Federal Budget Quotes

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Cutting PBS support (0.012% of budget) to help balance the Federal budget is like deleting text files to make room on your 500Gig hard drive
Neil deGrasse Tyson
The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.
Ronald Reagan
Food safety oversight is largely, but not exclusively, divided between two agencies, the FDA and the USDA. The USDA mostly oversees meat and poultry; the FDA mostly handles everything else, including pet food and animal feed. Although this division of responsibility means that the FDA is responsible for 80% of the food supply, it only gets 20% of the federal budget for this purpose. In contrast, the USDA gets 80% of the budget for 20% of the foods. This uneven distribution is the result of a little history and a lot of politics.
Marion Nestle (Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine)
We spend an inordinate amount of money of the federal budget on the machinery of war, and neglect our kids in the process, and it's not OK
LeVar Burton
In some cases, they are already doing so. Influenced by a coalition of community groups, the New York City Council passed a historic budget in the summer of 2014 that created a $1.2 million fund for the growth of worker-owned cooperatives. Richmond, California has hired a cooperative developer and is launching a loan fund; Cleveland, Ohio has been actively involved in starting a network of cooperatives, as we’ll see in the next chapter; and Jackson, Mississippi elected a mayor (Chokwe Lumumba) in 2013 on a platform that included the use of public spending to promote co-ops. On the federal level, progressive politicians like Bernie Sanders are working to get the government more involved in supporting employee ownership.130
Chris Wright (Worker Cooperatives and Revolution: History and Possibilities in the United States)
Guess what? None of these guys said anything when the Trump administration added $1 trillion to the federal budget deficit by the end of 2019—before a single dime was spent on COVID-19 relief. They were rubber stamps for it in Congress. Many of them who raised huge stinks about TARP were only too happy to let Trump bail out farmers hurt by his trade war with China. These are the same people who were willing to destroy our economy to make their point but went on to suddenly abandon this core principle.
John Boehner (On the House: A Washington Memoir)
We have the money. We’ve just made choices about how to spend it. Over the years, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have restricted housing aid to the poor but expanded it to the affluent in the form of tax benefits for homeowners. 57 Today, housing-related tax expenditures far outpace those for housing assistance. In 2008, the year Arleen was evicted from Thirteenth Street, federal expenditures for direct housing assistance totaled less than $40.2 billion, but homeowner tax benefits exceeded $171 billion. That number, $171 billion, was equivalent to the 2008 budgets for the Department of Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Agriculture combined. 58 Each year, we spend three times what a universal housing voucher program is estimated to cost (in total ) on homeowner benefits, like the mortgage-interest deduction and the capital-gains exclusion. Most federal housing subsidies benefit families with six-figure incomes. 59 If we are going to spend the bulk of our public dollars on the affluent—at least when it comes to housing—we should own up to that decision and stop repeating the politicians’ canard about one of the richest countries on the planet being unable to afford doing more. If poverty persists in America, it is not for lack of resources.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
Of the $16.5 billion the federal government transfers to states for TANF, more than $11 billion is siphoned off for other uses, sometimes to fund a state’s child welfare system. Strained state budgets are thus eased. TANF has become welfare for the states rather than aid for families
Kathryn J. Edin ($2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America)
According to the magazine there are currently 1,810 billionaires. Their combined net worth is $6.5 trillion. The proposed 2017 U.S. federal budget is $4.2 trillion. All the billionaires on earth put together could—if Washington is careful not to have any budget overruns—keep America going for eighteen months.
P.J. O'Rourke (How the Hell Did This Happen?: The Election of 2016)
In 2016, the $148 million allocated to the National Endowment for the Arts accounted for .004% of the federal budget expenditures ($3.9 trillion). Suppose we eliminated it in response to criticism? Trying to balance the budget by eliminating the NEA would be like editing a 90,000-word novel by eliminating 4 words.
Chip Heath (Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers)
We who are Americans witness in this hour the exhaustion of the American revolutionary ethic. Wherever we turn, that is what is to be seen: in the ironic public policy of internal colonialism symbolized by the victimization of the welfare population, in the usurpation of the federal budget—and thus, the sacrifice of the nation’s material and moral necessities—by an autonomous military-scientific-intelligence principality, by the police aggressions against black citizens, by political prosecutions of dissenters, by official schemes to intimidate the media and vitiate the First Amendment, by cynical designs to demean and neutralize the courts.
William Stringfellow (William Stringfellow: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters))
The outlay for defense was 4.6 percent of the GDP in 1950; by 1953 it had risen to 13.8 percent. In 1940 the federal budget devoted 16 percent to defense; in 1959, more than 50 percent. By 1955, the American alliance system circled the globe, and we were pledged to the defense of practically everybody, including a host of despots and autocrats. The
Morris Berman (Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire)
Like my native Mississippi. For every dollar Mississippians pay in federal income tax, the state receives just over $3 back from the federal government. More than 40 percent of Mississippi’s entire budget comes from Washington. Who pays for that? Those evil states like California and New York, where the good citizens pay a dollar in taxes and get less back from the government.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
Practically overnight the budgets of federal law enforcement agencies soared. Between 1980 and 1984, FBI antidrug funding increased from $8 million to $95 million.73 Department of Defense antidrug allocations increased from $33 million in 1981 to $1,042 million in 1991. During that same period, DEA antidrug spending grew from $86 to $1,026 million, and FBI antidrug allocations grew from $38 to $181 million.74 By contrast, funding for agencies responsible for drug treatment, prevention, and education was dramatically reduced. The budget of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, for example, was reduced from $274 million to $57 million from 1981 to 1984, and antidrug funds allocated to the Department of Education were cut from $14 million to $3 million.75
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Think of renovating a house like operating the federal government. You start with a budget and the revenue to finance it. Then the special interests keep adding items to the list; you have to end the war between the interior decorator and the electrician, so you pump in more money to buy peace; and by the time you’re done, you’re $16 trillion in debt and having to borrow money from the Chinese.
Billy Crystal (Still Foolin' 'Em: Where I've Been, Where I'm Going, and Where the Hell Are My Keys)
Polls show that Americans significantly overestimate the percentage of the federal budget allocated to foreign aid. In November 2013, a Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that, on average, Americans believe that 28 percent of the federal budget is spent on foreign assistance, and more than 60 percent of people say that’s too much. But in reality we spend less than 1 percent of the budget on foreign aid.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (Hard Choices)
Under Coolidge, the federal debt fell. Under Coolidge, the top income tax rate came down by half, to 25 percent. Under Coolidge, the federal budget was always in surplus. Under Coolidge, unemployment was 5 percent or even 3 percent. Under Coolidge, Americans wired their homes for electricity and bought their first cars or household appliances on credit. Under Coolidge, the economy grew strongly, even as the federal government shrank. Under Coolidge, the rates of patent applications and patents granted increased dramatically. Under Coolidge, there came no federal antilynching law, but lynchings themselves became less frequent and Ku Klux Klan membership dropped by millions. Under Coolidge, a man from a town without a railroad station, Americans moved from the road into the air. Under Coolidge, religious faith found its modern context: the first great White House Christmas tree was lit, an ingenious use for the new technology, electricity. Under Coolidge, the number of local telephone calls went up by a quarter. In Silent Cal’s time, Americans learned to chatter. Under Coolidge, wages rose and interest rates came down so that the poor might borrow more easily. Under Coolidge, the rich came to pay a greater share of the income tax.
Amity Shlaes (Coolidge)
Given such an array of challenges, one might expect people to welcome federal help. In truth, a very large proportion of the yearly budgets---in the case of Louisiana, 44 percent---do come from federal funds…
Arlie Russell Hochschild (Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right)
Ever since 1945 the federal government has held and indeed increased its importance as the first customer of the American economy. Government spending had been the primary economic stimulant and to increase it had been the goal of hundreds of interest groups; hopes of balanced budgets and cheap, business-like administration always ran aground upon this fact. What was more, the United States was a democracy; whatever the doctrinaire objections to it, and however much rhetoric might be devoted to attacking it, a welfare state slowly advanced because voters wanted it that way. These facts gradually made the old ideal of totally free enterprise, unchecked and uninvaded by the influence of government, unreal.
J.M. Roberts (The New Penguin History of The World)
I see the impossible work being done by of my friends at the federal agencies, the Pentagon, NATO, Five Eyes and the intelligence community. They are doing the impossible, for the ungrateful and with a fraction of the budgets required to render a viable defense.
James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology
And every year the Pentagon bite of the federal dollar got bigger and bigger. In Reagan’s eight years in office, military expenditure doubled from around $150 billion to $300 billion a year, until it represented nearly 30 percent of our overall annual budget and more than 6 percent of GDP.
Rachel Maddow (Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power)
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said, “Our true choice is not between tax reduction on the one hand and avoidance of large federal deficits on the other; it is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, as long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance the budget—just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits. In short, the paradoxical truth is that the tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now.
