dollars in 2008, versus a $455 billion budget deficit. There is a graph that explains the difference, as well as a revenue graph, a bit further into the article. The difference between budgeted revenue and expense is the budget deficit--they are not the same so ignore Students comment above. However, under Bush the deficit became a very misleading and understated number because the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars and substantial earmarks were not included in budgeted expenses, while the Social Security surplus has increased in recent years (to nearly $200 billion), which has always reduced the reported deficit. In 2008, about $545 billion was spent that was not included in the budget deficit but was reflected in the national debt increase of $1 trillion. Until the government removes the Social Security surplus from the budget deficit calculation or the press wises up and reports the right budget statistic, it will continue to understate the true amount of government borrowing. See the chart that describes these differences for more detail; it's in the middle of the article.Farcaster (talk) 15:10, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Untouched federal insurance[edit]

While the article preserves the fiction that people "save up" money in Medicare, Medicade and Social Security, the truth is that any money that is received is spent immediately. This has resulted in massive borrowing from China, of all places. As the baby boomers retire it will get much worse. Ignored officially and I suppose therefore echoed in the article is the fact (see US News and World Report page 64, Feb 18, 2008), entitlements ignored in the article are currently taking up 40% of the budget. This is expected to hit 70% in 2030. Let's hope the Chinese cooperate!  :) Instead, candidates are talking about expanded medical insurance when the government is currently going bust on what little is available. Too bad it's too taboo to mention here. Student7 (talk) 02:43, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

There are reliable sources that have pointed out that the money that has "built up" in the trust funds is in fact IOUs from the federal government, not actual investments, and that those IOUs (federal debt) require taxes or other revenue sources to actually be paid off. As for expanding medical insurance, please note that this is to some extent merely rearranging costs - businesses pay less, or individuals pay less, and the government pays more. To the extent that private entities and individuals do pay less, that provides the government more "opportunity" to raise tax levels. (But, as you point out, these kind of discussions are generally inappropriate for article talk pages; you might console yourself by noting that Wikipedia's goal is not to solve the world's problems by highlighting the most important ones, but simply to provide information on various subjects and let readers decide. I can assure you that any argument that you think is really important has in fact been mentioned somewhere in a reliable source; the challenge is to find it and add it to the appropriate article.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:25, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Student7 says "preserves the fiction" concerning the three trust funds. It's not fiction! Taking Social Security as an example, Trust Fund FAQs - Social Security makes it clear that the Social Security Trust Fund (containing the surplus of payroll taxes collected through the years plus past interest earned minus benefits paid) are invested in U.S. government treasury bonds. The trust fund is real just like a privately held trust fund (like for one's children) invested in such bonds. The SS trust fund contains about $2.5 trillion in 2012. It's pretty obvious that the federal government would have had to have sold an additional $2.5 trillion worth of bonds to other bond purchasers (possibly including Chinese) if the SS Trust fund hadn't invested it's trust fund in these bonds. So the federal government is paying interest to the SS trust fund--but the government was going to pay interest for those $2.5 trillion bonds to some bond holder anyway. I think the federal budget article should leave the reader understanding the above. I also think that the Social Security financial situation is best understood if it is looked at first as the separate entity that it is. Jhaasen (talk) 10:01, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Future reporting of debt[edit]

The changes recently have been good. Wikipedia reports best when it reports the past. Wikipedia is a little weak when it comes to reporting the future. I realize that the editor was quoting from a supposed reputable source here, but I would prefer that debt be predicted (chancey being the future anyway) by year rather than collecting a bunch of arbitrary years together and saying that the debt would be thus over a huge number of years which the media and opposition parties do on a regular basis to make their POV. I suggest we not contribute to anyone else's pov. Just find an annual predicted debt and go with that. The collection over years is done merely for the purpose of exaggerating the facts.

BTW I have a clipping from the 60s proving conclusively that the US would "go broke" in 20 years, whatever that meant then. (Maybe we did but the sky didn't fall quite as hard as the columnist had intended with his article). Student7 (talk) 11:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

I think it's reasonable to discuss projections for the near future - the next five years or so, for example. Beyond that, much less so. It's still good to have citations to articles which do discuss long-term trends; then the reader can decide on credibility him/herself. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:19, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm on a monthly budget myself. The government is on an annual budget. Budget have meaning over one year, but none over a cycle longer than one year. The only reason for using more than one year IMO is to hype something. I don't think this should be a forum for media-type hyping. Student7 (talk) 20:51, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
We don't decide what isn't newsworthy; that would be a form of censorship. And I disagree with you - it's useful to project revenues and expenditures over the next few years, and see the extent of the resulting deficits (or, occasionally, surpluses). (Nor is it true that the government is on the same sort of annual budget as you are - the government has the ability to sell bonds to fund its deficit; you don't.) -- John Broughton (♫♫) 21:23, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
The government is not on a five-year budget. To claim that it is, is POV, which the media definitely has. It is not true that everything has to be quoted because it is in a newspaper someplace. And it is not censorship to ignore blatant pov viewpoints. That has been debated already. I'm not sure it is relevant. That is that a fifty or one hundred year obligation or deficiency is relevant to a discussion of a government that budgets year by year. Student7 (talk) 22:35, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Gents, an interesting discussion. Understand that these points of view were expressed by government agencies - Treasury, GAO, and CBO. Only Treasury could be argued to be partisan. The choice of wording by these agencies is very blunt. I think Student7 would have a stronger argument for the articles on the one year budgets (e.g. 2007, 2008, 2009) but here in an overall article on the budget the various past and future considerations should be present. Clearly, there is a school of thought that "debt doesn't matter" (and they often use debt to GDP as their argument) but that argument is repudiated by the sources above. If credible "debt doesn't matter" sources can be cited, that would balance these. But the Treasury, GAO and CBO points are legitimate to include, as they are from among the most credible sources.Farcaster (talk) 23:34, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Another thought, based on the above ideas, is to report both, explaining that one seems to understate it and why and the other to overstate it and why. That is, not so much to give figures to either one, but to report on the reporting of figures which is political whichever way you look at it. My thought is there is a subsection addressing the pov reporting (both ways). My blunt words here are obviously pov in themselves and references have to be found to pretty them up. Maybe not so hard since someone seems to have a grip on both arguments. Student7 (talk) 22:20, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Future deficits - separate article[edit]

I thought I'd start a new section - my sense is that we're trying to put too much into this article. An article on the U.S. deficit or U.S. federal deficit or U.S. budget projections or similar would, in my opinion, be an appropriate place to discuss what is frequently discussed in the press - for example, will deficits increase as a percentage of the GDP? Can the federal government continue to borrow more and more and still have top-rated debt?

This article, by contrast, is lacking such things as a discussion of the pros and cons of a unified budget (at one time, Social Security was NOT part of the main federal budget), and much more discussion on having a separate capital budget (which has been repeatedly recommended by the Government Accountability Office. Nor is there any discussion of how long the a full budget cycle is - for example, in the Department of Defense, initial requests for capital expenditures begin several years before the budget goes to Congress for its review. Or a discussion of "lame duck" budgets. Nor would you know, from reading this article, that Congress rarely passes the budget by the deadline of 1 October (and, in fact, that Congress adjourned at the end of 2006 [early 2007?] without having passed most departmental budgets at all, leaving it up to the next Congress to deal with the problem). -- John Broughton (♫♫) 04:20, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Disputed text[edit]

Different editors have removed the text below. We have a bit of an edit war. Your help appreciated.

