President Bush’s 2008 budget hit the Hill yesterday to a frosty reception (so much for global warming). The budget is like having an accountant hold a mirror up to American society, and that society is simultaneously warlike and childish.
Almost half of your income taxes will be spent on national defense, and that doesn’t include the interest on debt from previous defense overspending. The Pentagon will spend 6% of its budget repairing and replacing equipment (mostly for Iraq), but it’s still more than the entire foreign affairs budget for 2008. Diplomacy from the barrel of a recently-repaired gun.
The budget also reveals that we are spending money like spoiled trust fund kids - but without the trust fund. Paying for the $261 billion in interest payments on our past indulgences takes up most (83%) of the revenue collected from corporate taxes. Lest you think that we should cut taxes to spur the economy, may I remind you that tax cuts still don’t pay for themselves no matter how many times Bush insists that they do. In fact, between 2008 and 2012, the Bush tax cuts will cost the Treasury Department more than one year of unemployment and welfare benefits combined.
Gift and inheritance taxes collect enough revenue to pay for nearly all of our national science and technology budget. So if you actually are a trust fund kid and think that so-called death taxes are unjust, consider that they might help keep grandma alive for a few more years. Or was that the point of cutting them?
Source: Washington Post
Yesterday marked the first-ever launch of the Space Shuttle on Independence Day. NASA’s manned space program continues to slowly emerge from the shadow of the Columbia disaster. While newspaper headlines focused somewhat warily on the Shuttle launch, the $700 million Mission to Mars program was under attack by cost-cutting democrats in Congress. The measure failed by a wide margin, but it highlights the constantly-embattled NASA budget.
Although NASA’s recent manned space missions lack the scientific rigor of their unmanned deep space research, manned space flight captures the public’s imagination – and political support for NASA. The NASA budget is surprisingly small – only $16.7 billion in 2006 – paltry by Pentagon standards. In real terms, NASA’s budget has been declining since 1991, and that’s likely to continue in the near future.
Less that half of NASA’s 2006 budget (about $7 billion) is applied for space operations such as the Shuttle and the International Space Station. The rest goes toward earth science, deep space exploration, research and development. To give a point of comparison, the annual budget for NASA is about the same as the cost of 2 months of Iraqi occupation, 167 brand new F-22s, 2 more years of failed research for missile defense systems, or about 2 quarts of Tang for every person on earth.
1$100 million per fighter
2Based on Cost of Estate Tax repeal of 2007-2016 is $369 billion
32001-2006 Missile Defense spending was $43 billion
4Based on 2006 Budget of $101.8 billion
5 Only $4.19 for enough Tang to make 4 quarts
7Based on 2006 Peace Corps Budget of $317,440,000
9Based on 2006 EPA Budget