The True Wealth Deficit

(11AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

“This is an impressive crowd: the Have’s and Have-more’s. Some people call you the elites. I call you my base.”

George W. Bush

“It is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but the love of money for its own sake.”

Margaret Thatcher

“Being rich is having money; being wealthy is having time.”

Margaret Bonnano

lest we forget …

‘True Wealth’, it’s the stuff that fuels, a million dreams … the tide that lifts a million boats …

“The percentage you’re paying is too high priced. While you’re living beyond all your means. And the man in the suit has just bought a new car, From the profit he’s made on your dreams.”

Steve Winwood

Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton – Can’t Find My Way Home…

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”

Henry David Thoreau

“Wealth is a tool of freedom, but the pursuit of wealth is the way to slavery.”

Frank Herbert

“Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining profit without individual responsibility.”

Ambrose Bierce

How quickly we forget the True Costs of Corporate Excess, when those “fictitious persons” are given free reign, to set the rules of the game …

Elizabeth Warren pursues Oversight, through TARP Maze

Those TARP Numbers in that Pie Chart are in BILLIONS, by the way.

THAT was some FREE Lunch!   (Maybe they DO Exist?)

Imagine IF all those Billions, were “invested wisely” instead of, squandered away — Imagine where the Country would be, if we only learned how to Invest in OURSELVES, in OUR Futures — instead of the perpetual mop-ups of too many Corporate Failures.

Billionaire Greed, knows few restraints … (It’s rarefied air.)

By the way, I’m glad that President Obama today, somewhere(?) found $2 Billion dollars, to invest in Clean Energy Solar Jobs, for folks in AZ and CO — it’s a great start!  With a meaningful amount of DOLLARS, too!  WTG Democrats!

But given the the Untold Billions the US Govt throws around at other problems, to fuel the ‘status quo’ Goals of Corporate conquest and Quarterly greed, you’d think there’d be a few more Billion sloshing around in that perpetual ‘Money Pot’, to actually HELP the People — who ultimately must Pay the Bill.  (those Bills, which just keep rolling in, from somewhere …)

Despite the Corporate rumors to the contrary — Those ‘Easy Billions’ Giveaways DO NOT grow on Greenback Trees.  It comes from OUR sweat equity.

Our U.S. Dollars are ultimately backed by — OUR hard work and diligence — and little else, except for maybe the Fed’s Accounting Ledger (aka “Greenspan Trees”).

2010 United States federal budget


Total receipts

Estimated receipts for fiscal year 2010 are $2.381 trillion, an estimated decrease of 11% from 2009.

-> $1.061 trillion – Individual income taxes

->  $940 billion – Social Security and other payroll tax

->  $222 billion – Corporation income taxes

->   $77 billion – Excise taxes

->   $23 billion – Customs duties

->   $20 billion – Estate and gift taxes

->   $22 billion – Deposits of earnings

->   $16 billion – Other

Total spending

The President’s budget for 2010 totals $3.55 trillion. Percentages in parentheses indicate percentage change compared to 2009. This budget request is broken down by the following expenditures:

-> Mandatory spending: $2.184 trillion (+15.6%)

 — $695 billion ( +4.9%) – Social Security

 — $453 billion ( +6.6%) – Medicare

 — $290 billion (+12.0%) – Medicaid

 —   $0 billion (- 100%)  – Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)

 —   $0 billion (- 100%)  – Financial stabilization efforts

 —  $11 billion (+275%)  – Potential disaster costs

 — $571 billion (- 15.2%) – Other mandatory programs

 — $164 billion (+18.0%) – Interest on National Debt

-> Discretionary spending: $1.368 trillion (+13.1%)

 — $663.7 billion (+12.7%) – Dept of Defense (incl. Overseas Contingency Operations)

 —  $78.7 billion (- 1.7%) – Dept of Health and Human Services

 —  $72.5 billion ( +2.8%) – Dept of Transportation

 —  $52.5 billion (+10.3%) – Dept of Veterans Affairs

 —  $51.7 billion (+40.9%) – Dept of State and Other Intnatl. Programs

 —  $47.5 billion (+18.5%) – Dept of Housing and Urban Dev.

 —  $46.7 billion (+12.8%) – Dept of Education

 —  $42.7 billion ( +1.2%) – Dept of Homeland Security

 —  $26.3 billion (- 0.4%) – Dept of Energy

 —  $26.0 billion ( +8.8%) – Dept of Agriculture

 —  $23.9 billion (- 6.3%) – Dept of Justice

 —  $18.7 billion ( +5.1%) – National Aeronautics and Space Admin.

 —  $13.8 billion (+48.4%) – Dept of Commerce

 —  $13.3 billion ( +4.7%) – Dept of Labor

 —  $13.3 billion ( +4.7%) – Dept of the Treasury

 —  $12.0 billion ( +6.2%) – Dept of the Interior

 —  $10.5 billion (+34.6%) – Environmental Protection Agency

 —   $9.7 billion (+10.2%) – Social Security Administration

 —   $7.0 billion ( +1.4%) – National Science Foundation

 —   $5.1 billion (- 3.8%) – Corps of Engineers

 —   $5.0 billion (+100%)  – National Infrastructure Bank

 —   $1.1 billion (+22.2%) – Corp. for National and Community Service

 —   $0.7 billion (  0.0%) – Small Business Administration

 —   $0.6 billion (- 14.3%) – General Services Administration

 —  $19.8 billion ( +3.7%) – Other Agencies

 — $105   billion – Other

larger image

A pie chart representing spending by category for the US budget for 2010


The total deficit for fiscal year 2009 was $1.42 trillion, a $960 billion increase from the 2008 deficit.