Ronald Reagan (An American Life: The Autobiography)
But the real reasons why scientists promote accommodationism are more self-serving. To a large extent, American scientists depend for their support on the American public, which is largely religious, and on the U.S. Congress, which is equally religious. (It’s a given that it’s nearly impossible for an open atheist to be elected to Congress, and at election time candidates vie with one another to parade their religious belief.) Most researchers are supported by federal grants from agencies like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, whose budgets are set annually by Congress. To a working scientist, such grants are a lifeline, for research is expensive, and if you don’t do it you could lose tenure, promotions, or raises. Any claim that science is somehow in conflict with religion might lead to cuts in the science budget, or so scientists believe, thus endangering their professional welfare.
Jerry A. Coyne (Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible)
In those early years, the federal government viewed AIDS as a budget problem, local public health officials saw it as a political problem, gay leaders considered AIDS a public relations problem, and the news media regarded it as a homosexual problem that wouldn’t interest anybody else. Consequently, few confronted AIDS for what it was, a profoundly threatening medical crisis.
Randy Shilts
It is a refinement of Jeremy Bentham’s formulation of utilitarianism, the idea that all humans tend to gravitate toward what make them happy, and to stay away from what hurts them. On that account, trekonomics could be seen as the highest form of utilitarianism. The Federation is organized in such a way that every one of its citizens gets a chance to maximize his or her own utility. Since almost nothing is scarce, the necessity to make choices on budgeting and spending is removed from everyday life. The only thing that one really needs to decide upon is how to balance the goal of bettering oneself vis-à-vis the injunction to better humanity. In other words, the biggest challenge for every Federation citizen resides in how to allocate his or her talents, time, and capacity for empathy, and how to best contribute to the common wealth.
Manu Saadia (Trekonomics: The Economics of Star Trek)
In October 1982, President Reagan officially announced his administration’s War on Drugs. At the time he declared this new war, less than 2 percent of the American public viewed drugs as the most important issue facing the nation.72 This fact was no deterrent to Reagan, for the drug war from the outset had little to do with public concern about drugs and much to do with public concern about race. By waging a war on drug users and dealers, Reagan made good on his promise to crack down on the racially defined “others”—the undeserving. Practically overnight the budgets of federal law enforcement agencies soared. Between 1980 and 1984, FBI antidrug funding increased from $8 million to $95 million.73 Department of Defense antidrug allocations increased from $33 million in 1981 to $1,042 million in 1991. During that same period, DEA antidrug spending grew from $86 to $1,026 million, and FBI antidrug allocations grew from $38 to $181 million.74 By contrast, funding for agencies responsible for drug treatment, prevention, and education was dramatically reduced. The budget of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, for example, was reduced from $274 million to $57 million from 1981 to 1984, and antidrug funds allocated to the Department of Education were cut from $14 million to $3 million.75
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
Noting these developments, George Marshall, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and now secretary of state, had undertaken a fact-finding tour of Europe—and he didn’t like the facts he’d found. He told President Truman that if something wasn’t done to put the prostrated nations of Europe back on their feet, international trade would be crippled and some, if not most, of these countries would fall to Communist proselytizing and intrigue. What became known as the Marshall Plan was a multibillion-dollar American self-help handout in which war-torn nations could apply for direct aid from the United States after submitting a recovery plan. (The package was worth more than a trillion in today’s dollars and up to 15 percent of the U.S. federal budget.) Stalin stupidly forbade the Soviet Union or any of the countries it occupied in central and eastern Europe
Winston Groom (The Allies: Roosevelt, Churchill, Stalin, and the Unlikely Alliance That Won World War II)
Thiel’s loathing for government spending did not apply when the government spent money on him. His next big startup, Palantir—a name borrowed from Tolkien—depended for survival upon the least transparent, least accountable, and most profligate extension of the federal government, the CIA. The agency invested in Thiel through its Silicon Valley VC front, In-Q-Tel. With Palantir, this self-described “civil libertarian” became an important player in the growth of a secretive, invasive, and patently unconstitutional global surveillance apparatus. Asked in a 2014 online chat if Palantir was “a front for the CIA,” Thiel replied, “No, the CIA is a front for Palantir.” With 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence budget going to the private sector, this dismissive wisecrack was not so much an outright denial as it was a sly wink at the extent of corporate dominance over even the most powerful federal agencies.
Corey Pein (Live Work Work Work Die: A Journey into the Savage Heart of Silicon Valley)
The nuclear thing is harder to figure. The United States, according to a 1998 study by the Brookings Institution, spent nearly eight trillion in today’s dollars on nukes in the last half of the twentieth century, which represents something like a third of our total military spending in the Cold War. Just the nuke budget was more than that half-century’s federal spending on Medicare, education, social services, disaster relief, scientific research (of the non-nuclear stripe), environmental protection, food safety inspectors, highway maintenance, cops, prosecutors, judges, and prisons … combined.
Rachel Maddow (Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power)
The latest Congressional Budget Office figures show that the top 1 percent of income earners in the United States paid 39 percent of federal income taxes while earning 18 percent of pretax income and the top 5 percent of income earners paid 61 percent of federal income taxes while earning 31 percent of pretax income. Indeed, the top 40 percent of income earners paid 99.4 percent of federal income taxes. The bottom 40 percent of income earners paid no federal income tax and received 3.8 percent from the tax system. And the middle 20 percent of income earners pay only 4.4 percent of federal income taxes.3
Mark R. Levin (Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto)
In the elaborate con that is American electoral politics, the Republican voter has long been the easiest mark in the game, the biggest dope in the room. Everyone inside the Beltway knows this. The Republican voters themselves are the only ones who never saw it. Elections are about a lot of things, but at the highest level, they’re about money. The people who sponsor election campaigns, who pay the hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the candidates’ charter jets and TV ads and 25-piece marching bands, those people have concrete needs. They want tax breaks, federal contracts, regulatory relief, cheap financing, free security for shipping lanes, antitrust waivers and dozens of other things. They mostly don’t care about abortion or gay marriage or school vouchers or any of the social issues the rest of us spend our time arguing about. It’s about money for them, and as far as that goes, the CEO class has had a brilliantly winning electoral strategy for a generation. They donate heavily to both parties, essentially hiring two different sets of politicians to market their needs to the population. The Republicans give them everything that they want, while the Democrats only give them mostly everything. They get everything from the Republicans because you don’t have to make a single concession to a Republican voter. All you have to do to secure a Republican vote is show lots of pictures of gay people kissing or black kids with their pants pulled down or Mexican babies at an emergency room. Then you push forward some dingbat like Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin to reassure everyone that the Republican Party knows who the real Americans are. Call it the “Rove 1-2.” That’s literally all it’s taken to secure decades of Republican votes, a few patriotic words and a little over-the-pants rubbing. Policywise, a typical Republican voter never even asks a politician to go to second base. While we always got free trade agreements and wars and bailouts and mass deregulation of industry and lots of other stuff the donors definitely wanted, we didn’t get Roe v. Wade overturned or prayer in schools or balanced budgets or censorship of movies and video games or any of a dozen other things Republican voters said they wanted.
Matt Taibbi (Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus)
There is inherent drama to a major Supreme Court case in which the powerful institutional actors include the Court itself. Some will emerge as winners and some as losers. But it is important to recognize that outside the courtroom, in less dramatic ways, the Court continually interacts with the other branches. The Court submits its annual budget request to Congress, and the justices take turns going before the relevant congressional subcommittees to testify about the Court’s fiscal needs. Congress determines the salaries of the justices and all federal judges. When John Roberts became chief justice, he made it a priority to persuade the president and Congress of the need for a long-deferred pay raise for federal judges, a plea that fell on deaf ears.
Linda Greenhouse (The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
Trump wanted to know what the new individual income tax rates would be. “I like these big round numbers,” he said. “Ten percent, 20 percent, 25 percent.” Good, solid numbers that would be easy to sell. Mnuchin, Cohn and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said there needed to be analysis, study and discussion on the impact on revenue, the deficit and the relation to expected federal spending. “I want to know what the numbers are going to be,” Trump said, throwing out numbers again. “I think they ought to be 10, 20 and 25.” He dismissed any effort to crunch the numbers. A small change in rates could have a surprising impact on taxes collected by the U.S. Treasury. “I don’t care about any of that,” Trump said. Solid, round numbers were key. “That’s what people can understand,” he said. “That’s how I’m going to sell it.
Bob Woodward (Fear: Trump in the White House)
The gross domestic product of the United States in 2001 was about $10.6 trillion. The budget of the federal government was about $1.8 trillion. In fiscal 2001, the government enjoyed a $128 billion operating surplus. Yet counterterrorism teams at the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. working on Al Qaeda and allied groups received an infinitesimal fraction of the country’s defense and intelligence budget of roughly $300 billion, the great majority of which went to the Pentagon, to support conventional and missile forces. Bush’s national security deputies did not hold a meeting dedicated to plans to thwart Al Qaeda until September 4, 2001, almost nine months after President Bush took the oath of office. The September 11 conspiracy succeeded in part because the democratically elected government of the United States, including the Congress, did not regard Al Qaeda as a priority.
