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Where Does the Money Go?: Your Guided Tour to the Federal Budget Crisis (Guided Tour of the Economy) Paperback – February 12, 2008
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From the Back Cover
From the editors of the award-winning nonpartisan Web site Public Agenda Online comes this irreverent and candid guide to the federal budget crisis that breaks down into plain English exactly what the fat cats in Washington are arguing about
Federal debt will affect your savings, your retirement, your mortgage, your health care, and your children. How well do you understand the government decisions that will end up coming out of your pocket?
Here is essential information that every American citizen needs—and has the right—to know. This guide to deciphering the jargon of the country's budget problem covers everything from the country's $9 trillion and growing debt to the fact that, for thirty-one out of the last thirty-five years, the country has spent more on government programs and services than it has collected in taxes. It also explores why elected leaders on every side of the fence have so far failed to effectively address this issue and explains what you can do to protect your future.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book was written to enlighten people about the United States federal budget and it accomplishes this goal with both simplicity and style. As everyone knows, the federal budget of the United States is gigantic- the largest government budget in the world with revenues and spending levels that make it several times larger than even the largest corporation. These larger than life numbers often create confusion on the part of the public, and one of the main goals of this book is to put the numbers into perspective so that readers will understand them. Through the use of graphs, charts, and comparisons, the authors succeed at making the numbers understandable. For example, there is one section that helps the reader understand how much a billion dollars is by showing what this amount of money could buy. To quote one example, a billion dollars is enough to pay the college tuition for 45,000 people at a private university for one year.Read more ›
Japan and China together hold about $1 trillion of our federal debt, with OPEC nations holding another $100 billion. Meanwhile, our personal savings rate was a minus 2% in 2006.
Major sources of federal taxes include corporate taxes (15%), personal taxes (33%), and Social Security + Medicare (33%). Major uses include defense (20%), interest (9%), Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security (40%), and discretionary spending (40%).
Probably the biggest value of "Where Does the Money Go?" lies in its objective assessment of various "quick fixes" - eg. simply let the Bush tax cuts expire (will take a long time to correct; regardless, won't fix Medicare or Social Security), cut discretionary spending (very, very difficult), etc.
Outside of global terrorism and the international need to urgently develop a winning strategy for bringing about fully functioning nation-states with liberal democratic governments, I can't think of a more important topic for national discussion in this election year than dealing with the immense problem all Americans face with the national debt at the point it is ($9 trillion and growing!). Something simply has to be done and done quickly; an economic catastrophe for the United States looms on the near horizon.
Now, it needs to be said that Bittle and Johnson do not propose "the" solution to the problem of the growing national debt. They do an excellent job of presenting the problem (both historically and in its present manifestation), providing the reader with a multitude of statistics (with appropriate graphs and charts), and analyzing the ins and outs of various ways to approach the problem, with critiques of some solutions already suggested.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a good book for the basics of the federal budget. It goes over the mainline items and shows how they affect the budget. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Aaron
Very out of date. Interesting information on the federal budget... from the Clinton years.Published 18 months ago by M. Heiss
Fine analysis of many of our contemporary economic problems, especially the US national debt and what it means for us and future generationsPublished on August 13, 2014 by by Joseph Palladino
Although "Where Does The Money Go" is about four years old and info is dated, it presents the complexity of solving our economic and deficit problems. Read morePublished on June 1, 2014 by Doreen Kohr