But keeping tax cuts in place is better for everyone involved because it actually will increase tax revenue by creating a growing economy. [Feedback of tax revenue is not enough to offset tax cuts; deficits increase per CBO and most economists.]

This has been proven over history [Nope; did you read the text immediately preceeding your insertion? Or those sources?] as in the tax cut that was proposed by President John F. Kennedy from the Democratic Party and passed by a Democrat led congress with the belief that cutting the tax rate would stimulate investment and spending, with overall beneficial effects (including replenishment of some most tax revenues).

President Ronald Reagan signed tax cuts into law, which stimulated a doubling in total tax revenues (from five hundred billion to one trillion dollars)during the period from 1980 to 1990. [21] However, during this period the national debt more than tripled (from $908 billion in 1980 to $3.2 trillion in 1990 because of the compromises Reagan had to make to the Democrat controlled Congress). [Difficult to disconnect the tax cuts and deficit spending from why economy grew. Could just as easily argue the extra spending brought in the tax revenues. There are lots of reasons why U.S. economy grows, so tough to follow this line of argument. Plus, be careful with total tax revenues as social security tax receipts throw this off significantly.]

Most [You can mention Don, but not MOST as most do NOT] economists like Don Lambro of the Washington Times credits the Reagan tax cuts with the eventual surpluses of the 1990s.

[23] The Heritage Foundation has stated that the Bush tax cuts have led to the rich shouldering more of the income tax burden and the poor shouldering less; however, Bush is often highly criticised for giving tax cuts to the rich. [24] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Farcaster (talkcontribs) 17:26, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Please stop with the Reagan worshipping, quoting the Washington Times and the Heritage Foundation. The GAO is non-partisan and their fear-mongering regarding 40-year debt projections is bad enough. (talk) 16:17, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

It's never useful to use a partisan think tank such as Heritage Foundation because it introduces the possibility of validity, reliability and neutrality issues. Instead use academic or bipartisan think tanks. Prof2long (talk) 05:20, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

According to wikipedia, "In 1981, Reagan significantly reduced the maximum tax rate, which affected the highest income earners, and lowered the top marginal tax rate from 70% to 50%; in 1986 he further reduced the rate to 28%. The federal deficit fell from 6% of GDP in 1983 to 3.2% of GDP in 1987. The Federal deficit in Reagan's final budget fell to 2.9% of GDP."
Also according to wikipedia it was increased borrowing, not tax cuts, that lead to Reagan deficits: "as a short-run strategy to reduce inflation and lower nominal interest rates, the U.S. borrowed both domestically and abroad to cover the Federal budget deficits, raising the national debt from $997 billion to $2.85 trillion. This led to the U.S. moving from the world's largest international creditor to the world's largest debtor nation."
Also according to wikipedia, "during the Reagan administration, federal receipts grew at an average rate of 8.2% (2.5% attributed to higher Social Security receipts)"
Magicjava (talk) 18:09, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Treatment of Social Security interest[edit]

Can someone help me out with this. The interest in the pie chart at the top ($237B) is interest on the public debt. How is the $100 billion or so in Social Security interest accounted for? Is it part of the Social Security expense ($581B)? Can someone point me to a source that explains this? Seems like interest should be a lot higher, as 237B/9.7T = 2.5%, not as much as t-bill interest rates...Thanks.Farcaster (talk) 23:28, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Per capita data[edit]

The graph "Annual U.S. spending 1934-2006 with adjustment for inflation" needs a per capita counterpart. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:56, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Extrapolation graphs.[edit]

I've removed the 'scary' extrapolation graph reference. The graph was being used out of context, and using a very dubious extrapolation of short term trends during the Bush administration, the height of two wars, and very heavy tax cuts. It also used an extrapolation curve that seemed to be reset in 2020 to be steeper, based on no apparent evidence.

Graphs that 'extrapolate' a short term trend over periods of seventy years are very suspect, and should not be presented as 'hard fact' and without heavy disclaimers and alternative opinions presented. --Barberio (talk) 10:26, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

The graph is from the GAO, OMB and Treasury. It is highly credible. In fact, it is conservative. Social Security is nearly in deficit in 2011 now instead of 2017. Please do not remove again.Farcaster (talk) 15:13, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

The GAO themselves take pains to point out that it is a weak prediction and assumes the recent trend of low taxes will continue over the next decade, and high spending will continue for the next 80 years, and should not be used as the basis of a realistic prediction. This has been mentioned to you before on the talk page of the image. Your graph does not come with the disclaimer that it is extending a trend based on current discretionary spending, during two wars and a round of large tax cuts. Nor the disclaimer that it's hugely unlikely for 2006 discretionary spending levels to remain in place for the next 80 years, unless the US is going to maintain it's war footing and operations.
To quote the GAO report you cite, (emphasis mine) "Our long-term simulations show that absent policy actions aimed at deficit reduction, the federal government faces unsustainable growth in debt.", "Simulations are not forecasts or predictions. They are designed to ask the question 'what if?'". The GAO report is useful information, but you are presenting it as a forecast, and an unavoidable trend, in direct contradiction to the original report cited.
Your graph presents one POV, that the short term budget deficit trend will continue exactly as is over the next eighty years. I have to say that's a minority POV, and no one expects that the US will continue spending at this same heightened level for even more than Obama's first term of office, let alone the next eighty years, and that there will be concerted effort to put the budget back into surplus as it was prior to 2000. So putting your graph, and your graph alone up as the presented trend prediction is promoting a minority POV as if it were a majority POV.
I'm also concerned that you seem to be prepared to edit-war over the inclusion of this graph. --Barberio (talk) 15:49, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

What is a compromise? Would a section in the body of the article containing the graph be more amenable to you, where we can articulate the pro and con to our hearts content? The graph is a publication of three agencies of the U.S. government. It is a simulation if entitlements are not reformed. It is not a minority view; Ben Bernanke has also cited our "unsustainable" entitlement programs in addition to the agencies cited. The media widely cites the fact that we would have to put aside over $40 trillion today such that the principal and interest would pay for the current law committments for Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. The programs will bankrupt the country if not reformed. The Republican alternative budget also cites these issues. This chart has been out there for nearly a year until you arrive, so I would like the graph included. Whether it is lower in the article or not is fine with me.Farcaster (talk) 16:29, 2 April 2009 (UTC) OK I see where you put it. That is fine.Farcaster (talk) 16:32, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

No. It is *not* a simulation of if entitlements are not reformed. And that was a misrepresentation by you. It is a simulation of it the tax cuts are sustained for the next ten years, and *discretionary* spending stayed within a specified trend level for the next 80 years. The view that the only way to 'fix' it is entitlement reform is a POV, and one that is not the sole accepted POV. And I can point out that one alternative POV would be that drastic cuts in *discretionary* spending, and raising government revenues is an option.
Pushing a POV, because the GOP are doing it, and talking heads on the Media are doing it, is *still pushing a POV*. You may well think it's the right POV to take, but it's still pushing a POV in an area where we should not be acting as Arbitrator of the Correct Economic Way.
Contrary to your representation of it, the GAO report cited *does not* make recommendations for entitlement reform, nor is the simulation aimed at presenting entitlements as the major problem. The major problem identified in the GAO report is that of the compound interest inflated by the high level of discretionary spending on top of entitlements. The GAO report recommends deficit reduction programs, and strongly recommends the government attempt to operate at a surplus.--Barberio (talk) 18:39, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I now see where the mistake here happened. A brief reading of your 'citizens guide' version of the GAO report, and listening to the media say that 'Non-Discretionary Spending Will Keep Rising', is equated to 'Entitlements will keep rising'. Ergo, Entitlements are seen as the problem.