Steve Coll (Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016)
He didn’t speak exclusively on the stimulus bill at all these engagements, but the topic of that bill, and of government spending generally, was never far away at any of them. Why was he so deeply opposed to it? The idea behind the stimulus was to pump large amounts of cash into the economy in order to ignite consumer spending and, in turn, growth. The governor thought that idea was foolish for many reasons, but the two that led him to oppose the policy with all his energy were these: the cash was borrowed, and most of it would pass from the federal government to state governments. He understood the culture and habits of government well enough to know that that federal money wouldn’t be used to spur economic growth but to balance state budgets. Maybe it was a good idea to help states shore up their budgets and maybe it wasn’t, but that wasn’t the justification given for the stimulus, and in any case it would have no effect on economic growth. And he understood that, when the stimulus failed to achieve its purpose, people would remember that it was he who had inveighed against it with greater fervor than anybody else.
Barton Swaim (The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics)
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why if all politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes? You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don’t have Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don’t write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don’t set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don’t control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does. One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices — 545 human beings out of 235 million — are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I excused the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered by private central bank. I exclude all of the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislators’ responsibility to determine how he votes. Don’t you see the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party. What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O’Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes. Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses — provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.
Charley Reese
In her book The Government-Citizen Disconnect, the political scientist Suzanne Mettler reports that 96 percent of American adults have relied on a major government program at some point in their lives. Rich, middle-class, and poor families depend on different kinds of programs, but the average rich and middle-class family draws on the same number of government benefits as the average poor family. Student loans look like they were issued from a bank, but the only reason banks hand out money to eighteen-year-olds with no jobs, no credit, and no collateral is because the federal government guarantees the loans and pays half their interest. Financial advisers at Edward Jones or Prudential can help you sign up for 529 college savings plans, but those plans' generous tax benefits will cost the federal government an estimated $28.5 billion between 2017 and 2026. For most Americans under the age of sixty-five, health insurance appears to come from their jobs, but supporting this arrangement is one of the single largest tax breaks issued by the federal government, one that exempts the cost of employer-sponsored health insurance from taxable incomes. In 2022, this benefit is estimated to have cost the government $316 billion for those under sixty-five. By 2032, its price tag is projected to exceed $6oo billion. Almost half of all Americans receive government-subsidized health benefits through their employers, and over a third are enrolled in government-subsidized retirement benefits. These participation rates, driven primarily by rich and middle-class Americans, far exceed those of even the largest programs directed at low income families, such as food stamps (14 percent of Americans) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (19 percent). Altogether, the United States spent $1.8 trillion on tax breaks in 2021. That amount exceeded total spending on law enforcement, education, housing, healthcare, diplomacy, and everything else that makes up our discretionary budget. Roughly half the benefits of the thirteen largest individual tax breaks accrue to the richest families, those with incomes that put them in the top 20 percent. The top I percent of income earners take home more than all middle-class families and double that of families in the bottom 20 percent. I can't tell you how many times someone has informed me that we should reduce military spending and redirect the savings to the poor. When this suggestion is made in a public venue, it always garners applause. I've met far fewer people who have suggested we boost aid to the poor by reducing tax breaks that mostly benefit the upper class, even though we spend over twice as much on them as on the military and national defense.
Matthew Desmond (Poverty, by America)
These senators and representatives call themselves “leaders.” One of the primary principles of leadership is that a leader never asks or orders any follower to do what he or she would not do themselves. Such action requires the demonstration of the acknowledged traits of a leader among which are integrity, honesty, and courage, both physical and moral courage. They don’t have those traits nor are they willing to do what they ask and order. Just this proves we elect people who shouldn’t be leading the nation. When the great calamity and pain comes, it will have been earned and deserved. The piper always has to be paid at the end of the party. The party is about over. The bill is not far from coming due. Everybody always wants the guilty identified. The culprits are we the people, primarily the baby boom generation, which allowed their vote to be bought with entitlements at the expense of their children, who are now stuck with the national debt bill that grows by the second and cannot be paid off. These follow-on citizens—I call them the screwed generation—are doomed to lifelong grief and crushing debt unless they take the only other course available to them, which is to repudiate that debt by simply printing up $20 trillion, calling in all federal bills, bonds, and notes for payoff, and then changing from the green dollar to say a red dollar, making the exchange rate 100 or 1000 green dollars for 1 red dollar or even more to get to zero debt. Certainly this will create a great international crisis. But that crisis is coming anyhow. In fact it is here already. The U.S. has no choice but to eventually default on that debt. This at least will be a controlled default rather than an uncontrolled collapse. At present it is out of control. Congress hasn’t come up with a budget in 3 years. That’s because there is no way at this point to create a viable budget that will balance and not just be a written document verifying that we cannot legitimately pay our bills and that we are on an ever-descending course into greater and greater debt. A true, honest budget would but verify that we are a bankrupt nation. We are repeating history, the history we failed to learn from. The history of Rome. Our TV and video games are the equivalent distractions of the Coliseums and circus of Rome. Our printing and borrowing of money to cover our deficit spending is the same as the mixing and devaluation of the gold Roman sisteri with copper. Our dysfunctional and ineffectual Congress is as was the Roman Senate. Our Presidential executive orders the same as the dictatorial edicts of Caesar. Our open borders and multi-millions of illegal alien non-citizens the same as the influx of the Germanic and Gallic tribes. It is as if we were intentionally following the course written in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The military actions, now 11 years in length, of Iraq and Afghanistan are repeats of the Vietnam fiasco and the RussianAfghan incursion. Our creep toward socialism is no different and will bring the same implosion as socialism did in the U.S.S.R. One should recognize that the repeated application of failed solutions to the same problem is one of the clinical definitions of insanity. * * * I am old, ill, physically used up now. I can’t have much time left in this life. I accept that. All born eventually die and with the life I’ve lived, I probably should have been dead decades ago. Fate has allowed me to screw the world out of a lot of years. I do have one regret: the future holds great challenge. I would like to see that challenge met and overcome and this nation restored to what our founding fathers envisioned. I’d like to be a part of that. Yeah. “I’d like to do it again.” THE END PHOTOS Daniel Hill 1954 – 15
Daniel Hill (A Life Of Blood And Danger)
The chorus of criticism culminated in a May 27 White House press conference that had me fielding tough questions on the oil spill for about an hour. I methodically listed everything we'd done since the Deepwater had exploded, and I described the technical intricacies of the various strategies being employed to cap the well. I acknowledged problems with MMS, as well as my own excessive confidence in the ability of companies like BP to safeguard against risk. I announced the formation of a national commission to review the disaster and figure out how such accidents could be prevented in the future, and I reemphasized the need for a long-term response that would make America less reliant on dirty fossil fuels. Reading the transcript now, a decade later, I'm struck by how calm and cogent I sound. Maybe I'm surprised because the transcript doesn't register what I remember feeling at the time or come close to capturing what I really wanted to say before the assembled White House press corps: That MMS wasn't fully equipped to do its job, in large part because for the past thirty years a big chunk of American voters had bought into the Republican idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better, and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That the government didn't have better technology than BP did to quickly plug the hole because it would be expensive to have such technology on hand, and we Americans didn't like paying higher taxes - especially when it was to prepare for problems that hadn't happened yet. That it was hard to take seriously any criticism from a character like Bobby Jindal, who'd done Big Oil's bidding throughout his career and would go on to support an oil industry lawsuit trying to get a federal court to lift our temporary drilling moratorium; and that if he and other Gulf-elected officials were truly concerned about the well-being of their constituents, they'd be urging their party to stop denying the effects of climate change, since it was precisely the people of the Gulf who were the most likely to lose homes or jobs as a result of rising global temperatures. And that the only way to truly guarantee that we didn't have another catastrophic oil spill in the future was to stop drilling entirely; but that wasn't going to happen because at the end of the day we Americans loved our cheap gas and big cars more than we cared about the environment, except when a complete disaster was staring us in the face; and in the absence of such a disaster, the media rarely covered efforts to shift America off fossil fuels or pass climate legislation, since actually educating the public on long-term energy policy would be boring and bad for ratings; and the one thing I could be certain of was that for all the outrage being expressed at the moment about wetlands and sea turtles and pelicans, what the majority of us were really interested in was having the problem go away, for me to clean up yet one more mess decades in the making with some quick and easy fix, so that we could all go back to our carbon-spewing, energy-wasting ways without having to feel guilty about it. I didn't say any of that. Instead I somberly took responsibility and said it was my job to "get this fixed." Afterward, I scolded my press team, suggesting that if they'd done better work telling the story of everything we were doing to clean up the spill, I wouldn't have had to tap-dance for an hour while getting the crap kicked out of me. My press folks looked wounded. Sitting alone in the Treaty Room later that night, I felt bad about what I had said, knowing I'd misdirected my anger and frustration. It was those damned plumes of oil that I really wanted to curse out.