I saw the following message about federal vs household budgets floating around Facebook like crazy during the election when the federal budget was popular to talk about. With the fiscal cliff stuff going on, I’ve seen it resurface.
* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000
Let’s now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:
* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $38.50
I’m not really sure how to take the message. I think when people post it, they mean one of two things:
- I want to pay more taxes!
- I want my benefits cut!
- I want others (especially the rich) to pay more taxes!
- I want other people’s benefits to be cut!
- I want a stable government I can feel confident in
- I don’t want so much of my tax dollars going to pay interest on debt
If you aren’t sure what you think, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently came out with an interesting article on what should be done.
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