But looking at the full GAO report shows that Entitlements are not expected to rise significantly, and that the fund that is supposed to pay for Entitlements covers more than what is spent on Entitlements, or what is expected to be spent per year for the next eighty years.

The problem is that the GAO account the interest payments on the national debt as part of the US's Non-Discretionary Spending. And that debt is accrued due to discretionary spending being taken out of the entitlement fund.

And it is the interest payments that will rise dramatically if the US continues to operate at a large deficit. If the government operates with a smaller deficit, or better still, a surplus, then the Non-Discretionary Spending will not rise so dramatically.

Hence, using the 'Citizens guide' version has mislead you into accepting a presented POV and believing the GAO was supporting that POV, when in fact it was presenting quite a different POV all together.

This is why it's always recommended to refer to an original source, not a abridged or summarized version.--Barberio (talk) 19:05, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I've got bad news for you. The federal government could cut ALL other spending - defense, all discretionary, etc. and be utterly bankrupt due to mandatory categories (Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment, Interest) sometime between 2030 and 2040, depending on future GDP growth rates. We cannot feasibly increase tax rates enough to offset the massive deficits of these programs. That is the point of this graph and why Treasury, OMB, and GAO all issue the Citizen's Guide each year. The key problem (see the Medicare graph from the CBO for sources) is the rate increases of 7% or so in Medicare costs per capita. That is the main problem; the others are manageable. There is nothing POV about it...just the facts. The CBO has made similar judgments and Social Security with respect to that program.Farcaster (talk) 20:28, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Medicare & Social Security

The graph of the Social Security and Medicare cash deficits illustrate the situation well; deficits for those two programs reach a trillion dollars on their own if taxes dedicated to them (payroll taxes) are not increased. It isn't interest--its trillion dollar debt increases each year to fund these programs that increases the interest on the debt. Social Security goes from a $200 billion surplus to a $200 billion deficit (a nearly $400 billion "swing" in the deficit each year all by itself.) Medicare and Medicaid rise consistently towards 20% of GDP by the end of the century, which exceeds our entire tax base. That is the risk that our politicians and many of the folks who support tax cuts and spending increases don't understand.Farcaster (talk) 20:39, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

The GAO report cited is clear in it's language, it refers to deficit spending in total as the problem, not entitlement spending. It also makes the particular note that entitlement spending should be covered entirely by payrole deductions at the current rate, were it not for discretionary spending being taken from the entitlement fund.
So we need to represent what the GAO report says. Continued high rate deficit spending will dramatically increase interest on the debt, causing a dramatic increase in non-discretionary spending commitment. The GAO report does not single out entitlement spending, so it's original research to imply that from it.
If you want, you can cite other sources who have an opinion that the best way to reduce deficit spending and restore a surplus to the budget would be entitlement reform. But that should also be balanced by those who have the opinion that discretionary spending reductions, pay&go, or locking off the entitlement fund so it can't be borrowed out of.--Barberio (talk) 21:35, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
LOL! You change the source and then say I misquoted the new source. You are good...We would have to put $7 trillion dollars aside today (net present value) to cover unfunded Social Security commitments. We would have to put aside $34 trillion today to cover Medicare. Again, cutting all other categories of spend out would not address this problem, only delay it. Ultimately, the entitlement programs must be reformed. The longer we wait, the worse the changes required get. I've properly cited GAO, Treasury, and CBO sources summarized in the Citizen's Guide; you have changed to a GAO report. Check out the attached, which is cited and excerpted in the public debt article.

GAO - Walker Presentation January 08 Farcaster (talk) 22:20, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

This is a quote that may help you, from the 2008 Citizen's Guide (GAO, OMB, Treasury) cited for the graph you don't like: "If the Government is to retain the ability to manage a financial crisis such as the one today, it must eventually address the long-term fiscal imbalance resulting from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The Government’s fiscal policies for these programs as currently structured are not sustainable. Without changes, spending for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid would permanently and dramatically increase the

Government’s budget deficit and debt, leading eventually to renewed financial and economic instability." This is in the 2008 Citizen's Guide now cited in the graph.Farcaster (talk) 22:28, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

POV Review[edit]

Farcaster, I'm not prepared to edit war with you over this. But my point is that both the 2008 Citizens Guide, and the Walker Presentation you cite, are secondary sources which base their conclusions on their interpretation of the GAO Report. They also say some things that the original GAO Report did not. They also gloss over that the entitlement fund is only in deficit due to borrowing against it to pay for non-discretionary funding. That if general spending was reduced to a surplus budget by limiting discretionary spending, then the threat of non-discretionary spending outstripping government income disappears, and that drastic cuts in entitlement is not the only way to balance the budget.

It is my view that these sources are politically motivated, and should be treated with due care. Preferentially, facts and figures should be sourced from full GAO reports, not summaries of the reports or presentations based on the reports. Analysis of that data should be presented with countering valid viewpoints. There are alternative view points on entitlement reform.

I also feel you have started to take ownership of this article, and are pushing a POV. You have selected the summaries and the presentation as cites rather than the full GAO support, because the language of the full GAO report does not match the viewpoint you have selected as 'correct'. This article is in dire need of extra viewpoints other than the ones you have selected as the 'correct ones'. I'm going to tag this for POV review. --Barberio (talk) 12:41, 3 April 2009 (UTC)