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Reading the transcript now, a decade later, I’m struck by how calm and cogent I sound. Maybe I’m surprised because the transcript doesn’t register what I remember feeling at the time or come close to capturing what I really wanted to say before the assembled White House press corps: That MMS wasn’t fully equipped to do its job, in large part because for the past thirty years a big chunk of American voters had bought into the Republican idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better, and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That the government didn’t have better technology than BP did to quickly plug the hole because it would be expensive to have such technology on hand, and we Americans didn’t like paying higher taxes—especially when it was to prepare for problems that hadn’t happened yet. That it was hard to take seriously any criticism from a character like Bobby Jindal, who’d done Big Oil’s bidding throughout his career and would go on to support an oil industry lawsuit trying to get a federal court to lift our temporary drilling moratorium; and that if he and other Gulf-elected officials were truly concerned about the well-being of their constituents, they’d be urging their party to stop denying the effects of climate change, since it was precisely the people of the Gulf who were the most likely to lose homes or jobs as a result of rising global temperatures. And that the only way to truly guarantee that we didn’t have another catastrophic oil spill in the future was to stop drilling entirely; but that wasn’t going to happen because at the end of the day we Americans loved our cheap gas and big cars more than we cared about the environment, except when a complete disaster was staring us in the face; and in the absence of such a disaster,
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Anna Chapman was born Anna Vasil’yevna Kushchyenko, in Volgograd, formally Stalingrad, Russia, an important Russian industrial city. During the Battle of Stalingrad in World War II, the city became famous for its resistance against the German Army. As a matter of personal history, I had an uncle, by marriage that was killed in this battle. Many historians consider the battle of Stalingrad the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. Anna earned her master's degree in economics in Moscow. Her father at the time was employed by the Soviet embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, where he allegedly was a senior KGB agent. After her marriage to Alex Chapman, Anna became a British subject and held a British passport. For a time Alex and Anna lived in London where among other places, she worked for Barclays Bank. In 2009 Anna Chapman left her husband and London, and moved to New York City, living at 20 Exchange Place, in the Wall Street area of downtown Manhattan. In 2009, after a slow start, she enlarged her real-estate business, having as many as 50 employees. Chapman, using her real name worked in the Russian “Illegals Program,” a group of sleeper agents, when an undercover FBI agent, in a New York coffee shop, offered to get her a fake passport, which she accepted. On her father’s advice she handed the passport over to the NYPD, however it still led to her arrest. Ten Russian agents including Anna Chapman were arrested, after having been observed for years, on charges which included money laundering and suspicion of spying for Russia. This led to the largest prisoner swap between the United States and Russia since 1986. On July 8, 2010 the swap was completed at the Vienna International Airport. Five days later the British Home Office revoked Anna’s citizenship preventing her return to England. In December of 2010 Anna Chapman reappeared when she was appointed to the public council of the Young Guard of United Russia, where she was involved in the education of young people. The following month Chapman began hosting a weekly TV show in Russia called Secrets of the World and in June of 2011 she was appointed as editor of Venture Business News magazine. In 2012, the FBI released information that Anna Chapman attempted to snare a senior member of President Barack Obama's cabinet, in what was termed a “Honey Trap.” After the 2008 financial meltdown, sources suggest that Anna may have targeted the dapper Peter Orzag, who was divorced in 2006 and served as Special Assistant to the President, for Economic Policy. Between 2007 and 2010 he was involved in the drafting of the federal budget for the Obama Administration and may have been an appealing target to the FSB, the Russian Intelligence Agency. During Orzag’s time as a federal employee, he frequently came to New York City, where associating with Anna could have been a natural fit, considering her financial and economics background. Coincidently, Orzag resigned from his federal position the same month that Chapman was arrested. Following this, Orzag took a job at Citigroup as Vice President of Global Banking. In 2009, he fathered a child with his former girlfriend, Claire Milonas, the daughter of Greek shipping executive, Spiros Milonas, chairman and President of Ionian Management Inc. In September of 2010, Orzag married Bianna Golodryga, the popular news and finance anchor at Yahoo and a contributor to MSNBC's Morning Joe. She also had co-anchored the weekend edition of ABC's Good Morning America. Not surprisingly Bianna was born in in Moldova, Soviet Union, and in 1980, her family moved to Houston, Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, with a degree in Russian/East European & Eurasian studies and has a minor in economics. They have two children. Yes, she is fluent in Russian! Presently Orszag is a banker and economist, and a Vice Chairman of investment banking and Managing Director at Lazard.
Hank Bracker
Construction finally began that winter, and by early 1974 Syncrude’s Mildred Lake site bustled with 1,500 construction workers. But the deal remained tentative as cost estimates grew beyond the initial $1.5 billion to $2 billion or more and the federal government’s new budget arrived with punitive new taxes for oil and gas exports. Then, in the first week of December, one of the Syncrude partners, Atlantic Richfield, summarily quit the consortium, leaving a 30 percent hole in its financing. A mad scramble ensued in search of a solution. Phone calls pinged back and forth between government officials in Edmonton and Ottawa. Finally, on the morning of February 3, 1975, executives from the Syn-crude partner companies and cabinet ministers from the Alberta, Ontario and federal governments met without fanfare and outside the media’s brightest spotlights at an airport hotel in Winnipeg to negotiate a deal to save the project. Lougheed and Ontario premier Bill Davis both attended, along with their energy ministers. Federal mines minister Donald Macdonald represented Pierre Trudeau’s government, accompanied by Trudeau’s ambitious Treasury Board president, Jean Chrétien. Macdonald and Davis, both Upper Canadian patricians in the classic mould, were put off by Lougheed’s blunt style. By midday, the Albertans were convinced Macdonald would not be willing to compromise enough to reach a deal. Rumours in Lougheed’s camp after the fact had it that over lunch, Chrétien persuaded the mines minister to accept the offer on the table. Two days later, Chrétien rose in the House of Commons to announce that the federal government would be taking a 15 percent equity stake in the Syn-crude project, with Alberta owning 10 percent and Ontario the remaining 5 percent. In the coming years, it would be Lougheed, with his steadfast support and multimillion-dollar investments in SAGD, who would be seen as the Patch’s great public sector champion. But it was Chrétien, “the little guy from Shawinigan,” whose backroom deal-making skills had saved Syncrude
Chris Turner (The Patch: The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands)
The president’s subordinates at the White House Office of Management and Budget have announced that the government would subsidize companies sued by employees for failure to comply with the WARN Act—in effect, the president is using public funds to encourage and underwrite the violation of federal law.17
Andrew McCarthy (Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment)
President Obama’s proposed 2010 federal budget included a provision that Americans who make a certain level of income will not be allowed to fully deduct contributions to churches and other charities, as in the past.
John Price (The End of America: The Role of Islam in the End Times and Biblical Warnings to Flee America)
I asked the well-known conservative thinker and publisher Alfred S. Regnery, who had just given a book talk on the importance of limiting the size of government, what he made of the fact that three-quarters of employees doing the work of the federal government are now contractors and that the federal budget for services increases by the day. He was taken aback. It was immediately apparent that the subject was not on his radar.
Janine R. Wedel (Shadow Elite: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market)
State and federal budgets, to which Asians, Hispanics, and African Americans contribute, are uniformly controlled by whites who seem to uniformly believe that the only ancestor worship worth funding is theirs.
Randall Robinson (The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks)
Over the past 50 years, the main role of the federal government has evolved with the gradual expansion of mandatory entitlement spending and a commensurate reduction in the role of defense. In 1960, for example, 52 percent of the federal budget was spent on national defense, and 21 percent was spent on entitlement programs.Today, the roles have more than reversed with defense comprising just 18 percent of the federal budget and entitlement spending totaling 60 percent of the 2013 budget
Anonymous
The two major political parties in Australia are engaged in a furious debate about the federal budget. Neither of them finds it convenient to point out the obvious. This is that to resolve the fiscal deficit and to support spending at roughly the same share of GDP it has been for the last forty years, Australians will certainly pay more tax.
John Edwards (Beyond the Boom: A Lowy Institute Paper: Penguin Special)
Since Alexander Hamilton, an increasing percentage of the federal budget had been provided by taxing alcohol. In the early 1900s taxes on liquor made up almost 30 percent of the federal budget—a seemingly implacable obstacle to Prohibition. Now, with the passage of an amendment that allowed a broader tax, the government could give up the alcohol taxes for income taxes.
Susan Cheever (Drinking in America: Our Secret History)
the fervent dismantlers of the state, whose ideology has eroded so many parts of the public sphere, including disaster preparedness. These are the voices that have been happy to pass on the federal budget crisis to the states and municipalities, which in turn are coping with it by not repairing bridges or replacing fire trucks. The “freedom” agenda that they are desperately trying to protect from scientific evidence is one of the reasons that societies will be distinctly less prepared for disasters when they come.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
I’m sure there are some readers who will choke on the word subsidy. The gasoline subsidy in the U.S. is not a visible thing that shows up in the budget documents, but it’s there. Keeping a standing Army and Navy at the ready to defend oil fields on the other side of the world is an extraordinary subsidy for gas-powered vehicles. Cheap leases on federal land for drilling and mining are subsidies. Tax breaks for the fossil-fuel industry are subsidies. If we enhanced the grid, subsidized electric vehicles, and let gasoline cost what people are really willing to pay (and what we really pay to get and protect it), we could bring a lot of our military home. And change the world.
