Circulating on the Internet: The economy in simple terms

Here’s a simple way to compare the American economy under President Obama to a simple home budget. How long could you run your household overspending this much, knowing your kids would have to pay whatever you owed after you died?

Linked on the internet @: http://www.uglyhedgehog.com/t-54169-1.html

* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let’s now remove 8 zeros from each of the figures and pretend it’s a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts so far: $385.00

All Americans and our kids can do for the time being is to hope for a change in the November 2012 elections! What would four more years of this overspending do to your household – bankruptcy, that’s what because you can’t print more money.



  1. JRM_CommonSense

    At the end of 2011, the average annual income was a little over $51,000, not $21,700. If we have to pretend that it is $21,700, then we can reduce our expenses by removing the 20%+ that we are spending on defense since a family does not need to buy those expensive weapon systems. We can also reduce that 12% we are giving away to other poor people as welfare. And finally we can realize that that we really do not have to budget to save 22% for our retirement.

    I guess that this shows just what a boogey man issue this representation of the federal budget to a home budget really is. But, since it is “circulating on the internet”, it must be a really valid representation of the real world…….

  2. As usual, JRM forgets that families DO have to spend money, defending themselves from those who would rob or harm them. Upgrading windows and doors, alarm systems, CCTV systems, guns and ammunition, are all items that the average family might use to secure their homes, and themselves.

    BTW, National defense IS a Constitutional mandate, in case you forgot.

  3. Snussssss’s comment about costs for CCTV and alarms is laughable since violent crime in the US has been dropping steadily for years (DOJ and FBI stats, look it up). Maybe he meant to be sarcastic, maybe not.

    And, yes, national defense IS a Constitutional mandate. Spending at the levels we do to feed a military-industrial complex IS NOT. We could dump billions from the defense budget and still have the mightiest military in the world by far. But, then we wouldn’t be able to fund all those jobs in the M-I complex.

  4. JRM_CommonSense

    Well SNuss, if you are using the $21,700 as the income portion of the “simple home budget”, then the family would most likely be living in a rental unit and not buying a house. In that case they would not be spending $5000+ dollars upgrading windows and doors and putting in closed circuit TV systems to protect their rental unit. That $5000+ would probably be more than the value of what they would have to protect. They might be able to afford buying one gun, but they couldn’t afford the FOID card, the holster for concealed carry, or the bullets – well maybe they could get just one clip full.

    I noticed you failed to comment on the welfare reduction but you probably recognize that it would be on the income side of their ledger rather than the expense side.

    You also ignored the pension statement, but again you probably realize that the “simple home budget” contains pension saving for one or two regular citizen rather than a bunch of government employees.

    And finally, I do know that National defense is a Constitutional mandate. That, however, is a government issue, not a “simple home budget” problem. So what does it have to do with this discussion. I would have thought you would have recognized that, but I guess you needed a boogey man statetment to throw out here and try to confuse the issues being discussed.

  5. As usual, JRM, you miss the point. Those were just examples of security devices. I didn’t include mundane items such as deadbolt locks, and putting bars on the windows.

    Speaking of economics, here is a PRIME example of why government should not be running healthcare, or much of anything else:

    Amtrak lost $800M on cheeseburgers and soda

    Taxpayers lost $833 million over the last decade on the food and beverages supplied by Amtrak, which managed to spend $1.70 for every dollar that received in revenue.

    “Over the last ten years, these losses have amounted to a staggering $833.8 million,” said Rep.John Mica, R-Fla., in a statement previewing a House hearing today. “It costs passengers $9.50 to buy a cheeseburger on Amtrak, but the cost to taxpayers is $16.15. Riders pay $2.00 for a Pepsi, but each of these sodas costs the U.S. Treasury $3.40.”

    “Amazon.com is currently selling 24-packs of 12 ounce Pepsi cans for $8.94 — which averages to about 75 cents per can.”

