This assignment is rather lengthy and the first thing you need to do is create a new Word or Works document so you don’t miss any parts and where you can put your answers. I will have at least eight graphics on separate entries. So once you have made your document, you will be able to open each one of these graphics, study it, then put your answers on your document. Be sure to save after each entry. Then at the end of the page here, you will be asked to go to a website and try your hand at fixing the budget. Be sure to go through all the eight graphics before attempting the website. Also watch the short video clip comparing a table-full of pennies to the national debt and some proposed cuts.
While some of these figures are obviously not up to date, the newest figures are even worse with our total debt over $18 trillion dollars. So just know that nothing has turned around at this point. (FYI: updated 2016 charts and graphs not required to view but if you are interested can be found at this link: )
The first image I want you to look at it the 2011 $3.8 trillion budget.
1. What are the two areas that take the larges amount of money?
The next graphic is of the U.S. Debt per capita.
2. What do you see happening here?
Next is a graphic entitled Freebies vs. Freedom (Entitlements vs Defense).
3. Do you see a problem here? If so, what is it? If no problem, tell me why?
In the graphic, How Spending Has Shifted (questions 4 and 5),
4. What area has increased the most?
5. What single area has decreased the most?
One of the scariest graphics here, is the one entitled Our Monthly Interest vs Annual Agency Budgets.
6. Why would I call it scary? In other words what do you see as dramatic here among the seven columns [one is very different from the rest]?
The next two graphics should be together showing Debt to GDP and Federal Spending and Household Income.
7. I just want you to comment on any problems you think might exist because of these trends. You may comment on both or just one.
Next, Next, we see Government Production vs. Government transfers. As the information explains, government produces nothing except postal services and national defense,
8. so where do they get money to transfer it to farm subsidies, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as well as ethanol subsidies?
Oh my, the next graphic – Federal Debt vs. Gold Tonnes in Reserve – compares the amount of debt in dollars the federal government has compared to the amount of actual gold in reserve.
9. What’s wrong with this picture if our creditor’s call in our notes [want them paid immediately]?
10. In 1960, the United States exported $3.5 billion more than we imported. In 2009, we imported $374 billion more than we exported. An example of this imbalance between what we export and import is shown in the graphic with just one country – China. Do you see this statistic as a problem or not and why? Be sure to mention this graphic.
11. We can’t begin to understand the national debt unless it is put in concrete terms. How can anyone understand a billion dollars much less a trillion. So consider the following analogy. If you were to take $100 bills – not $1 bills or $20 bills, but $100 bills-and stacked them seven feet tall and fill in every single inch of an NFL football field from end zone to end zone, that would represent one trillion dollars. Now put thirteen of those fields side by side and you start to picture the size of the debt we’ve incurred.
Another example: Let’s say that, on the day Jesus was born (it’s a historic date), you began spending $1 million a day. Every single day, 365 days a year, for more than two thousand years, you would spend a million bucks a day. By the time this book was published, you would have spend nearly $735 billion – still well short of a trillion dollars. In fact, you would need to keep spending $1 million a day for another 730 years before you spent just one trillion dollars. Our debt is approaching $15 trillion!
Click on the link to see another visual of just how much this national debt is:
If the website doesn’t open by clicking on it, copy and paste into your browser and it will open.
If you really want to have an eye-opener check out the real time debt clock and tell me what you think about this situation:
So the question is, should we keep spending money we don’t have? Be sure to give your thoughts on this graphic on the website as well as the debt clock.
12. One of the areas that the national government needs to take the dominate role in is defense although the budget there needs to be audited and scrutinized carefully. [In July 2010 the Pentagon admitted that it cannot account for $8.7 billion in Iraqi funds.] One of the largest costs for the military is fuel/ If 40% of the Defense Department’s budget is spent on overhead, then just reducing the markup on that to the same maximum permitted to private contractors (15%) could save nearly a quarter of the budget with no real loss of combat power and perhaps we could raise soldier’s pay.
In 2010, pay for a new private or basic airman is $17,366 per year. A corporal with three years of experience in the Army receives $25,128 and a sergeant-level employee with five years experience receives $37,104. For comparison, the 2008 poverty level for a family of three was $17,163 per year. For further comparison, the Department of Labor was recently looking for a staff assistant. The job pays a minimum of $51,000 for the first year.
Your comments or reflections on #12.
13. Video explaining the proposed Obama budget cut. After watching this example, what are you impressions of the budget cuts.
14. New York Times – budget simulation fix website-Budget Puzzle- Complete all the above before attempting this simulation.
After you have finished the above puzzle, tell me the savings (%) from tax increases (mine was 3%) and the savings (%) from spending cuts (mine was 97%). Apparently, this part of the website may not working, so just tell acouple of the items you selected ( you don’t need to list them all).
•Good website with current budget- just for your information and curiosity
15. Now look at this last graphic (“Where the money comes from and where the money goes”) on what money actually is projected to come into the government and what the President proposes to spend. What do you see as a problem and what would you do about it?
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