April 29 marks the third year that the U.S. Senate has not passed a budget. Now more than ever, it is crucial that Americans understand what our nation’s spending, taxes, and debt mean for them and their families and why Congress must urgently get back to budgeting.
The Heritage Foundation’s newly released Federal Budget in Pictures 2012 edition (previously called the Budget Chart Book) offers a unique tool to learn about the federal budget in a clear and compelling way.
Debt and Deficits chart 1 shows that publicly held debt is set to skyrocket as deficit spending explodes to finance runaway spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. If government spending continues on its current trajectory, in less than 20 years each man, woman, and child in America will owe more than $100,000 for their share of the federal credit card. (Article continued below)
Entitlement spending is the largest driver of America’s looming spending and debt crises. Entitlements chart 2 demonstrates this fact by showing that, without transformational reforms, spending on Medicare, Medicaid, the Obamacare subsidies, and Social Security will devour all tax revenues by 2045. (Article continued below)
President Obama laid out his vision for America’s future in February in his fiscal year 2013 budget. The President proposed no meaningful entitlement reforms, but he would rack up more spending and debt and hike taxes by $2 trillion—even though history shows that increasing tax rates does not necessarily lead to higher income tax receipts. Higher taxes on working, saving, and investing would, however, discourage the productive activities that enable the American economy to grow and the American people to get back to work. American businesses are already hamstrung internationally, as the U.S. has the highest corporate tax rate in the world.