We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. – Preamble United States Constitution
The preamble above is a powerful statement that many Americans take for granted. Most people don’t know what is even written into our Constitution, and many complain about our government without knowing the rules and laws of our government. As a fan of smaller government, or less government involvement in my life, I wanted to go back to the basics for of how our country spends money and how your voting for an educated, financially knowledgable person to change our government can help you out. But change must first start with you educating yourself about how your country works.
Total Federal Spending
Above you can see, simply, how the USA spent it’s money in 2015. You can see how Social Security, Unemployment, Labor, Medicare and Health take up 60% of all federal spending. We claim to be a democracy, but with the federal government spending 60% of their money on social services, lets be honest and say we are moving toward socialism, and the younger generation is fine with the government taxing them more if they receive more in return. I however am not fine with higher taxes, because currently I receive the minimum benefits from that 60% being spent. I put into that money and in return I should get the benefits later in life, but who knows the future. As a smaller government guy I propose we turn over some of these services to the local communities. Let the people help their neighbors, let grown children and families take care of their aging relatives, and allow churches to do God’s work and help their congregations. I have never felt the preamble says the government is suppose to support you for poor planning and mishaps in your life. That seems like a local issue that is best served at the local level. It would also save our citizens lots of tax money, so they could further help each other or save more for their futures. I have donated time and money to my community, and I have seen the benefits first hand when the local people get together to help one another.
Above is a pie chart that shows discretionary spending, which means its optional through a bill most likely. You can see that the military is a large part of our discretionary spending, and most of this is for defense of our country. I agree we should defend our country, and we do have many enemies, but is there a better way to spend money on our military. I know of guys who got paid six figures in the military, to spend about fours a day in a military office answering phones because they where an officer. I know we don’t shop around for the best contracts for our weapons, aircraft, and other means of transportation. A government contract is a guarantee for a company to rip off their own country for profit. We could also just take away President Trump’s twitter account and have less enemies, and that could save of millions. We just need to clean up a bit and we can probably save a lot of money with the right financial minds in place.
You can also see all the government services listed above and in smaller increments, and those should all be trimmed up to programs that have a proven track record of helping better peoples lives in the long term. Most people on food stamps are using them in hard times (1/3 off food stamps in under a year/ most food stamps off by 3 year mark), but others are generational food stamp recipients, and those that abuse the system should be forced out. We could also put more into transportation, education, energy, science, and things that help lift people out of poverty and give them more economic opportunities. There is an AI race happening right now, and it would be great if the USA could invest in that to better our country.
Above you will see the United States mandatory spending, or spending required by law to be spent. This is more than double discretionary spending, and that is alright because we need to keep the government going, but if you look at the numbers 87% is Social Security, Unemployment, Health and Medicare. In the early days of our country (everything before the Great Depression), we did fine without the government supporting us in this way. FDR created these to ease the pain of the depression and historians aren’t sure if they were designed to last this long or not. Generation X and Millennials don’t believe that Social Security will be around for them in their own retirement, so you see especially with millennials, saving more in their retirement accounts. I have always saved my money as if social security wouldn’t exist by the time I’m ready to retire. Again, we should look to our families and local communities to help in hard times first and not burden our federal government. We need to get some financially savvy people to look over these programs and make sure they are sustainable.
We can’t blame the government for our high taxes or really anything. We, as misinformed voters, put certain people into power who created what we have today. Also, if you think you pay too much in taxes, just know our government is running a deficit because we can’t raise enough money to cover our expenses (see our 6% borrowed below). The best way to make the changes necessary and put more common sense back into our federal spending is to educate yourself first, spread the education to others, and vote for likeminded budget savvy people. If we elect those who are good with money, budgeting, common sense, and have a plan to make necessary changes we should leave our country better for our posterity, with even more liberty due to more financial freedom for all to pursue their loves and new creative endeavors. So get out and research informed people and vote according to their ideas, policies, and common sense, and stop going by party alone. We are in control of all of this and I hope this reminder doesn’t fall on deaf ears.
*I know this is all general spending numbers, and from 2015, but I am using it so that you can get a general view of how USA spending is done. I hope this gives beginners a general idea of how this works.