Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Washington takes and spends a lot from your household


How much will the federal government in Washington spend per household during 2009? $5,000? $10,000? $15,000?

How much will Washington take from each household in taxes?

And where does most of the money go? Iraq? Afghanistan? Roads? Schools?

The actual numbers are staggering.

Wisconsin native, UW-Madison graduate and Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs in the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage FoundationBrian Riedl, analyzed financial data from the Office of Management and Budget and applied it to America’s 118 million households.

Now comes the sticker shock. Riedl found that during 2009, Washington will spend $33,880 per household. That is the most in American history and a whopping $8,000 increase over 2008.  Washington this year will collect $18,277 per household in taxes. The leftover $15,603 constitutes our ever-growing budget deficit.

Here is the breakdown on how $33,880 per household is spent in the nation’s capital:

Social Security/Medicare: $9,418. Employer
s and their workers split the payroll tax. Unless the number of workers can keep pace with the increasing number of baby boomer retirees, Riedl projects an increase in taxes per household of $12,000 to cover costs.

Financial Bailouts: $6,328.  This includes stimulus expenditures and the rescue of financial institutions.

Defense: $5,850. Anything military falls under this category that saw a decrease in spending because
Communism fell in the early 1990’s, only to increase again post 9/11.

Anti-poverty programs: $4,745. Half goes to state Medicaid programs. The rest is spent on food stamps, housing and child-care subsidies, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and low-income tax credits.

Interest on the federal debt: $1,210. Washington is $12.9 trillion in debt. The federal government owes $8.5 trillion to public bond owners, and the rest to other federal agencies. And yet, Washington continues to spend like crazy.

Federal employee retirement benefits: $982.

Unemployment benefits: $902. This category doubled this year.

Veterans' benefits: $819.

Health research/regulation: $699.  Dollars go to the National Institute of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and grant programs for health providers.

Highways/mass transit: $529. The 18.4 cent per gallon federal gas tax pays for highways and mass transit.

Justice administration: $452.  Expenditures fund federal attorneys and prisons and law enforcement grant programs.

Education: $415. Why such a small figure? Most education spending is a state and local matter. Federal education dollars go to special education, low-income districts, and college financial aid.

That leaves $1,531 per household that is spent on all other miscellaneous federal programs.

 $33,880 spent per household.

$18,277 in taxes per household, and that’s just the federal level.

Ask yourself if you feel you’re getting a value.

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