    Amtrak President Joe Boardman tried encourage House investigators by telling them that last year’s losses represent an improvement over previous years. “Our ongoing programs have certainly delivered measurable financial efficiencies,” Boardman told Congress in his written testimony today. “In 2006, our food and beverage service recovered 49 percent of their costs. In 2011, these services recovered 59 percent of their costs,” he testified.

    Read the rest at: http://washingtonexaminer.com/amtrak-lost-800m-on-cheeseburgers-and-soda/article/2503832

    If you can’t make a profit selling food and drink to a captive clientele, you have to REALLY be lousy at running a business.

    As Milton Friedman so accurately opined: “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand”

  6. JRM_CommonSense

    As usual SNuss, you miss the point. Ted’s point in this string was that taking a wad of zeros off of the federal budget numbers would give us “the economy in simple terms”. My posts dealt with some pretty significant differences in the “simple home budget” that was supposed to make understanding the economy easy and the federal budget used as the template – minus the wad of zeros.

    My response was very simple, but it seems like I need to say it again so you can think about it again. The users of “simple home budget” method don’t spend 20+% of their budget on defense spending, or 12% of their budget on welfare for other people, or 22% on public “service” pensions. So, if over 50% of the “simple home budget” is significantly different from the sample used to define it (minus the wads of zeros), the premise is really lame.

    And now you decide that it is better to argue deadbolts,window bars, and Amtrak inefficiency. Typical! FOCUS and put your boogey men away!

    • Ted Biondo

      JRM, my point was to dramatize the idiocy of this administration’s spending what they don’t have to spend, in a simple example that everyone would understand. You have taken that simple example and tried to confuse, twist, introduce more nonpertinent issues to make my simple point unrecognizable – your obvious intention.

      Why can’t you and other liberals simply deal with the simplicity of these issues. It’s because the more complicated you make it, the more you think that proves how smart, and Harvard educated you have to be, in order to possibly comprehend these complex issues.

      Liberals set up these faux levels of understanding required to be on a level with them. No one with simple common sense and logic need apply, correct?

  7. The only “lame” thing around here, is located between your ears. Comparing a household to an entire country is not an exact analogy, but it is close enough to prove the point. Your nit-picking is just another pathetic attempt to spin the issue.

  8. JRM_CommonSense

    The problem, Ted, is that the simple approach you are suggesting for “understanding the economy” is nothing more than another example of “doublespeak” that is not grounded in fact. “Simple explanations” of “complex issues” never work. If you use “simple explanations”, no one really grasps the depth of the problems because they think they are simple problems.

    The Federal budget is nothing like a “simple home budget” and to try to represent is as such to prove a point about overspending and “circulating it on the internet” makes conservatives look like idiots. While some of the conservatives who represent us in the government act like idiots, we are not idiots. If we really try, we can do better than trying to convince people of “truths” using boogeyman headlines that are not grounded in cold hard facts. If people do not understand what the spending is for and whether or not those things are needed, then they will never understand the deep, doggie doo-doo we are in. You should know that from all of your years of working on budgets and tax issues, and participating in the governmental processes.

    But, if you want to try to keep hammering these type of “simple explanations” for “complex issues”, then go ahead. I am sure that SNuss will support that effort by calling people names and showing his inability to carry on a meaningful conversation. I will just have to continue to point out how far from reality these “simple explanations” really are.

  9. Everyone (excepting the mentally-deficient, and Leftist Liberals. But, I repeat myself) understands that if this Country continues to spend more money than it has revenues to cover, that eventually, the government won’t be able to borrow its way out of its expenditures. That leaves very few options:

    First, it can print money to pay its bills, which will devalue our currency, and eliminate any chance that anybody will deal with us for anything except hard currency (gold, silver, or other commodities). That will also destroy the value of any savings that we citizens have. It will also decimate funding for all government programs, including all social “entitlements”. Our economy would nearly cease to exist (Think Germany, pre-Hitler). One benefit, the now-worthless currency could be burned to supply heat.