Bill Nye (Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World)
Rarely in the history of the United States has the nation been so ill-served as during the presidency of George W. Bush. When Bush took office in 2001, the federal budget ran a surplus, the national debt stood at a generational low of 56 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and unemployment clocked in at 4 percent—which most economists consider the practical equivalent of full employment. The government’s tax revenue amounted to $2.1 trillion annually, of which $1 trillion came from personal income taxes and another $200 billion from corporate taxes. Military spending totaled $350 billion, or 3 percent of GDP—a low not seen since the late 1940s—and not one American had been killed in combat in almost a decade. Each dollar bought 1.06 euros, or 117 yen. Gasoline cost $1.50 per gallon. Twelve years after the Berlin Wall came down, the United States stood at the pinnacle of authority: the world’s only superpower, endowed with democratic legitimacy, the credible champion of the rule of law, the exemplar of freedom and prosperity.1 Eight years later the United States found itself in two distant “wars of choice”; military spending constituted 20 percent of all federal outlays and more than 5 percent of the gross domestic product. The final Bush budget was $1.4 trillion in the red and the national debt was out of control. The nation’s GDP had increased from $10.3 trillion to $$14.2 trillion during those eight years, but a series of tax cuts that Bush introduced had reduced the government’s revenue from personal income taxes by 9 percent and corporate taxes by 33 percent. Unemployment stood at 9.3 percent and was rising; two million Americans had lost their homes when a housing bubble burst, and new construction was at a standstill. The stock market had taken a nosedive, the dollar had lost much of its former value, and gasoline sold for $3.27 a gallon.2 The United States remained the world’s only superpower, but its reputation abroad was badly tarnished.
Jean Edward Smith (Bush)
Getting U.S. public debt on a sustainable path will require more sacrifice from the American public. Just to slow debt growth to the rate of GDP growth (or a steady debt-to-GDP ratio) from today through 2040, changes to current policy would have to be dramatic: cut entitlements by 10 percent or cut discretionary spending by 24 percent or increase tax revenue by 6 percent, or some combination of the three.27 Adjustments to actually lower the debt-to-GDP ratio would be even more painful. Ideally, the debt-reduction burden would be shared by all Americans. But one thing is certain—less generous entitlement programs and tax increases will need to be part of any balanced solution. PUBLIC OPINION: FOR A BALANCED BUDGET, BUT AGAINST SACRIFICES TO BALANCE THE BUDGET Changes in entitlement programs and tax increases, however, collide with an American public that largely wants neither. Almost as a rule, Americans support a balanced federal budget. But public opinion moves decisively in the other direction when Americans are asked about the specific actions necessary to balance the budget.28 Entitlement programs are broadly popular. Although most Americans understand that entitlements have a financing problem, they oppose making them less generous. When given the choice between preserving entitlements and reducing the deficit, Americans prefer the status quo. A solid majority, or 69 percent, would rather keep entitlements as they are and incur the debt consequences, whereas only 23 percent say the country should take steps to reduce the budget deficit that would include entitlement cuts.29 It is understandable that older Americans are more inclined than their younger counterparts to want to preserve entitlements. But even so, most Americans age eighteen to twenty-nine, who will foot the future debt interest bill, still favor entitlement preservation over debt reduction. Perspectives differ depending on party affiliation: Republicans are more likely than Democrats to favor making deficit reduction a priority. There may be a “tax more” option. Americans do appear to favor increasing taxes on the rich, though Democrats more so than Republicans.30 It is unclear, however, whether Americans would favor raising their own taxes to cover their entitlement expenses. This suggests a fundamental disconnect between the services Americans want and what they are willing to pay in taxes to fund them.
Edward Alden (How America Stacks Up: Economic Competitiveness and U.S. Policy)
Followers of the work of Minsky and Godley were thus amused by positive reactions to the Clinton-era budget surpluses and the predictions that all federal government debt would be eliminated over the coming decade and a half. It was
L. Randall Wray (Why Minsky Matters: An Introduction to the Work of a Maverick Economist)
For what the world spends on defense every 2.5 hours, about $300 million, smallpox was eliminated back in the late seventies. For the price of a single new nuclear-attack submarine, $726 million to $1 billion, we could send 5 to 7.5 million Third World children to school for a year. For the price of a single B-l bomber, about $285 million, we could provide basic immunization treatments, such as shots for chicken pox, diphtheria, and measles, to the roughly 575 million children in the world who lack them, thus saving 2.5 million lives annually. For what the world spends on defense every forty hours, about $4.6 billion, we could provide sanitary water for every human being who currently lacks it. Looking at it another way, the roughly $290–$300 billion that the United States [spent] on defense in 1990 is greater than the total amount that Americans contribute to charity each year, about $100 billion, plus total federal, state, local, public, and private expenditures for education, roughly $150 billion, plus NASA’s entire budget of $7.6 billion, plus federal and state aid to families with dependent children, $16.3 billion, plus the cost of the entire federal judiciary and the Justice Department combined, $5.5 billion, plus federal transportation aid to state and local governments, $17.5 billion. … A single Stinger missile costs $40,000, or roughly 30 percent more than the income of the average American family, nearly twice more than the income of the average black American family, and about 400 percent more than the so-called poverty line … [and] the price of 2,000 rounds of 7.62-mm rifle or machine-gun ammunition, about $480.00, is slightly more than what the average Social Security beneficiary receives every month.” How do we wrap our minds around these priorities? Or
Derrick Jensen (A Language Older Than Words)
There’s a phrase that critics of economic forecasting like to use: Give an economist a result you want, and he’ll find the numbers to justify it. This entire city is filled with number crunchers who look at the exact same data and interpret it in widely disparate ways on everything from the federal budget deficit to the Social Security surplus.” “Meaning that data can be manipulated.” “Of course it can, depending on who’s paying the meter and whose political agenda is being furthered,
David Baldacci (Total Control)
In 1993, the year Clinton became President, median household income in the United States was $48,884. Six years later, it was $56,080, and the federal government ran a $125.6-billion surplus. There was an even bigger surplus in 2000, and ever since 2001 the federal government has been in the red. In 2013, median household income was $51,939, and the budget deficit was $680 billion (which was small by post-Clinton standards). The stock market began the nineteen-nineties with the Dow at 2,753. At the end of trading in 1999, the Dow was at 11,497.
Anonymous
Louisiana’s fiscal troubles can be traced to the economic boom that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when rebuilding efforts, insurance payouts and federal money pushed cash into the state budget. Many lawmakers expected the heady times and increased revenue to last, and they made the bold decision to cut income taxes by roughly $700 million annually for the highest brackets — a decision some are now second-guessing.
Anonymous
THE LARGEST SINGLE COMPONENT of the federal budget, and perhaps the greatest and most financially devastating burden imposed on younger people and future generations, is the Social Security program. This is not a recent development. Since 1993, it has outspent defense appropriations. As a percentage of federal spending, Social Security’s expenditures have ranged from 0.22 percent during World War II to 24 percent in 2013.1 And Social Security costs are actually skyrocketing.
Mark R. Levin (Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future)
That winter remains in my mind as one great blizzard of verbiage. It started with the insolvency of the Employment and Workforce Commission. The Commission had been running through funds budgeted for unemployment benefits at an alarming rate, and nobody had noticed that it was about to run out completely. The Commission blamed the legislature, the legislature blamed the Commission, and the governor blamed the legislature and the Commission, but especially the Commission. The Commission, it turned out, would have to apply for federal money to avoid a shortfall, and for the application to be legal the governor would have to sign it. It was a perfect set-up for him. He refused to sign the application unless the Commission agreed to his demands, one of which was an independent audit. The Commission delayed. The deadline approached; if it were to pass, the Commission would be unable to issue unemployment checks. There was great outrage from the people known for great outrage. Everybody (well, everybody in the state’s media—but it felt like everybody everywhere) was talking about “playing chicken.” The governor was “playing chicken” with the Employment and Workforce Commission; there was a “game of chicken” going on between the state’s chief executive and its workforce agency. The governor was also said to be “holding the unemployed hostage” in his vainglorious attempt to get what he wanted from a government agency; sometimes he was said to be “holding the unemployed hostage to his libertarian ideology” or “holding a state agency hostage for political gain.” The State actually combined these two images in one of its editorials: “You do not play chicken with the lives of 77,000 laid-off citizens, holding them hostage for your own political purposes.” No, I supposed, you do not.
