US national debt


English: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If we pay payroll taxes for 30 or 40 or 50 years as I did, then an individual is entitled to expect that the government lives up it its promises and provides adequate Social Security and Medicare benefits. If lenders lend money to the US government to fund the US national debt as wealthy citizens here in the US and around the world together with some governments have done, then they are entitled to expect repayment with interest in the future. Thus it is possible to look at all government expenditures as an entitlement of some sort. One principal difference among the various forms of entitlement is whether the funding is voluntary or forced through taxation. Another principal difference and one that is often overlooked is who are the beneficiaries of government entitlements? In the case of Social Security and Medicare, the beneficiaries are the 99%. The 1% pay payroll taxes too, but they are wealthy enough to pay for their own retirement and health care, most of us are not. The beneficiaries of the national debt being repaid are the 1%, wealthy individuals here in the US and around the world and some governments.

As I see it, some in government are willing to reduce some entitlements if the beneficiaries are the poor and middle class, while entitlements for the 1% must not be touched. Looked at that way, the GOP willingness to reduce Social Security and Medicare while preserving those entitlements of the wealthy 1% make perfect sense.

Government waste

Ratio public expenditure on GDP by country in ...

Ratio public expenditure on GDP by country in Europe, according to the most recent Eurostat data. This map will by updated as much as possible. Legend : maroon > 55%, red 50-55%, orange 45-50%, yellow 40-45%, green 35-40%, blue 30-35%, purple < 30% (not presently used). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of the current media reporting is about alleged government waste where the amount in question is relatively small, under $1 million. While that number may seem large to you or me, it is totally insignificant when compared to total government spending. To me, it seems a total waste of time to focus on the small expenditures when there are much larger frauds out there to expose, such as fraud by Medicare providers and waste by defense contractors. It is almost as if the corporate media has decided to provide a smoke screen for the GOP during this election season.

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