    Second, the Country can default on its debts, which will cause most of what I listed in the first point.

    Third would be something similar to Chapter 13 bankruptcy. All non-essential programs would be cut. Federal properties would have to be evaluated, and any non-essential parts sold, probably to foreigners. Taxes would have to be significantly increased on EVERYBODY, except the poverty-stricken, to pay the debt. We would become, in essence, a Third-World country.

    We NEED a major shift back to free-market capitalism to grow our economy, combined with significant cuts in virtually all programs, not the Obama regime’s “fundamentally transforming the United States” into something that would have our Founders spinning in their graves.

    Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.-Alexis de Tocqueville

  10. JRM_CommonSense

    You are right SNuss, but unfortunately we have a government that has failed miserably at reducing spending. Look at this past year’s fiasco of Congress failing to agree on cuts and forming a committee, the Supercommittee, to finish the task, with the added threat of automatic draconian budget cuts if they failed. Guess what, they failed, and come Januay 1st 2013, these “agreed to” draconian cuts are scheduled to take effect.

    Now we see these same people who failed to find the agreements on spending cuts looking for ways to prevent the mandated spending cuts from taking effect because it will hurt the country. These same people are talking about continuing a set of tax reductions that have been in place for almost 12 years under the pretense of creating jobs and helping the economy but not doing so.

    I don’t think the problem is solely a “mentally-deficient, and Leftist Liberal” but you repeat yourself, issue. The failure to agree to spending cuts and budget and deficit reductions is a Congressional issue that they have failed to address. And now they go home for a 5 week vacation leaving their jobs unfinished.

    I know this will all be resolved come November when we win the Presidency, the House, and the Senate. Then, in one week, we will be able to repeal everything that has been done over the last four years and return to January 20th, 2009 when all was well and this brutal recession had not even started. The unfortunate part of that is that there will be no checks and balances and we will be no better off than we are right now. Same game, most of the same players, and they still will not be able to figure it out or work together to get it done.

    At least, all citizens will be able to understand the issue because they have been enlightened by the availability of a simple approach to understanding the economy; one that makes it look like a simple home budget.

  11. The important thing is to remove as much of the Obama regime and the RINOs from Washington, as possible. IMHO, true fiscal conservatism, such as the TEA Party represents, is what is necessary to resurrect our economy and reduce the size of Federal government back to its Constitutionally-mandated levels. Otherwise, this Country will become the 21st century version of the Weimar Republic (the Leftists’ Utopia?).

  12. JRM_CommonSense

    Yah, can’t wait for that overwhelming victory in November when we win the Presidency, the House, and the Senate. Then we can repeal the last 4 years and go back to January 20th 2009 when all things were rosy and this country had not yet been forced into this nasty recession. Just wait when there is no one to challenge us and we can force through all those moral dictates and insure that America is a true Christian nation. Amen brother, praise the Lord!

    • Ted Biondo

      JRM – You are not a conservative – why don’t you just admit it!

      A conservative would never mock Christian values. Liberals want a religion that allows them to do whatever they want – no rules, no values, no limits. The worst part is that they can’t stand it if a Christian holds up a standard or value that they don’t want – so they must demean those who try to live to a Christian standard!

  13. Adam Faber

    Ted, would not a true conservative want to live in a country where each individual is free to practice their own religion, whether Christian or not? A country where the government does not impose Christianity on the masses?

    • Ted Biondo

      Yes Adam – free to practice their own religion, whether Christian or not – but secularists seek to destroy Christainity whereever they find it for some reason – maybe the standards are too high and they don’t want to feel guilty about not meeting them?

  14. Adam, the government is not forcing ANYONE to accept Christian beliefs. If anything, the Liberals in government are actively seeking to remove any hint of Christianity from public view, while forcing those with Christian values to abandon them.

    See: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/doj-colorado-family-give-your-religion-or-your-business

  15. Adam Faber

    You didn’t answer my question, Snuss.