Barton Swaim (The Speechwriter: A Brief Education in Politics)
In my experience, whenever activists—especially black activists—challenged discriminatory or abusive policing or questioned state and federal budgets that shifted billions of dollars away from education, public housing, welfare, or drug treatment to brand-new, high-tech prisons, someone would inevitably interrupt the conversation to raise the subject of violent crime—especially “black-on-black crime.” This discursive maneuver was often performed casually in an offhand manner; yet it proved to be a stunningly effective way of refocusing attention on a relatively small number of individuals who cause harm, thus shielding from critique an entire system that inflicts incalculable harm on millions.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
But 2018 broke the pattern. Record turnout occurred across the country to elect governors, state legislators, and those running for federal office. The national sea change occurred in part due to a surge of interest in state and local politics caused by greater demand from constituents. State lawmakers have more of an impact on the daily lives of voters of color and the marginalized than Congress ever likely will. Just as they set the law overseeing the right to vote, they also determine criminal justice, health care access, housing policy, educational equity, and transportation. Governors set budgets, sign bills, and implement these ideas. Secretaries of state act as superintendents of election law, but in many states they also manage access for small businesses and a host of administrative duties invisible to citizens until the policies go awry. Attorneys general serve as the chief law enforcement arm of the state, determining statewide matters that can have local impact.
Stacey Abrams (Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America)
spending in federal elections during the 2016 cycle was more than $16 billion, which is greater than the annual budgets of at least a dozen states.
Katherine M. Gehl (The Politics Industry: How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy)
Even at the most cynical of levels, the last thing a sane conservative might do to advance this or that less-than-popular policy would be to tie it to a figure as utterly hated and morally compromised as Mr. Trump. The man often seems to function like a Bizarro Midas, lending little more than sabotage to what could otherwise constitute a civil and sincere conservative movement… Every political action tends to yield an equal and opposition reaction, and for any conscientious conservative who hopes to steer the ship of government toward such respectable policies as, say, a balanced federal budget, a secure (if not necessarily sealed) border, a lean state hedged to its sharpest shape by constant audits and edits, etc. etc., Trump presents a veritable iceberg ready to sink those dreams into oblivion. And I say this as someone who had expected to vote Republican until the eleventh hour of 2016.
Shmuel Pernicone (Why We Resist: Letter From a Young Patriot in the Age of Trump)
But it was not until 1984, when Congress amended the federal law to allow federal law enforcement agencies to retain and use any and all proceeds from asset forfeitures, and to allow state and local police agencies to retain up to 80 percent of the assets’ value, that a true revolution occurred. Suddenly, police departments were capable of increasing the size of their budgets, quite substantially, simply by taking the cash, cars, and homes of people suspected of drug use or sales.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
The establishment wants you to believe America is broke, indeed they need you to believe America is broke. But in reality, we are the richest country in the world, and we are richer than at any other time in history. The U.S. has a record-breaking $88 trillion in total wealth, twice the amount of just fifteen years ago and almost four times greater than the next wealthiest country. And yet every year the federal budget gets squeezed more and more, and the deficit grows. The problem is not that we're broke. The problem is that way too much of that extraordinary wealth is owned by the top 1 percent, who, instead of paying their fair share in taxes, have been receiving huge tax breaks for years.
Bernie Sanders (Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In)
A perhaps more relevant example is taken from a 1999 Gallup experiment (see Newport 2004), which asked respondents what the federal government should do with the budget surplus. When respondents were given a choice between “tax cuts” or “increased spending on government programs,” nearly three-quarters of respondents chose the tax cut option. But when the question was reframed as a choice between tax cuts and spending on specific government programs such as Medicare and public education, the percentages were very nearly reversed. While citizens often express considerable enthusiasm for “cutting government,” that enthusiasm very nearly vanishes when they are asked to consider “government” at the operational level – that is, at the level of specific programs that the government undertakes.
Christopher Ellis (Ideology in America)
In all racial groups, students from wealthy households tend to score better than those who are poor, but income does not explain group differences. A study by McKinsey and Company found that white fourth graders living in poverty scored higher—by the equivalent of about half-a-year’s instruction—than black fourth graders who were not poor. These differences increase in high school. On the 2009 math and verbal SAT tests, whites from families with incomes of less than $20,000 not only had an average combined score that was 117 points (out of 1600) higher than the average for all blacks, they even outscored by 12 points blacks who came from families with incomes of $160,000 to $200,000. Educators and legislators have not ignored the problem. The race gap in achievement is such a preoccupation that in 2007, 4,000 educators and experts attended an “Achievement Gap Summit” in Sacramento. They took part in no fewer than 125 panels on ways to help blacks and Hispanics do as well as whites and Asians. Overwhelming majorities in Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act in 2002 to improve student performance and bridge achievement gaps. The government budgeted $24.4 billion for the program for fiscal year 2007, and its requirements for “Adequate Yearly Progress” have forced change on many schools. This is only the latest effort in more than 25 years of federal involvement. The result? In 2009, Chester E. Finn, Jr., a former education official in the Reagan administration, put it this way: “This is a nearly unrelenting tale of woe and disappointment. If there’s any good news here, I can’t find it.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
Crews that fight forest fires in Oregon are now so heavily Hispanic that in 2003, the Oregon Department of Forestry required that crew chiefs be bilingual. In 2006, the department started forcing out veterans. Jaime Pickering, who used to run a squad of 20 firefighters, says the rule means “job losses for Americans—the white people.” Zita Wilensky, a 16-year veteran, was the only white employee of Miami-Dade County Domestic Violence Unit. Her co-workers made fun of her and called her gringa and Americana. Miss Wilensky says her boss gave her 60 days to learn Spanish, and fired her when she failed to do so. It is increasingly common, therefore, for Americans to be penalized because they cannot speak Spanish, but employers who insist that workers speak English are guilty of discrimination. In 2001, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission forced a small Catholic college in San Antonio to pay $2.4 million to housekeepers who were required to speak English at work. There are now about 45 million Hispanics in the country. What will the status of Spanish be when there are 130 million Hispanics, as the Census Bureau projects for 2050? In 2000, President Bill Clinton decided that the prohibition against discrimination because of “national origin” in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant that if a foreigner cannot speak to a government agency in his own language he is a victim. Executive Order 13166 required all local governments that receive federal money (all of them, essentially) to translate official documents into any language spoken by at least 3,000 people in the area or 10 percent of the local population. It also required interpreters for non-English speakers. In 2002, the Office of Management and Budget estimated that hospitals alone would spend $268 million every year implementing Executive Order 13166, and state departments of motor vehicles would spend $8.5 million. OMB estimated that communicating with food stamp recipients who don’t speak English would cost $25.2 million per year.
Jared Taylor (White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century)
For DeHaven it was well worth the extra money to a federal budget that had always allocated more to war than it ever did to peaceful purposes. For a fraction of the cost of one missile he could purchase on the open market every work the library needed to round out its rare books collection. Yet politicians believed that missiles kept you safe, whereas actually books did, and for a simple reason. Ignorance caused wars, and people who read widely were seldom ignorant. Perhaps it was an overly simplistic philosophy, but DeHaven was sticking to it.
David Baldacci (The Collectors (Camel Club, #2))
Unaware of New York City’s budget shenanigans, taxpayers expected city officials to keep the transit fare low and expand the city’s already generous municipal services. Making matters worse, the city had fewer middle-income taxpayers to pay for rising government expenses. New York City’s loss of manufacturing jobs meant fewer employment opportunities for the low-skilled, poorly educated workers who were attracted to the city. While middle-class taxpayers moved from the city out to the suburbs, the poor people who moved in required more expensive city services. In the early 1970s, the city had more than one million residents receiving welfare benefits, nearly a tenth of the nations’ recipients. More than three-quarters of the city’s welfare recipients had not even been born in New York City. Although the state and federal government paid for three-quarters of the welfare costs, the city’s share created a huge burden on its budget.82
Philip Mark Plotch (Last Subway: The Long Wait for the Next Train in New York City)
If we step back and observe with an honest eye the history of our political parties, we see a story of stark and unsettling contrasts. Republicans do not win every election. Yet their party has pulled the country steadily to the right, controlling and corrupting the federal courts, initiating and maintaining endless wars and extending the reach (and the budgets) of the Pentagon, imposing austerity in order to fund tax cuts for the rich. The planet has burned. Nationalism, xenophobia and racism have been mainstreamed. No survey suggests that this is what America wants. Yet this is what we have. Why? Because we lack an adequate opposition. The Democrats have bent, again and again and again, to the demands of investment-bank campaign donors, apologists for the military-industrial complex, and Third Way hucksters.
John Nichols (The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace's Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics)
New York City’s laudable policies designed to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor were simply not sustainable. On average, residents paid 10.2 percent of their incomes to the city in 1975, more than a third higher than a decade earlier. The city’s elected officials (the mayor, comptroller, borough presidents, and city council members) provided services for its citizens and offered benefits to its municipal workers that the city could not afford.52 Mayor Robert F. Wagner Jr. set the tone in the 1960s. When submitting his last budget, he said, “I do not propose to permit our fiscal problems to set the limits of our commitments to meet the essential needs of the people of the city.” In Lindsay’s first term as mayor, the city’s labor force grew from 250,000 to 350,000 and the city’s budget rose almost 50 percent. The public university system eliminated all tuition charges and accepted any student with a high school diploma. State officials, including Rockefeller, enabled the city’s profligate spending. At the federal level, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s new programs to eradicate poverty passed along costly mandates to local governments.53
Philip Mark Plotch (Last Subway: The Long Wait for the Next Train in New York City)
for every year since 1983, total spending on scientific research has comprised a flat 3 percent of the total United States federal budget.
