The real debt problem: What will eat the tax dollars
December 11th, 2012
07:37 AM ET
2 years ago

The real debt problem: What will eat the tax dollars

New York (CNNMoney) - Often missing from the hyper-politicized debate over spending cuts and tax increases is a central point: Why the federal budget is on an unsustainable course.

Today, the United States spends about 71 cents of every federal tax dollar it collects on the Big 4: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on the debt.

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Filed under: Taxes
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Just a thought

    It shouldn't come as any surprise, during the last ten (10) years the GOP/Re-dumblicans have pushed for low taxes and guess what....we owe a huge bill. Duh....now the idiot Re-dumblicans are saying that we have a "spending problem" ...well, yeah....we have a problem spending money on the bills we have made...i.e. the two wars, medicare part D, just to name a few things.

    December 11, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  2. Just a thought

    Let's just pay our bills. I know that sounds terrible to the welchers in the Republican party

    December 11, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Why do we even have Medicare and Social Security in the first place?

    Because there are some politicians who feel that health insurance companies should have the right to drop people: when they pass a certain age or when they get sick; deny coverage to people for any capricious reason that suits the company's bottom line, etc. So, Medicare was born to cover the "uninsurable".

    Because there are some politicians who feel: that banks have the right to engage in predatory or deceptive practices; that banks have the right to gamble people's savings in the stock markets and not be held responsible for the losses, etc. And so, the FDIC and Social Security were born.

    Do you see a pattern here?

    December 11, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    Cut all the salaries and health benefits of congress and senate. Period. Solved.

    December 11, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  5. rs

    The section of the budget not mentioned is Defense. Let's not forget, our Defense budget on an annual basis is larger than the 10 next largest nations combined. No, we should not disarm- by no means. But let's face it, we're coming off of a ten year spending high with two unbudgeted wars, and massive spending on expensive weapons systems. Enough is enough- Spending on Social Security and Medicare is spending on American citizens, Defense spending enriches corporations and helped create 2 wars where at least one (Iraq) was completely unneccessary.

    December 11, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  6. GonzoinHouston

    "71 cents of every tax dollar" – Does that include money that is borrowed? Is it 71% of the total budget or 71% of the tax revenue? The question is relevant when you consider how much of the budget is borrowed.

    December 11, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  7. Guest

    Just a thought – you are seriously confused and ill informed regarding the principles that each party stand for, the dumbocrats certainly dont want to pay the bills. And enough on the "two wars" bit from the left, evidently all of you believe we should have simply done nothing after 9-11. Additionally, and unlike many Obama policies (I use that term loosely) the republicans dont try to end run our political processes to get their agenda pushed through via their appointed talking heads.

    December 11, 2012 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  8. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Well, means testing on social security should be a start. Another option that should be considered is that there be no cap on the income (wages and capital gains) that get taxed for Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. As for Medicare, the age for enrollment should slowly trend upwards over a decade to reflect the increased longevity of the average American; 65 to 70 over 15 or 20 years which could be 3 to 6 months a year.

    December 11, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  9. GonzoinHouston

    OK, read the rest of the article, and it means 71% of revenue. (That'll teach me to trust those Ticker intros). The only solution is to grow the economy. Ours is a consumer-based economy, and the middle class are the most important consumers. You re-build the economy by re-building the middle class. We have been re-distributing the nation's wealth to the rich for the past 30 years. Move part of that wealth, by no means all, back to the middle class and you will increase growth.

    December 11, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Today, the United States spends about 71 cents of every federal tax dollar it collects on the Big 4: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on the debt."

    Not to overlook this rather simplistic statement of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security "greed" from the 47% moochers, but I suppose the only other alternative is to allow our poor, our disabled, and our elderly to die off as quickly as possible. All in the interest of the "pull your self up by the bootstraps" folks who really, really don't care what happens to the aforementioned. Until it is time for the bootstrappers to ... go ... as well.

    December 11, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    Yes, lets cut the defense budget in half,,,,,,,,then see what happens to the unemployment numbers. You moonbats saying to cut the defense budget definitely don't think things through.

    December 11, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  12. alien

    The thing to do is stop aid to foriegn countries, stop subsidies to big companies, police who gets on social security disability. Cut congresses pay and pension and health benefits and perks.

    December 11, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  13. Rudy NYC

    The Defense Department spending has grown faster over the last 30 years than any other portion of the annual budget. We now spend more $2 million per year per person living in the US. On WHAT? Where does all of that money go?

    December 11, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  14. anonymous

    how about completely Stopping ALL the foreign aid to practically every country there is. If ron paul was in office, he would have the 16 trillion problem fixed within a few short yrs, or sooner. But the problem with Ron Paul was the ending of the Fed – most people did not like that – with all the money that has been printed in the last 50 yrs. there is not enough Gold on earth to cover all the money that has been printed.

    December 11, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. James Bond

    Repubs in michigan just rammed through right to work law, without the 5 day debate period, straight through the house, violating state law, with a repub governer will sign it anyway, enjoy your last ride repubs, your going to be history soon and guest, why did george bush secretly escort osamas family out of the country befor anyone knew who did it?

    December 11, 2012 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  16. James Bond

    Your republican party does not even like you, but appreciates your blind following, they will cut your throat too in time, feed the lion who you will battle someday

    December 11, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  17. Rudy NYC

    anonymous wrote:

    But the problem with Ron Paul was the ending of the Fed – most people did not like that – with all the money that has been printed in the last 50 yrs. there is not enough Gold on earth to cover all the money that has been printed.
    -------------–
    Ron Paul's idea of a gold standard reflects a profound lack of understanding of loosely regulated markets. Commodity based currency would have a value subject to the whims and trends of the markets. Inflation would be rampant, and there would nothing a government could do about it except buy all of the gold that it would, which in turn would drive up the price because of increased demand, not to mention the fact that they would have to borrow money in order to do so.

    December 11, 2012 10:00 am at 10:00 am |