I have taken pains to explain to you this simple fact, cited by multiple primary sources and shown with graphs in the article: Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security spending are increasing much faster than GDP. Ultimately, this means that they will absorb all federal revenues, if those spending trends and historical federal tax collections of about 19% of GDP continue. It frankly doesn't matter what we do with discretionary spending in the long-run, which increasingly is a smaller fraction of the budget at about 38%. Entitlement spending and interest increasingly "crowd out" discretionary categories, up to 62% of spending from just 33% in the 1960's. Your argument above is not at all what the GAO report says. Demographics are driving much of the problem but the key issue is the rate of increase in Medicare spending, which is trending around 7% each year. Social Security cost of living adjustments were 5.9% for 2009. We'll be lucky to have positive GDP growth rates in the next couple of years and historically real GDP growth rates are below 3%. Would it help the situation if discretionary spending were cut significantly? Of course. But it only delays the inevitable, because discretionary spending is only 38% of the budget now and there is no legal mandate that it grow faster than GDP. The entitlements must be cut or revenues increased to about 25% of GDP, which would involve unheard of tax increases. Refer to the chart on Medicare/Medicaid spending in the article from the CBO, which shows those programs alone exceeding 15% of GDP by mid-century. The primary risk to our fiscal future is the rate of increase in Medicare/Medicare costs according to the CBO. Social Security grows to about 5-6% of GDP. And if you add those together, you ultimately exceed the 19% of GDP tax base. I hope this helps you understand these issues better. I have taken great pains to clearly articulate these issues, taking the best graphs I could find from multiple government reports to build this article into a formidable coverage of the budget and its risks, with over 1,000 views a day frequently. You've accused me a pushing a POV, which I dispute. Your argument above simply does not reflect the sources you cite and is entirely inaccurate. If you can find credible sources that say cutting discretionary spending (now only 38% of the budget) will solve our problems, go ahead and cite them. You won't find them at Treasury, CBO, GAO, or OMB.Farcaster (talk) 14:51, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Okay, see, this is the problem. I've said that the problem is that you're not balancing this view point with alternative views. Your response has been to argue that this view point is the Correct and True one. This is a misunderstanding of the obligations of NPOV.
As for alternative views... Can I direct you to Social_Security_debate_(United_States). Specifically the Is there a crisis? section. And remind you that welfare/entitlement reform *is* still under debate.
I may even recommend that the text here referring to the need for 'entitlement reform' may belong in that article rather than this one. --Barberio (talk) 00:50, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
If you can find a counterargument regarding the overall funding of these entitlement programs, please do so. Understand that Social Security is peanuts compared to Medicare/Medicaid. Just Medicare Part D is a bigger fiscal problem than Social Security. Medicare and Medicaid are about 5 times as serious a problem as Social Security (using the unfunded obligation for Medicare of about $34 trillion as of 2007, versus $7 trillion for Social Security.) The Social Security administration said in its 2008 report that we would have to raise the payroll tax today to 14.1% versus 12.4% to make revenues equal to expenses for the 21st century. Alternatively, we could cut expenses by 11% today. These amounts increase to 16% and 22% if we wait until 2041, when the trust fund is officially exhausted. The Social Security problem is not fiscally insurmountable, as Paul Krugman correctly points out. But it may be politically insurmountable, as no politician is willing to cut payouts or raise taxes. The least despised solutions are to raise the payroll tax cap (102K in 2008) to infinity, and through progressive indexing reduce the cost of living adjustment (COLA) for wealthier retirees. Plenty of actuaries have crunched the Social Security numbers so it is like choosing from a menu. These solutions solve most of the Social Security shortfall. But note that these are sizable reforms, which is exactly what this article is addressing. But I haven't yet seen a clear "solutions menu" for Medicare/Medicaid.Farcaster (talk) 17:02, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
As indicated above, Krugman is speaking about sizable reforms, which is consistent with the themes in the article. I will remove the banner in the near future if no one can cite a counter argument from a credible source stating that entitlement reform is not urgent.Farcaster (talk) 22:51, 25 April 2009 (UTC)
The spending as a percentage of GDP that you are projecting is based on depressed GDP and increased spending on temporary things like unemployment insurance and the stimulus. If you compare spending, not counting stimulus, bailout, and current levels of payout on unemployment insurance to trend GDP, you find that the scary numbers like spending=25% of GDP are simply a _fantasy_. If you look at, for instance, the Congressional Progressive Caucus's budget plan, it achieves a surplus by 2021 without cutting entitlements. There is all of this hubbub about entitlement reform, but if we look at other developed nations like France and Germany with far worse demographic problems, it's clear that these calls for entitlement reform are just another excuse to eviscerate the social safety net and renege on the New Deal and the Great Society. If you'd like me to provide sources showing this, I can do that easily. If you read Krugman, who is WP:Reliable, he has been saying this for 10 years. For instance, take a look at this article from 2005: (talk) 17:12, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
You are confusing the short-run and long-run issues. In the short-run, tax hikes and spending cuts outside of healthcare can get us to a sustainable budget deficit, as the CPC's "People's Budget" projects. In the long-run, the CBO and the Medicare trustees project that Medicare and Medicaid will hit 18% GDP, absorbing the historical tax revenue base. This is mainly due to high per-person cost increases. Social Security is only expected to rise a bit relative to GDP, so we really have a healthcare issue in the long-run specifically, not a general entitlement issue. Krugman acknowledges the long-term issue, stating that those serious about budget reform must focus on seven words: "Health care Health care Health care revenue"Farcaster (talk) 17:22, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Sure, I can live with that. The part of the article marked with the POV sticker simply does not say what you just said. The part marked POV concludes that there is a spending problem on those programs, but the section is called "revenue problem or spending problem" and is in reference to the short-run. If you want to retitle it something like "long-term issues and health care spending", go right ahead, but at the moment, that section simply does not address what its title implies. (talk) 18:01, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I see what you are saying now. The Republicans have been using the "We have a spending problem, not a revenue problem" sound bite. I created that section to point out that per CBO data, that isn't really the case in the short-run but in the long-run its about healthcare spending. I updated it after the banners appeared to point out what Obama and Greenspan have advocated. Other sections of the article give the section context. I'm not advocating we take down the banners yet, as others may have good ideas on how to address this and it is a contentious subject. I just didn't want to repeat too much material already covered elsewhere in the article.Farcaster (talk) 19:39, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
Alright, I've rewritten the section a bit, and I'd appreciate it if we could discuss my changes here on the talk page before any kind of reverts/major edits. I am aware that someone might accuse me of tilting the POV too far in the other direction, but I am reasonably certain that what I've written is closer to neutral than what was there before. PK and a number of other WP:Reliable economists have made the point that a large amount of the apparent overspending is simply due to below-trend GDP (that is, the denominator is too small, which overstates the "largeness" of the numerator). What I'd like to see is an estimate of how big the effect is. Specifically, I'd like to see spending as a percentage of trend GDP ("trend GDP" meaning the number one gets by extrapolating 2% GDP growth (or whatever BEA estimates trend growth to be) starting before the recession, that is, the number that we use to determine the output gap by the formula "trend GDP - actual GDP = output gap"), modulo the distorting effects of the high number of unemployment claims and increased enrollment in Medicaid, which, one hopes, are temporary. This number, or more in line with the rules of wikipedia, an analysis of this number by a reliable professional economist, should gauge the "real spending problems" in a way that is directly comparable with the revenue problem. (talk) 05:24, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
A valiant attempt. We'll see what others have to say. I get your logic but it is missing a citation from an expert making the same point. The point in the initial writeup was to show that spending is about as far off the historical average as revenue according to the CBO historical tables, so the saying that we have only a spending problem is false. That is a bit less clear now. Perhaps you can reinstate that portion.Farcaster (talk) 05:52, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

Entitlement Consumer Statistics[edit]