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
federal expenditures for direct housing assistance totaled less than $40.2 billion, but homeowner tax benefits exceeded $171 billion. That number, $171 billion, was equivalent to the 2008 budgets for the Department of Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Agriculture combined.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
So how do we take advantage of the potential benefits that a sovereign currency affords the people of our nation while at the same time guarding against the risk of overspending? You might be tempted to argue that we already have safeguards in place. The debt ceiling limit, the Byrd rule, and PAYGO might look like effective checks on overspending. They aren’t. And it’s not because it’s easy for Congress to get around the rules. It’s because under current budgeting procedures, Congress doesn’t have to consider inflation risk when it wants to spend more. Remember, it put the Federal Reserve in charge of price stability. So, members of Congress only ask whether new spending will increase the deficit, not inflation. That’s the wrong question.
Stephanie Kelton (The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy)
Reagan chose instead to ignore the insistent warnings of the CDC and gay rights groups concerning the need to prevent further suffering and death. Far from acting vigorously to combat AIDS, he slashed federal budgets. It was not until May 31, 1987—after 20,849 Americans had died of AIDS and the disease had spread to all fifty states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands—that he first publicly mentioned AIDS and, then only reluctantly and under intense pressure,
Frank M. Snowden III (Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present)
whenever activists—especially black activists—challenged discriminatory or abusive policing or questioned state and federal budgets that shifted billions of dollars away from education, public housing, welfare, or drug treatment to brand-new, high-tech prisons, someone would inevitably interrupt the conversation to raise the subject of violent crime—especially “black-on-black crime.” This discursive maneuver was often performed casually in an offhand manner; yet it proved to be a stunningly effective way of refocusing attention on a relatively small number of individuals who cause harm, thus shielding from critique an entire system that inflicts incalculable harm on millions.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness)
That MMS wasn’t fully equipped to do its job, in large part because for the past thirty years a big chunk of American voters had bought into the Republican idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better, and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That the government didn’t have better technology than BP did to quickly plug the hole because it would be expensive to have such technology on hand, and we Americans didn’t like paying higher taxes—especially when it was to prepare for problems that hadn’t happened yet. That it was hard to take seriously any criticism from a character like Bobby Jindal, who’d done Big Oil’s bidding throughout his career and would go on to support an oil industry lawsuit trying to get a federal court to lift our temporary drilling moratorium; and that if he and other Gulf-elected officials were truly concerned about the well-being of their constituents, they’d be urging their party to stop denying the effects of climate change, since it was precisely the people of the Gulf who were the most likely to lose homes or jobs as a result of rising global temperatures.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
People employ what economists call “rational ignorance.” That is, we all spend our time learning about things we can actually do something about, not political issues that we can’t really affect. That’s why most of us can’t name our representative in Congress. And why most of us have no clue about how much of the federal budget goes to Medicare, foreign aid, or any other program. As an Alabama businessman told a Washington Post pollster, “Politics doesn’t interest me. I don’t follow it. … Always had to make a living.” Ellen Goodman, a sensitive, good-government liberal columnist, complained about a friend who had spent months researching new cars, and of her own efforts study the sugar, fiber, fat, and price of various cereals. “Would my car-buying friend use the hours he spent comparing fuel-injection systems to compare national health plans?” Goodman asked. “Maybe not. Will the moments I spend studying cereals be devoted to studying the greenhouse effect on grain? Maybe not.” Certainly not —and why should they? Goodman and her friend will get the cars and the cereal they want, but what good would it do to study national health plans? After a great deal of research on medicine, economics, and bureaucracy, her friend may decide which health-care plan he prefers. He then turns to studying the presidential candidates, only to discover that they offer only vague indications of which health-care plan they would implement. But after diligent investigation, our well-informed voter chooses a candidate. Unfortunately, the voter doesn’t like that candidate’s stand on anything else — the package-deal problem — but he decides to vote on the issue of health care. He has a one-in-a-hundred-million chance of influencing the outcome of the presidential election, after which, if his candidate is successful, he faces a Congress with different ideas, and in any case, it turns out the candidate was dissembling in the first place. Instinctively realizing all this, most voters don’t spend much time studying public policy. Give that same man three health insurance plans that he can choose from, though, and chances are that he will spend time studying them. Finally, as noted above, the candidates are likely to be kidding themselves or the voters anyway. One could argue that in most of the presidential elections since 1968, the American people have tried to vote for smaller government, but in that time the federal budget has risen from $178 billion to $4 trillion. George Bush made one promise that every voter noticed in the 1988 campaign: “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Then he raised them. If we are the government, why do we get so many policies we don’t want?
David Boaz
People employ what economists call “rational ignorance.” That is, we all spend our time learning about things we can actually do something about, not political issues that we can’t really affect. That’s why most of us can’t name our representative in Congress. And why most of us have no clue about how much of the federal budget goes to Medicare, foreign aid, or any other program. As an Alabama businessman told a Washington Post pollster, “Politics doesn’t interest me. I don’t follow it. … Always had to make a living.” Ellen Goodman, a sensitive, good-government liberal columnist, complained about a friend who had spent months researching new cars, and of her own efforts study the sugar, fiber, fat, and price of various cereals. “Would my car-buying friend use the hours he spent comparing fuel-injection systems to compare national health plans?” Goodman asked. “Maybe not. Will the moments I spend studying cereals be devoted to studying the greenhouse effect on grain? Maybe not.” Certainly not —and why should they? Goodman and her friend will get the cars and the cereal they want, but what good would it do to study national health plans? After a great deal of research on medicine, economics, and bureaucracy, her friend may decide which health-care plan he prefers. He then turns to studying the presidential candidates, only to discover that they offer only vague indications of which health-care plan they would implement. But after diligent investigation, our well-informed voter chooses a candidate. Unfortunately, the voter doesn’t like that candidate’s stand on anything else — the package-deal problem — but he decides to vote on the issue of health care. He has a one-in-a-hundred-million chance of influencing the outcome of the presidential election, after which, if his candidate is successful, he faces a Congress with different ideas, and in any case, it turns out the candidate was dissembling in the first place. Instinctively realizing all this, most voters don’t spend much time studying public policy. Give that same man three health insurance plans that he can choose from, though, and chances are that he will spend time studying them. Finally, as noted above, the candidates are likely to be kidding themselves or the voters anyway. One could argue that in most of the presidential elections since 1968, the American people have tried to vote for smaller government, but in that time the federal budget has risen from $178 billion to $4 trillion.
David Boaz (The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom)
However, in order for the State to raise the price of this or any other services, some degree of public support is needed. Thus, the State will tend to provoke or allow crime or the threat of foreign aggression to increase, so that it may cite these security threats when expanding its own budget for defense. Take, for example, the destruction of the twin World Trade Center towers. Subsequent to the terror attacks on 9/11, the Department of Defense budget was massively increased, federal agents took over the role of providing airport security, and the Department of Homeland Security was born.
Christopher Chase Rachels (A Spontaneous Order: The Capitalist Case For A Stateless Society)
During the twentieth century, however, the size, scope, and power of government exploded. Total government spending increased from 6.73 percent of GDP in 1906 to 37.79 percent of GDP in 2014.[2] The dollar has lost more than 95 percent of its value due to the inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve. Top marginal income tax rates have been as high as 94 percent. Entitlement programs now constitute more than 60 percent of the federal budget. And businesses are hog-tied by more than 175,000 pages of red tape in the Code of Federal Regulations. What
Michael Dahlen (Liberty Lost: American Big Government and the Erosion of the U.S. Constitution: A Brief History)
States were barred from financing their immigration systems with specific taxes on immigrants and transportation companies, leaving the continued existence of these state institutions to the general state fisc or the generosity of private charitable organizations interested in immigrant welfare and integration. The resource strain on states and charitable organizations placed enormous pressure on Congress to enact federal law.
Pratheepan Gulasekaram (The New Immigration Federalism)
the United States will need substantially more revenues to close the budget deficit, especially recognizing the need to increase federal spending in certain critical areas. I
Jeffrey D. Sachs (The Price Of Civilization: Reawakening American Virtue And Prosperity)
The scale of U.S. military operations is remarkable. The U.S. Department of Defense has (as of a 2014 inventory) 4,855 military facilities, of which 4,154 are in the United States; 114 are in overseas U.S. territories; and 587 are in forty-two foreign countries and foreign territories in all regions of the world.2 Not counted in this list are the secret facilities of the U.S. intelligence agencies. The cost of running these military operations and the wars they support is extraordinary, around $900 billion per year, or 5 percent of U.S. national income, when one adds the budgets of the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies, homeland security, nuclear weapons programs in the Department of Energy, and veterans’ benefits. The $900 billion in annual spending is roughly one-quarter of all federal government outlays.
