Victors path to fix the United States Budget

United States Budget Dilemma.wmv - YouTube: "

I started to poke around to see how accurate this video was. Sadly, it is very accurate. It gave me the understanding that our government is in real trouble, and not the type of trouble that can be easily gotten out of.  The simple fact is that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on our debt account for $2.5 trillion in annual spending. That is exactly the amount that the Federal Government will collect in taxes.  All other expenses of the federal government including military, employees, homeland security, FBI, CIA, et al equate to $1.3 trillion - the amount of debt the we will need to borrow.

There is plenty of discussion in social circles about raising taxes to pay for spending; lowering taxes to boost the economy and yield more taxes; cut spending; etc.

So I dug into the raising taxes bit.

2008 there were 98.7 million "taxable" returns filed. But the table from which the IRS published this statistic did not cluster Adjusted Gross Incomes (AGI) in accordance with the Tax Bracket cutoff values. I took the data from the table and make some very "gross" determinations of sort-of-useful cut-off values and came up with the following percentage estimates for the fraction of taxpayers in the six brackets:
16.6% , 28.9% , 31.3% , 17.8% , 2.4% , 3.1% You might be able to apply these percentages to the 98.7million figure if you really want to know "numbers"

Bear in mind, though, that at least one study more reliable than my petty-little effort here shows that
"About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all"
"The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment."
"It is a system in which the top 10 percent of earners -- households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 -- paid about 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government."

So, if there are about 100 million tax payers, only about half pay taxes. That means that there are 50 million tax payers - the deficit equates to $26,000 per tax payer.

If the federal government wanted to raise taxes on the top 10% of tax payers, they would need to raise taxes on 10 million people to cover the deficit. That would be an increase (remember these people already pay 80% of the $1.5T in taxes) of $130,000 in annual taxes per taxpayer.

The reality of it is, all of this math is foolish. There is no single solution. Everyone in America needs to pay some more taxes, and everyone in America needs to take a cut in benefits, and the federal government needs to reduce spending everywhere. The problem is politics and favoritism - winning elections by pandering to special interest groups.

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