There seems to be a common belief that entitlements are primarily for, and consumed by, 65+ senior citizens. I've found some data indicating nearly 1/2 of the people on medicaid/medicare are low income children, their mothers, and the disabled. I think it would be informative to add age, sex and disability status of the entitlement consumers to clearly show where the money is spent. This kaiser page shows about 75 million people on medicare/medicaid, while this page shows around 38 million 65+ residents living in the USA. This implies around 37 million consumers of medicare/medicaid are under 65. Perhaps many of the people using Social Security benefits are similarly under 65? The distribution of entitlements by age, sex and disability would be an interesting topic to explore. (talk) 08:09, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Interesting presentation[edit]

Here is a ( budget presentation] which cannot be used here, but it is, nonetheless, interesting. I could not execute this out of Wikipedia on my first attempt, but it did later. A future Wikipedia might pipe WP:RELY figures into a simulator from different "articles" and proceed from there to simulate everything. The current presentation of facts will need to change someday. Student7 (talk) 03:09, 24 December 2009 (UTC)

Pie Chart[edit]

The pie chart that is highlighted at the top of the page needs to be changed to reflect true "defense" spending. At the bottom of the chart it says that $188 Billion or about 1/3 of the defense budget is left off of the chart. This DRASTICALLY changes the chart. I'm not even going to quibble over adding nuclear weapons spending into the defense numbers and things like that but when the chart itself notes that 1/3 of the main category of spending is purposely left off there is a big problem (talk) 22:55, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

It's due for an update to 2011 data anyway. I'll work on it over the next week. Bear in mind the pie chart is how the budget was presented, with the defense spending off the budget as a supplemental at the time. I think it's all on budget now. Thanks for your observation.Farcaster (talk) 23:31, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Updated with 2009FY data.Farcaster (talk) 07:06, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Is it really honest to sneak DHS spending under "Defense" spending? I also am of the opinion that Service on the Debt should probably be broken out. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:09, 7 July 2010 (UTC)

Pie chart file name[edit]

The pie chart file name is "U.S. Federal Spending - FY 2007.png." As of September 2011, the label within the graphic says "U.S. Federal Spending - Fiscal Year 2010." The Description field under Summary previously previously said "U.S. Federal Spending FY 2008." I updated that to say 2010 and changed the other date field to reflect the most recent edit by Farcaster. I agree with the other posters on the chart's file talk page that the file name is confusing. It would be helpful to rename it "U.S. Federal Spending - Most Recent Data" or something like that. I'm not enough of a Wikipedia expert to make that change.

Budget forecast accuracy?[edit]

As I began to read about the 2010-20 budget projections, I was curious as to how good (read: bad) the forecasts might be. So, I took the last Clinton budget, issued at the beginning of 2000 that covered 2000-10, and compared it to what actually happened over 10 years (i.e., 2000-09). The nominal GDP forecast was 95% accurate (4.5% p.a. forecast, vs. 4.3% actual), but the $2.3 trillion surplus turned into a $3.8 trillion deficit. Maybe President Obama’s deficits will turn into surpluses, too. . . DOR (HK) (talk) 08:14, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

Conservative poppycock[edit]

I accessed this page looking for simple objective answers to simple questions. Instead I see non-objective philiosophizing with a right-wing slant. (Here's an example: "These on-budget and off-budget items essentially amount to accounting gimmicks and schemes. In reality, what really matters is how much money comes in and how much money goes out." Preserving a SocSec surplus for the next generation may or may not be useful in accounting, but it isn't a "gimmick" and whoever wrote the excerpted sentence certainly isn't qualified to say "what really matters.") This is not what Wikipedia is about. Jamesdowallen (talk) 06:43, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Good point James. I didn't want to remove the entire section, so I took out the offending verbiage.Farcaster (talk) 16:06, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Actually take a look at this proposed solution. At least we start out with a fighting chance this way. [[1]]

Actually I'm not sure what exactly you think you "fixed", removing one verbiage or even a complete section will not fix the non-objective right wing slant of the entire page! The Congressional Budget Office is "sourced" in several sections but the tone reeks of finger pointing and despite the "sourcing" it can be argued the phrasing is straying far from the neutrality of the source! As for on-budget - off-budget it has been the same as far as Social Security since 1990 Off-budget. According to SSA "This means only that they are shown as a separate account in the federal budget." This entire article should be reviewed and be scoured clean of any right or left slant! There are tens of thousands of sources for slanted views of both left and right wing agendas, Wikipedia need not be another, but rather should be neutral to the point of actually being a boring read rather than sensationalized. (talk) 00:03, 3 January 2011 (UTC) J. Scott

I removed a progressive "poppycock" source: Also, I couldn't find the statement you were referencing, but here's a related article you might want to look at:, which is also a source for this wikipedia article. (talk) 18:49, 6 November 2010 (UTC)Why stop there? Your obvious conservative slant does not preclude you from removing conservative poppycock! The article is to read as neutral it needs to be free from all influences left or right, all blame is to be left out, but instead the left polices the degree of right slant and the right polices the degree of left slant? Again, it should be neutral from the start, all opinions left out. (talk) 00:03, 3 January 2011 (UTC) J. Scott

More coverage of discretionary funding[edit]

This article does a fairly good job of describing mandatory and military funding, but I'd like to see more coverage of non-defense discretionary funding, which isn't covered anywhere near as extensively in this article. There is currently some discussion of it in United States budget process. I think this is an important part of the budget to cover, especially given the coming debate about the Republican plan to sharply cut discretionary funding levels. Antony–22 (talk/contribs) 06:15, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

Agree. Section started.Farcaster (talk) 21:22, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Debt of individual states of the USA[edit]

I was searching for a list of the budgets/deficits/debts and of the individual states of the USA but I couldn't find it. Not on Wiki nor somewhere else. Somebody knows where to find it?Nico (talk) 07:33, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

Start here:

Mandatory spending and entitlements[edit]

The 2007 projected spending graph is seriously out of date. For these last two years Obama/Congress massively increased the deficit and thus much higher future debt and interest rates. See: Total Revenues & Outlays. Congressional Budget Office 2011 Feb. 15th Graph Page 5

The House Budget Committee April 5, 2011 graphs both Democrat and Republican budgets. See graph: Choice of Two Futures, (Debt as a share of the economy)

Published on page 8, Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Resolution, House Committee on the Budget Start with this. Add an equivalent showing the integrated cumulative debt & interest.DLH (talk) 14:24, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

There is an obvious omission of any past, present or even future forecast of expenditure. It only cites percentage of GDP, unlike any of the other sections such as Social Security or Defense spending. For consistency, it should follow the other sections and include monetary amounts rather than percent of GDP, unless you want to edit the other sections accordingly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:50, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Why is does the risks of entitlement spending have "net interest" as part of it?[edit]

I have two problems with the inclusion of "net interest" on the risks of entitlements graphic.

1) Net interest is the result of the general budget deficit. This would be appropriate to a graphic showing the risks of deficit spending of which entitlements are only part and since most of them are independently funded and currently solvent they should show NO current net interest. 2) Projections such as these rely upon no corrective measures being taken in expenditures or revenue. Given that there was a major revision in the 80's in social security which extended its budget surplus by decades I think graphics such as this should be relabeled to clearly indicate that they reflect projections given current policy and trends.

I am not well qualified in this subject and will not attempt to modify the graph myself but I would like these issues addressed. I apologize if I have missed something obvious.