Jeffrey D. Sachs (Building the New American Economy: Smart, Fair, & Sustainable)
Federal taxpayers should not have to pay for projects that should be undertaken by private investors or state and local groups. If these technologies are economically viable and consumer demand exists, these products will be developed without subsidies from the taxpayers.
Paul Winfree (Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for 2017 (Mandate for Leadership Series Book 1))
For DeHaven it was well worth the extra money to a federal budget that had always allocated more to war than it ever did to peaceful purposes. For a fraction of the cost of one missile he could purchase on the open market every work the library needed to round out its rare books collection. Yet politicians believed that missiles kept you safe, whereas actually books did, and for a simple reason. Ignorance caused wars, and people who read widely were seldom ignorant.
David Baldacci (The Collectors (The Camel Club, #2))
Joanne’s federal government employment history had been hidden very efficiently, of course. DuBois hadn’t found anything specific about what the woman or her coworkers did. But you could deduce their mission from what my protégée did uncover: the group’s funding (lavish and murkily channeled through nonexistent government agencies) and jurisdiction—in the U.S. only (office leasing and travel authorizations). Its history was enlightening too. The organization was created two weeks after the first Trade Towers bombing in New York in the 1990s, and their budget and personnel were doubled after the African embassy bombings and tripled after the attack on the Cole. After
Jeffery Deaver (Edge)
I love the Constitution, but it placed ridiculously small limits on the power of the federal government. Taken literally, our total powers include coining money, raising money, budgeting for the various federal departments and agencies, declaring war, controlling federal elections, controlling and taxing imports and exports, and a few other minor things I can’t recall at the moment. We can also regulate commerce. But even that probably just meant making commerce regular between the states—prohibiting tariffs between states, which had been a problem before the Constitution, and establishing standards to be common for all states.” “That’s it?” Harlowe smiled, knowing how this would sound. “Taken literally, almost everything we do here is unconstitutional—education, healthcare, social security, housing, labor laws, minimum wages.
Erne Lewis (An Act of Self-Defense)
Net wages: “It’s not what you make, but what you net” after paying the FIRE sector, basic utilities and taxes. The usual measure of disposable personal income (DPI) refers to how much employees take home after income-tax withholding (designed in part by Milton Friedman during World War II) and over 15% for FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) to produce a budget surplus for Social Security and health care (half of which are paid by the employer). This forced saving is lent to the U.S. Treasury, enabling it to cut taxes on the higher income brackets. Also deducted from paychecks may be employee withholding for private health insurance and pensions. What is left is by no means freely available for discretionary spending. Wage earners have to pay a monthly financial and real estate “nut” off the top, headed by mortgage debt or rent to the landlord, plus credit card debt, student loans and other bank loans. Electricity, gas and phone bills must be paid, often by automatic bank transfer – and usually cable TV and Internet service as well. If these utility bills are not paid, banks increase the interest rate owed on credit card debt (typically to 29%). Not much is left to spend on goods and services after paying the FIRE sector and basic monopolies, so it is no wonder that markets are shrinking. (See Hudson Bubble Model later in this book.) A similar set of subtrahends occurs with net corporate cash flow (see ebitda). After paying interest and dividends – and using about half their revenue for stock buybacks – not much is left for capital investment in new plant and equipment, research or development to expand production.
Michael Hudson (J IS FOR JUNK ECONOMICS: A Guide To Reality In An Age Of Deception)
Fighting unemployment by methods far more costly than the opening of bread lines and soup kitchens would not have been given serious consideration, regardless of which party might have been in office. Since 1932 all that is reversed. The Democrats may or may not be less concerned with a balanced federal budget than the Republicans. However, from President Eisenhower on down, with the possible exception of former Secretary of the Treasury Humphrey, the responsible Republican leadership has said again and again that if business should really turn down they would not hesitate to lower taxes or make whatever other deficit-producing moves were necessary to restore prosperity and eliminate unemployment. This is a far cry from the doctrines that prevailed prior to the big depression.
Philip A. Fisher (Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Other Writings (Wiley Investment Classics))
By November 2016, the Obama administration had used up about 78 percent of the White House budget for its fiscal year, which begins and ends at the beginning of May. Meaning, the Trump transition didn’t have much to work with, and it left us only 22 percent of the budget, or about two and a half months of money, to pay federal salaries and upkeep costs from January 20 until the end of April. That meant, among other things, that we would have to go light on the lower-office appointments, at least for a little while.
Corey R. Lewandowski (Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency)
Two scholars who served on the staff of President Reagan’s 1982 National Commission on Social Security Reform explain that Social Security does more to reduce income inequality and prevent poverty among the old in the United States than any other program, public or private, while providing crucial protection for orphans and the disabled. And, contrary to widely circulated claims, they show it does not add one dollar to the federal government’s budget deficits and can remain financially sound as long as our government exists.
David Cay Johnston (Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality)
We have the money. We've just made choices about how to spend it. Over the years, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have restricted housing aid to the poor but expanded it to the affluent in the form of tax benefits for homeowners. Today, housing-related tax expenditures far outpace those for housing assistance. In 2008, the year Arleen was evicted from Thirteenth Street, federal expenditures for direct housing assistance totaled less than $40.2 billion, but homeowner tax benefits exceeded $171 billion. That number, $171 billion, was equivalent to the 2008 budgets for the Department of Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Agriculture combined. Each year, we spend three times what a universal housing voucher program is estimated to cost (in total) on homeowner benefits, like the mortgage-interest deduction and the capital-gains exclusion. Most federal housing subsidies benefit families with six-figure incomes. If we are going to spend the bulk of our public dollars on the affluent - at least when it comes to housing - we should own up to that decision and stop repeating the politicians' canard about one of the richest countries on the planet being unable to afford doing more. If poverty persists in America, it is not for lack of resources.
Matthew Desmond (Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City)
There was a reason, I told Valerie, why Republicans tended to do the opposite—why Ronald Reagan could preside over huge increases in the federal budget, federal deficit, and federal workforce and still be lionized by the GOP faithful as the guy who successfully shrank the federal government. They understood that in politics, the stories told were often as important as the substance achieved.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
list of documents that may be required. It can look intimidating, especially if you’ve not been actively involved in your family finances, but don’t panic. If you can’t find all of them or don’t have access, there is a later step in the divorce process called “discovery,” when you can legally compel the other side to provide copies of anything else you need: •Individual income tax returns (federal, state, local) for past three years •Business income tax returns (federal, state, local) for past three years •Proof of your current income (paystubs, statements, or paid invoices) •Proof of spouse’s income (paystubs, statements, or paid invoices) •Checking, savings, and certificate statements (personal and business) for past three years •Credit card and loan statements (personal and business) for past three years •Investment, pension plan, and retirement account statements for past three years •Mortgage statement and loan documents for all properties you have an interest in •Real estate appraisals •Property tax documents •Employment contracts •Benefit statements •Social Security statements •Life, homeowner’s, and auto insurance policies •Wills and trust agreements •Health insurance cards •Vehicle titles and/or registration •Monthly budget worksheet •List of personal property (furnishings, jewelry, electronics, artwork) •List of property acquired by gift or inheritance or owned prior to marriage •Prenuptial agreements •Marriage license •Prior court orders directing payment of child support or spousal support Your attorney or financial advisor may ask for additional documents specific to your case. Some of these may not be applicable to you.
Debra Doak (High-Conflict Divorce for Women: Your Guide to Coping Skills and Legal Strategies for All Stages of Divorce)
In 1978, the federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare reported264 that it lost between $5.5 and $6.5 billion of its $150 billion annual budget to fraud, abuse, and waste. However, just 15 percent of that $5.5 to $6.5 billion—less than 1 percent of HEW’s yearly spending—got siphoned away due to “unlawful, willful misrepresentation (fraud) or excessive services and program violations (abuse).” Further, less than $500 million of the agency’s losses was attributable to the partially federally funded AFDC program. The vast majority of those debits, around $4 billion, came via Medicaid and other health care initiatives
Josh Levin (The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth)
A 2014 article published in Politico found that the U.S. government spends more money each year on border and immigration enforcement than the combined budgets of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, and the U.S. Marshals.
Jose Antonio Vargas (Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen)
Each year, federal government agencies are budgeted a certain amount of money to spend. If within twelve months, any money is left over, the money allotted the following year is cut. To ensure their money is spent, departments have “meetings” in resorts such as Los Vegas, enjoying expensive hotels and meals to spend what remains, ensuring to not lose money for the following year. Investigations have shown this is one reason money spent on government contractors is often higher — the more spent — the more “needed” the following year. In the past, if a government agency saved any money, that amount is deducted from the next year’s budget. To prevent a Pentagon budget from being cut, it is always helpful to be in a war or have troops scattered throughout the world.
Perry Stone (America's Apocalyptic Reset: Unmasking the Radical's Blueprints to Silence Christians, Patriots, and Conservatives)