How Much Government Can We Afford?


The Treasury reports that for the Fiscal Year that ended on 30 September the U. S. Government had revenues of 2.77 trillion dollars. The deficit for the same period was around 680 billion bucks.

How much government could we have bought with that money without going into the red?

According to figures posted at the Tax Policy Center website, 2.77 trillion dollars would have covered all federal spending in FY 2007 (corrected for inflation) with a surplus of around 40 billion dollars.

I don’t know about you, but I felt like I had more government than I really needed in 2007.

Credit Where Credit’s Due


Marc Thiessen has a piece over at WaPo about federal government spending. (H/T, VodkaPundit) For the first time in decades, certainly the first time in my memory, the federal government’s spending will decrease. In 2010, the feds spend $3.457 trillion. Spending for this fiscal year should come in at $3.455 trillion. A couple of billion out of 3+ trillion may not seem like much, but as Senator Dirksen once said, “A billion here and a billion there, and soon you’re talking real money.” Actually, when you figure in inflation, that’s about a 5 % decrease in spending.

However, don’t be too quick to credit the President. He’s fought for ever more spending. The House GOP probably should get most of the credit because of the Budget Control Act.

You know, we could have balanced the budget this year. The actual revenue to the government would have allowed us to pay the interest on the debt and fund every agency at about 94 % of FY 2003 levels accounting for inflation. Most of us could have gotten by on 94 % of our 2003 income. Why couldn’t the government? Sure, some adjustments would have to be made, but couldn’t you gotten by with only 6 % decrease in the government you had in 2003?