Michalchik (talk) 08:54, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

Here is the graphic in question:

Michalchik (talk) 08:58, 15 April 2011 (UTC)

U.S. Budget Amount Chart (problems)[edit]

The chart shows the budget amount in nominal dollars rather than real dollars. In case anyone reading this isn't sure what I mean, nominal dollars is the number that was actually budgeted, but a dollar now is worth less than dollar 20 years ago (because products were cheaper, inflation happens.) Therefore a 3 trillion dollar budget now is maybe equal to a 1 trillion dollar budget in the 90s. Checking this is relatively simple as well. Just find out what the CPI is and make the corrections.

I would but I can't change pictures out because I'm not ranked highly enough (relatively new at wikipedia) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tyrone.grandstrand (talkcontribs) 05:48, 16 April 2011 (UTC)

"Tax Policy" section deleted[edit]

I deleted this section, subject to someone rewriting it from scratch, if they feel they have something informative to contribute on the subject of tax policy.

Rather than a discussion of tax policy and a NPOV description of differing theories, it consisted of flip-flop, contradictory, finger-pointing POV opinions on econoomic theory - with each side of the argument stating why their preferred tax policy is right. It did little to inform the reader about tax policy.

WP should strive to inform, not to pursuade.John2510 (talk) 15:40, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

The information is factually accurate and cited. Please feel free to add other information.Farcaster (talk) 15:42, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

In point of fact, it presently contains little or no real information that is subject to factualy accuracy - but rather recitations of various people's opinions of a particular economic policy. An informative paragraph about tax policy would address different tax policies and the theories behind them - perhaps with a brief statement of opposing criticisms. The current paragraph is simply an ad hominem based attack on supply-side economics. The accuracy of the fact that those people expressed those opinions is irrelevant. It would probably be inappropriate in an article on economics, but is certainly inappropriate in a section on tax policy in an article on the federal budget. John2510 (talk) 18:02, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Feel free to add cited statements to balance the section in your view. Perhaps indicating that tax revenues fell relative to GDP after both the Reagan and Bush tax cuts would add more factual weight, although this is shown in the chart. What credible experts have to say matters. There is information on the Bush tax cuts that we could pull into this section that resides further down in the article. For example, CBO reporting the Bush tax cuts (if not repealed) add $3.5 trillion to the debt over the next decade. Several studies are cited. The economic evidence is pretty overwhelming against supply side. The myth that tax cuts increase government revenues is regularly refuted by about everyone except far-right think tanks and WSJ Op Ed pages.18:31, 14 July 2011 (UTC)Farcaster (talk) 18:31, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

I suppose I could go out and find quotes that make the other side of the argument. However, That presents two problems: 1) this would turn into a debate about which of our sources are more right, more respected, more objective, etc. (BTW, I'm not aware of Warren Buffett being a credible expert on tax policy); 2) More important, the article should not be a debate, balanced or otherwise, about which tax policy is the "correct" one. It should be encyclopedic. If there is something to say about "tax policy" as a subject within the context of the article, then the section should be rewritten to reflect that. If there isn't, it should be deleted. John2510 (talk) 18:46, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm with you on slimming down the quotes in favor of some more data-type factual information or historical perspective. Let me chew on your thoughts if you don't plan to add directly and we'll get something we can both live with.Farcaster (talk) 19:29, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
I'll hold off on doing anything with it for a while. I think it would help achieve a better section/article if the focus is on explaining tax policy generally in a NPOV manner, rather than simply removing the quotes in favor of numbers that some may feel prove the rightness or wrongness of a particular policy. If you think it's necessary to include aspects of conflicting viewpoints, it might be appropriate to phrase it something like, "Supply-side economists contend that excessive taxation and regulation ... while critics note that...." Using the current quote sources as end-notes would certainly be appropriate. Of course, that's only one conflict on a particular aspect of tax policy... not an entry on tax policy as a topic. I stumbled on the article out of personal educational interest and noticed how one-sided and argumentative certain portions of it were... and that they didn't read very encyclopedic. I think when we believe something strongly, it's tempting to let articles stray into arguments for our position, and I fear some of that has gone on here. John2510 (talk) 13:09, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
The new structure is an improvement, and I appreciate your efforts. I think the section on supply-side theory is still rather POV, but at least it's placed in a section where it more clearly is identified as an argument, and the "tax policy" section truly addresses tax policy as a general topic. Thanks. John2510 (talk) 13:27, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Social Security "Worker to Beneficiary Ratio" graphic[edit]

The graphic illustrated the Social Security "Worker to Beneficiary Ratio" shows the reverse of the graphic title. As is, the graphic implies that in 1960, one worker supported five beneficiaries, and that this ratio has -improved- since that period. The idea could be helpful to illustrate, but as it stands, confuses the reader. The issue was mentioned by someone else under the discussion section of the graphic itself. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Asterids (talkcontribs) 20:09, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

I see. The numbers show the actual ratio, the graphic shows the workers holding up the retiree.Farcaster (talk) 20:30, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

employment due to federal budget[edit]

Currently the USA has about 2M Federal employees. However, the USA annual expenditures (budget) results in a large number of additional employment and contractors jobs. Total employees available in the USA is currently about 153M with about 139M currently employed (accounting for the 9% unemployment figure), according to the BLS. It would be a great addition to show how number of Federal employees and additional employees/contractors has grown over the past 30 years as a function of the growth in the Federal Budget. And also how this figure has changed (% wise) compared to the total workforce.

PS great job on the USA Federal Budget article Signed: zhank98 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zhank98 (talkcontribs) 21:33, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

great article[edit]

you guys do fantastic job making this issue clear and comprehensible- as always from wp. You're doing a much better job than most of the msm as i'm sure you realize. (talk) 18:54, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Are we running a risk here? Are we showing political petticoats?[edit]

None of the graphics for this article have been updated since 2009. THE ISSUE with regard to the U.S. federal budget these days is the deficit, which has swollen to over $1.5 trillion, and our graphs don't show that. Why?

Is there a TWO-YEAR lag time for producing graphical representations of budget trends? Is there a federally-mandated waiting period for loaded graphs? Are we trying to let on as if NO ONE on this board has taken even the merest look at spending trends for TWO YEARS??!!

We are looking like assholes here, kids. I'm sorry if the hockey-stick graph that is GOING to result from extending things to 2011 displeases a lot of us. But it is what it is, people.

This is exactly the sort of crap that keeps us on the periphery when it comes to widespread mainstream acceptance of Wikipedia as a legitimate source of information.

Tbone0106 (talk) 17:10, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Many of the graphs are updated through 2010, the last historical year of data available. The deficit was roughly the same size then. The Bank of Montreal just did a presentation at a major industry conference that included the first two pie graphs taken directly from here, which goes to credibility. We are not yet done with FY 2011, which ends September 30; there will be lags of several months beyond that until that final data is available. Several of the older graphs are there to illustrate a point and may or may not benefit from update. Please feel free to pitch in but uninformed insults aren't much help.Farcaster (talk) 17:44, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Split articles[edit]

This article was about three times as long as the guideline in WP:ARTICLESIZE, so I split out two new articles from this one: Political debates about the United States federal budget and Deficit reduction in the United States. Feel free to change the titles of either of these articles if you can think of anything better. There are still broken references in the three articles which need to be restored. Antony–22 (talkcontribs) 08:04, 8 December 2011 (UTC)


Extended content

Here is the premise of the solution proposed: 1. Given the right incentive the upper 1-2% of the Population can invest in a Deficit pay back fund and ZERO(0) out the deficit

  The USA would owe no money period.