The changes: account for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (“overseas military contingencies”) in the budget rather than through the use of “emergency” supplemental spending bills

For contrast, and a significant Note about GOP Budget Tactics — maybe worth repeating:

These very costly wars were “off budget” in previous years … sort of like the GOP Govt of the last decade was living off of Daddy’s Credit Card, while making the ‘Have-mores’ Frat Party circuit, having a good ole time …

2009 United States federal budget


The financial cost of the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan are not part of the defense budget; they are appropriations.


With projected receipts significantly less than projected outlays, the budget proposed by President Bush predicts a net deficit of approximately $1.4 trillion dollars, adding to a United States governmental debt of about $11.4 trillion.

A Deficit of ‘True Accounting’ is one thing — that Historians will no doubt debate the Merits of, for decades.

But a Deficit of ‘True Wealth’ is a whole other matter …

For where your wealth is stored, there also will your heart be.


Why do we as a Nation Invest SO Much in the concept of War?  (Wars with No clear line of Success either.)

Hmmmm?  It seems we should strive for more agreement — between our  Heart, Mind — and Wallets?  

Maybe …

War Resisters League

Total Outlays (Federal Funds): $2,650 billion

MILITARY:     54% and $1,449 billion

NON-MILITARY: 46% and $1,210 billion


The figures are federal funds, which do not include trust funds – such as Social Security – that are raised and spent separately from income taxes.


The government practice of combining trust and federal funds began during the Vietnam War, thus making the human needs portion of the budget seem larger and the military portion smaller […]

The government view of the budget […]

[ Defense Spending is about 20% of Federal Spending, per CBO 2008]

is a distortion of how our income tax dollars are spent because it includes Trust Funds (e.g., Social Security), and the expenses of past military spending are not distinguished from nonmilitary spending.


Why Do the Percentages Vary from Group to Group?

The U.S. Government says that military spending amounts to 20% of the budget, the Center for Defense Information (CDI) reports 51%, the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) reports 43%, and the War Resisters League claims 54%. Why the variation?

Different groups have different purposes in how they present the budget figures.


Past Military Spending. If the government does not have enough money to finance a war (or spending for its hefty military budgets), they borrow through loans, savings bonds, and so forth. This borrowing (done heavily during World War II and the Vietnam War) comes back in later years as “hidden” military spending through interest payments on the national debt.

The League of War Resisters (established 1923) does raise some good questions, don’t you think — despite whether or not you agree with their politics (not everyone is, not should be, a pacifist.)

Why do we mix Trust Funds Income and Obligations, into the same pot, as National Defense Obligations?

People who pay Unemployment Insurance and FICA Taxes [the Trust Fund] ARE “Entitled to” the Benefits those Programs provide —

We may be forced to bear the long-term costs of Endless Wars, which are frequently maintained off-Budget — BUT that DOES NOT imply Military Corporate Interests ARE “Entitled to” — co-op OUR Social Programs, nor our Freedoms, nor our Economic Security.

People have a right to Invest in our “Common Welfare”.  (It’s in the Constitution.)

Corporations to do not have a right, to turn Citizens into paupers.  (That’s guaranteed, Nowhere, that I can find.)

“Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

“True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.”

David Starr Jordan

Castles Made of Sand — Jimi Hendrix…

Someday the Peoples of the World, and more specifically Our Leaders, must learn how to — Wage Peace.

that or we must learn how to exist, with our ‘best ideals’, consigned into trash bin of history.

… those Ideals, were just TOO Costly to implement … you understand — Now Get to work!

[PS.  Commentors, this is a Meta Diary only — Not an Economic Dissertation. Thanks!]


Skip to comment form

    • jamess on July 4, 2010 at 03:16

    in noble intentions.

    This was also post on that site,

    where Meta Diary, are put out to pasture …

    • banger on July 4, 2010 at 15:41

    Massive military spending that at least appears to give no benefit to the U.S. public outside the knowledge that we terrorize the world is continuing virtually without debate. I find that so interesting. No major political figures ever question this massive amount of military spending.

    My analysis is that the military just has the muscle to get what it wants and intimidates the politicians and the media to just not question it and, sadly, the American public, so accustomed now to just doing what they are told marches securely in lock-step on the military. On other trivial issues there is some diversity–not much in that area.

    Political reform, social/political/economic regeneration are not just unlikely but impossible at this time. What we are talking about here and the concerns and questions we have are simply of no interest to the vast majority of the American people. They want to believe more than they want to prosper. Americans, materialistic as they are, are so smitten with American Exceptionalism and Imperialism that they will take food out of their children’s mouth and sell it to provide another few dollars for an often useless weapon to us in policing the Empire. It’s astonishing yet it’s real.

    This is the genius of social engineering–it fucking works!

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