  16. JRM_CommonSense

    Sorry Ted, but I was not trying to “demean those who try to live to a Christian standard.” I was chastizing those who feel they have the right and duty to legislate morality in our society at the congressional level, thereby infringing on other peoples religious freedom.

    Sorry Ted, all conservatives are not like you and SNuss. When were you two granted the duties of dictating conservative standards and deciding who was a conservative and who wasn’t? Oh right, that happened when you decided that you wanted to do it!

    Sorry Ted, but could you please supply me with support for your blatantly dishonest statement “Liberals want a religion that allows them to do whatever they want – no rules, no values, no limits”? I guess I missed the announcement that there were no Liberal Christians anymore. Oh that’s right, you “would never intentionally lie” or present your opinions as facts.

    Sorry Ted, but many conservatives are not Christians, and there are many conservative Christians who mock Christian values every day by their failures to live up to those Christian values. If you don’t believe me, read the newspapers and watch the news. You can’t tell me all those evil things happening in this world are only done by Liberal non-christians. Well, I guess you probably will try to tell me that! Sorry I forgot who I was talking to.

  17. JRM_CommonSense

    Wikipedia says this about “Secularism”:

    “Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries. In one sense, secularism may assert the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, and the right to freedom from governmental imposition of religion upon the people within a state that is neutral on matters of belief.”

    It goes on to say:

    “The term “secularism” was first used by the British writer George Jacob Holyoake in 1851.[6] Although the term was new, the general notions of freethought on which it was based had existed throughout history. In particular, early secular ideas involving the separation of philosophy and religion can be traced back to Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and the Averroism school of philosophy.[7][8] Holyoake invented the term “secularism” to describe his views of promoting a social order separate from religion, without actively dismissing or criticizing religious belief. An agnostic himself, Holyoake argued that “Secularism is not an argument against Christianity, it is one independent of it. It does not question the pretensions of Christianity; it advances others. Secularism does not say there is no light or guidance elsewhere, but maintains that there is light and guidance in secular truth, whose conditions and sanctions exist independently, and act forever. Secular knowledge is manifestly that kind of knowledge which is founded in this life, which relates to the conduct of this life, conduces to the welfare of this life, and is capable of being tested by the experience of this life.”[9]”

    I guess someone missed the philosophy class the day “secularism” was the topic for discussion, OR they once again decided that they had a better definition!

  18. Adam, I did answer the question. I merely pointed out that the government is enforcing secularism against Christians. The government SHOULD acknowledge what the majority of citizens believe, without endorsing it, or opposing it.
    If that doesn’t answer your question, did you have a particular country in mind?

  19. Adam Faber

    Ted, you agree that a true conservative believes that an individual should be “free to practice their own religion, whether Christian or not,” but you also aver that JRM cannot be a conservative because he does not support the idea of government passing laws to enforce “moral dictates and insure that America is a true Christian nation”. So, which is it? Are you the kind of conservative who respects an individual’s religious liberty or the kind who wants to force your own brand of Christianity upon everybody else?

    • Ted Biondo

      Adam, I just want the government to get out of religion altogether – especially since it is actually – No Religion! And don’t tell me where I can place religious objects or not – in cemetaries, on public land, etc. because you are violating my first amendment rights against the government establishment of a religion – secularism!

  20. Adam Faber

    Secularism is not a religion, Ted. JRM has cited text that explains that very clearly. I don’t know why you cannot understand a simple explanation of what that word actually means.

    I just want to verify that you’re actually saying this: you want the government out of religion so you can use the government’s property to push your religion on other people?

    Regardless, you have not answered the question: which kind of conservative are you? You said that JRM cannot be a conservative because he does not want to thrust Christianity upon the people, but you also agreed that a conservative would believe that an individual would be free to practice their own religion whether it’s yours or not. Which is it?