2. That incentive must be great. Here is the incentive for each share owned by a person and a person only

  full Income Tax and Capital Gains tax exemption status would be given 3 years after the purchase of one or more shares in the fund +
  an equal share in all surplus tax revenue received by the US Federal government.

3. The 3 years is a suggested sync up time allowing a combination of GDP growth/ Federal Budget Shrinking over the that period and or

  additional VAT tax to be applied on non-essential(medications, medical costs, Food, Shelter and clothing)  goods and services
  The VAT tax is just on the table here in the proposed plan.

Here Is the 15.3 Trillion Deficit Solution I Propose (assuming it has not grown since the last figure I recorded here): The US Government floats a special 15.3 Trillion dollar bond-fund and pays off the total debt outstanding. Every share sold starts at 15.3 million USD. There would exist 1,000,000 (1 Million shares). 15.3 * 10^6 * (1 * 10^6) = 15.3 * 10^12 dollars which according to my math pays off the total long term debt.

For Investor Incentive: For each single share an investor owned the would be investor gains in future years of (income tax and capital gains) exemption + (surplus Tax Revenue/1 million shares) as long as the fund is not called/discontinued due to repayment based on (exempted lost tax revenue) + surplus tax revenue distribution ( That is all tax revenue not spent by the USA Federal Government divided by 1 million shares) would be the pay-off per share.

All it takes is 1,000,000 shares at 15.3 Million a share to pay off the deficit in one shot. I am suggesting that an individual must own one or more shares to be granted tax free status (Note they would still pay property and sales tax as well as estate tax and all other taxes) and buying and selling of these shares is permissible as well. Note the tax free exemption follows in future years only so the year the share is purchased there is no tax exemption permitted. The number of future years could be programmable as the fund is initially created. E.G Maybe 3 years maybe 1 year. The reason for this would be to allow sufficient time to stabilize and reduce the government budget spending and raise the GDP and tax revenue which should take time to calibrate. Now this deficit fund idea can be created at a smaller city and state level as well and scaled as well for that purpose.

The government part in this would guarantee 200 billion in tax revenue surplus as this figure currently used now to pay off principal and interest on the US deficit because that was what is being paid now approximately.

I see climbing GDP as a result of such a fund unseen in the history of the USA. The fund will immediately pay off the US Deficit and the shares would be trade-able as well. The fund like any bond would be callable with a guaranteed pay off of 20% return on investment - The figure could be adjusted. Here are the expected benefits to all US citizens: (1) No Federal Deficit at all to complain about! (2) A better way to manage future federal budget expenses and inflation (3) Almost guaranteed economic growth since credit will be wide open. Negatives:

    Only one tax exemptions used to pay back the investors
    Guaranteed that there will be no tax surplus after the fund holder receive it for the time it takes to pay them back
    Potentially lower tax revenue from  299 million people will be paying the taxes for 300 million with no federal deficit
    The Current investors in USA Federal debt will lose their growing 200+ billion in yearly income

As part of this idea there would be a created voting website with phone/web access to a referendum identified potential wasteful spending of government budget money by the a group of auditors managed by the fund holders or their proxy and concerned citizens who can identify certain perceived wasteful government expenses with access for each quarter government expenses. with vote options like: Keep | Defer to next year |Eliminate completely and the identified expenses would be selected based on importance and relevance to the citizenship. Any item eliminated could then be put into a pool of unsupported government expenses allowing private ownership if feasible of those expenses e.g a bridge in Alaska that a certain governor decided not to build. Allow a private owner of said bridge instead free to charge their own tolls.

Obviously you can not have strategic defense expenses on the chopping block e.g upkeep of Nuclear missile silos in Montana for example. but you can pin point subsidies to oil industry, banking industry and others questionable spending practices. Perhaps you could say no to Oil production subsidies or defer such spending measures etc.. Either way good budget money is shrank and it is possible to finally get a handle on all government expenses.

Please comment on this idea. No one has commented. This all makes a great deal of sense does it not?

How about some real feedback here. There must be someone who would take this idea and make it really work. I know what will work and what won't This will work. Instead of taxing the rich which never works. This makes the rich richer along with everyone else and controls or puts a throttle on government spending in a meaningful way. Finally link spending to real GDP(Gross Domestic Product).

SEND ME FEED BACK - ATTACK IT - SHOW ME IT FAILS - I DO NOT SEE WHERE IT FAILS - This should solve the whole world's economic problems if applied Rss245x (talk) 01:11, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

WP:NOTSOAPBOX -- John of Reading (talk) 08:08, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Revenue as % of GDP[edit]

Is this a good indicator?

A company in a bad year can go out of business so that it and its employees are no longer paying taxes. But the company's product can still be in the pipeline sold on store shelves adding to GDP. In fact, the company doesn't even have to go out of business. They might gut their profits and tighten their belt with layoff for a meager 10% drop in retail prices. In which case the impact to tax revenue outstrips the short term impact to GDP. In economic hard times, the loss of revenue is almost immediate while the loss in GDP lags behind. These two indicators manifest on different timescales.

Yes. The article seems structured around GDP. I don't mind one subsection that describes debt and expenditures as a function of GDP, but structuring the article around it almost entirely seems WP:UNDUE. As if when I went to the bank, I described my request for a loan as a percentage of my annual income. This is useful for both the bank and myself. But the bottom line should come down to real money, in dollars, at some point in time. And my "future" expectations of income may be a pipe dream. The bank tries to take that into consideration when it determines the amount I receive and the interest I pay. The federal government doesn't seem to have to worry about such things, since it prints it's own money and buys its own bonds!
GDP discussion should be confined to one major subsection IMO. The rest should confine itself to money either in today's dollars or the dollars of the time.
And a history subsection is needed as well to discuss past budgets instead of having them slop over into the other subsections. All articles are supposed to describe the current situation. Except for the past few years, the rest should under "History." Student7 (talk) 14:03, 3 November 2014 (UTC)
Actually revenue, expense and deficits relative to GDP are more important than the $ figure, as GDP is continually rising along with the population. The historical patterns relative to GDP make each year's numbers comparable and meaningful. That is why CBO presents the numbers and % GDP in its historical tables with equal prominence. Debt relative to GDP is also more meaningful than the actual number.Farcaster (talk) 15:07, 3 November 2014 (UTC)

where is the update? 2009-->2012[edit]

Many informations of this article are very old (2009). Where is the update?. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:56, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Recent Republican proposals[edit]

