06 August, 2011

How Big Is Our Debt? Do We Really Have A Spending Problem?

Yes, I know our debt $14.580 trillion as I write this, but how big is that?

No, I’m not going to do some cutesy pictures. I’m going to do some math. Scary math, but simple. Even a Democrat Senator could understand it.

The entire tax revenue in the history of the United States through fiscal year 2010 is $49.531 trillion. Tax revenue so far this year is $2.201 trillion. Simple addition gives me the number $51.732 trillion. That’s it. That’s the sum of the entire tax revenue in the history of the United States. For the rest of this post I’m going to call that ETR to avoid repeating myself endlessly.

$51.732 trillion.

Our debt is $14.580 trillion.

14.580 / 51.732 = .2818.

Our debt is 28.18% of ETR.

This year we will spend $3.7 trillion.

3.7 / 51.732 = .0715

We will spend 7.15% of ETR this year. That’s about 1/14th of the total. 1/14. In one year.

When the Democrats took control of Congress in 2007, our combined tax revenues were $42.740 trillion. Since then, the Democrats have managed to spend $13.563 trillion.

13.563 / 42.740 = .3173

In the last four years, the Democrats have spent 31.73% of the entire amount of revenue we’d collected before their spending binge.

I can be nicer and include revenue up until now, but it doesn’t get much better.

13.563 / 51.732 = .2622

In the last four years, the Democrats have spent 26.22% of ETR.

You think I should only include President Barack Obama’s (D-USA) numbers? Ok.

Outlays for FY 2010 and 2011 (generously giving 2009 to President George W. Bush (R-USA), even though budget wasn’t passed until after he left office) total $7.063 trillion. Total revenue before FY 2010 = $47.369 trillion.

7.063 / 47.369 = .1491

Obama has spent 14.91% of the entire revenues preceding him.

7.063 / 51.732 = .1365

Obama has spent 13.65% of ETR. About 1/7th of ETR. In two years.

If you’ve forgotten since the beginning of this post, ETR means “entire tax revenue in the history of the United States”. Now go back and reread the statement above.

In fairness, so we can see how much it’s grown, if I go back to FY 2007, I get the following: $42.740 trillion gross receipts & total debt of $9.008 trillion.

9.008 / 42.740 = .2108

Before the Democrats took over, our debt was 21.08% of the ETR at the time. That’s bad. No denying it. But, in four years, it has grown from 21.08% to 28.18%. This is why S&P downgraded us. That kind of growth is obscene.

America has a spending problem. Anyone who says otherwise falls into one of four categories. 1) They’re lying, 2) they’re not in possession of the facts, 3) they’re incapable of understanding basic arithmetic, or 4) they’ve lost their minds.

It’s one of those four. There are no other options.

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