{{request edit}} In this article's section on specific budget proposals there's no mention of the recent Republican budget proposals (and their defeat in the Senate). I've put together a draft giving an overview of the five proposals and the reasoning behind them being brought together to a vote in the Senate. I've mentioned Senator Mike Lee's budget being influenced by a plan put forward by The Heritage Foundation, where I work and one of the sources I've used here was written by a colleague there, so I'd prefer if other editors could look over my proposed material. If it seems reasonable, please can you add it to the end of "Specific proposals"? Thanks, Kalkaska sand (talk) 21:19, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Proposed material:

In May 2012, House Republicans put forward five separate budget proposals for a vote in the Senate. Republicans, having criticized Democrats for not passing a budget since 2009, aimed to use the proposals to bring attention to Democrats' failure to address the budget deficit.[1] The Republican proposals included the House-approved proposal by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan and one that was very close in content to the budget proposal submitted earlier in 2012 by President Barack Obama.[2] The other three proposals each called for greatly reduced government spending. The budget put forward by Senator Mike Lee’s would halve the government over the next 25 years, mirroring reforms proposed in the Heritage Foundation's "Saving the American Dream" program. Senator Rand Paul's budget included proposed cuts to Medicare, Social Security benefits and the closure of four Cabinet departments. The budget plan from Senator Patrick Toomey aimed to balance the budget within eight years. All five of the proposed plans were rejected in the Senate.[3][4]


  1. ^ Andrew Taylor (May 16, 2012). "Senate Democrats reject House GOP budget plan". Businessweek. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ Ted Barrett (May 16, 2012). "Senate's all-day budget debate dominated by politics". CNN. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ Brian Faler (May 16, 2012). "Senate Rejects Five Budget Plans Amid Republican Complaints". Bloomberg. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ Ed Feulner (May 14, 2012). "Senate's Lee offers proposal that would save the American Dream". The Washington Times. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 

Broken link[edit]

The link to historical budget data from CBO in footnote 93 of this version: is broken. (I don't know the correct link; feel free to delete this when fixing the link of course.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:10, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Employment growth by top tax rate image[edit]

I've started a centralised discussion here regarding File:Employment growth by top tax rate.jpg, which is used in this article. Gabbe (talk) 09:59, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

President's proposal, NPP comparison table[edit]

The primary source document for the president's proposal is at [2]. I like the very high level summary at [3]. However, the table at [4] may be the most useful for Wikipedia articles. EllenCT (talk) 21:10, 10 April 2013 (UTC)


Having tested the waters (above), I believe that trying to insert a "History" subsection to an article that almost screams for it, will prove unproductive. Like an article on Presidents Reagan or Roosevelt starting when they assumed the Presidency and conveniently "forgetting" everything else! What is past is not prologue here, it is simply lost through a case of rather deliberate amnesia.

In 1965, federal spending increased each year for 44 years (regardless of revenue). Congress cut spending from 2011 through 2013, from $3.60 trillion to $3.54 trillion. (While I have a citation, it does not cover 2009-2011). Actually there are probably hundreds of citations. But WP:RS won't help if editors won't allow history. Student7 (talk) 21:12, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

You can certainly add a history section. Just understand that with the population increasing and inflation, the comparison to GDP is the most relevant analysis. In terms of spending, government is about average size relative to GDP. It may surprise you that spending under Reagan averaged around 22% GDP, about where Obama will probably end up...despite the aging country making this relatively harder to maintain. Adjusting for aging of the country, which has added about 2.5% GDP to spending, Reagan spent about 25% GDP in today's terms. There are actually fewer Federal employees under Obama vs when he took office. Government spending has been a drag on GDP since the crisis; it was a net boost in prior crises. The conservative narrative since the crisis unfortunately has been false, as Krugman keeps pointing out again and again. For an even-handed look at budget topics, try "Where does the money go?" by Bittle & Johnson, revised edition.Farcaster (talk) 22:14, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

Bad Organization[edit]

My remarks here are general, not specific to this page.

Like many, I come to Wikipedia looking for quick summary information. All too often what was once easy to find here becomes difficult. Doubtless someone had a reorganization plan which seemed intelligent in isolation, but confounded the purpose of many ordinary users.

Today I come to Wikipedia looking for a simple table showing U.S. deficits by year. That's all -- simple enough, right? I'm not an ignoramus; I've pored over detialed U.S. budgets; I've read lots of articles; etc. Today I just want a simple deficit chart. AND AFTER A FEW MINUTES I CAN'T FIND IT here. Click Click Click -- all I get is LOTS and LOTS of text, long articles, no table.

Oh, I'm sure the table's here somewhere, but after click-click-click-clicking and not finding it, I'll decide to look elsewhere. Unfortunately this may lead to less reliable numbers, BUT USING WIKIPEDIA has BECOME TOO TEDIOUS when areas have been "reorganized intelligently" -- LOL.

I'm not logged in, but I am Wikipedia user jamesdowallen. I once tried to make contributions to Wikipedia but became frustrated -- work would go down the drain if another user imposed his view. I hope Wiki editors will read this, ignore my momentary irritation, and try to grasp my underlying message. (PS. On preview I see I've Talked here before! "Conservative poppycock")

Thank you. Jamesdowallen — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:43, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes, we could use a table with some of the key statistics. CBO just published their budget & economic outlook. You can find such tables easily in the budget chapter or hit the historical information link to download spreadsheets with all the data. Here:CBO - Budget & Economic Outlook-2015Farcaster (talk) 21:52, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Is FICA tax really progressive?[edit]

The Social Security tax is regressive, not flat, the rate goes to zero above the cap.

The Medicare tax is progressive, however, the added percentage at incomes over 200000 is far less than the percentage decrease in Social Security tax above the cap.

Thus in total, the FICA taxes are not progressive, the Social Security tax is not flat, and they should not be described as such.

Correction made, thanks. Farcaster (talk) 13:53, 9 April 2015 (UTC)

Article Evaluation[edit]

It may be helpful to readers if the fiscal year dates are completely written out besides only writing it starts October 1st. It could be noted that the fiscal year is October 1-September 31. Perhaps explaining a little more about the fiscal year such as it is named for which the year it ends not the year it is proposed in (a common misconception). Maybe a little of a history overview of how the United States budget got to how it is (development and spending). Including acts such as the Congressional Budget and Impoundment and Control Act of 1974 because of it's significance in creating the Congressional Budget Office and the Accounting act of 1950 which made it to where spending had to be divided into function and super-function spending. Mentioning that the only constitutional requirement when it comes to the debt is mentioning that interest on the federal debt is the only constitutional required budget provision that must be met.

Johnnyq79 (talk) 16:09, 18 September 2015 (UTC) John Quiser

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to 7 external links on United States federal budget. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 15:47, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

HOW MUCH is it???[edit]

WHY doesn't the article state, in simple numbers, HOW MUCH the Federal budget is??? How many dollars and how many cents??? Very bad, frustrating omission. HandsomeMrToad (talk) 02:42, 16 January 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on United States federal budget. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

You may set the |checked=, on this template, to true or failed to let other editors know you reviewed the change. If you find any errors, please use the tools below to fix them or call an editor by setting |needhelp= to your help request.

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

If you are unable to use these tools, you may set |needhelp=<your help request> on this template to request help from an experienced user. Please include details about your problem, to help other editors.

Cheers.—cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 13:25, 15 February 2016 (UTC)