    • Ted Biondo

      Secularism is a religion in this country and it intends to destroy any belief in Christianity by any means necessary. This LINK shows what I mean:


      An atheist, secularist trying to change a restaurant’s discount of 10% for bringing in a church bulletin on Sunday as a marketing tool to increase business! This guy wasn’t being forced into a religious experience, he just wanted to stop others from benefitting with a cheaper price for going to church.

      Looking at the guy, he should have his senior discount taken away because that discriminates against youger people. These secularists want everyone to be just as miserable as they are in their lives without any faith after life!

  21. Adam Faber

    No, it’s not. Words have definitions for a reason. Wikipedia, as already cited, explicitly says that “[s]ecularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries.” That is not a religion.

    I shall repeat that which I have already reiterated and you continue to evade: which kind of conservative are you? You said that JRM cannot be a conservative because he does not want to thrust Christianity upon the people, but you also agreed with me that a true conservative would believe that an individual should be free to practice their own religion whether it’s yours or not. Now, which is it?

  22. Secularism is a belief system, or rather, an “un-belief” system. In that respect, it is no different than a religion.

  23. Adam Faber

    I think you’re confusing atheism with secularism. Fortunately, we have standard dictionary definitions for words whether you believe in dictionaries or not.

  24. JRM_CommonSense

    Since Ted and SNuss have confirmed that secularism is a religion in this country, I am going to open a secularist parish here in Rockford. I have been wanting to get back into the preacher business and this looks like a good opportunity. Tomorrow morning I am going to file the paperwork required to gain my tax exempt status like all other religions.

    Adam, I am going to need an Associate Pastor. The job is yours if you want it. I will be developing an app tonight that will take the Christian (not Catholic) New Testament and create the Secularist Scripture. It will be really easy since all that has to be done is the phrase “- NOT” will have to be placed at the end of each verse.

    Besides the tax exempt status benefit, another benefit we will have is the ability to make words mean what we want them to be rather than having to conform to those stupid dictionary defintions. I have also found classes where we can become proficient in the art of “doublespeak” so that we can make whole phases, sentences, paragraphs, and books mean what we want them to mean rather than putting up with all those jibber-jabber words that authors use. These classes are offered by a GED program that claims Ted and SNuss as alumni, so the classes must be the best.

    This is going to be fun. Let me know if your in Adam.

  25. Adam Faber

    I’m in as long as the job comes with a newspaper blog position from which I can proclaim anything I want, no matter how ridiculous, to be fact. I sure hope that we don’t encounter any trouble obtaining our tax exempt status given that Secularism is apparently an established religion.

  26. No thanks, JRM, I’d rather take the class about inane blathering, of which you are the Professor Emeritus. I really need to learn how to interpret the difference between what you think that you are trying to say, and what actually gets printed.

    As to your “secular” beliefs, since you believe in the “Separation of Church and State”, would you please point out where in the Constitution that phrase occurs? Or, do you believe in something that is neither visible, nor provable?

  27. JRM_CommonSense

    You see SNuss, there goes your “interpreting rather than reading” phobia again. No where in this discussion did I say that I believed that “separation of church and state” was used in the Constitution, but somehow or other you think that I said that. Everyone knows that little “doublespeak” trick you are trying to pull. Probably learned it at the GED class you attended – four times. I guess “inane blathering” was also a key phrase they also tried to teach you since you seem to be such an expert on it!

    Now you are going to come back with the argument that the first line in the definition of secularism that I referenced uses the word “separation” when referring to the relationship between “government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries” as “proof” of my belief in “separation of church and state”. All I can do is respond to you with your “interpretation” of facism. To paraphrase your idiocy, it would be that you don’t have to exhibit all of the attributes of facism to be a facist, just one or two traits are all it takes. I guess your assessment of yourself as a Christian and an intelligent person follows that same logic. In fact, you probably claim yourself to be one of those “born again” Christians. We can all plainly see where that has gotten you.

  28. As usual, your blathering insults are lacking any truth or factual basis. But why should I expect any better from those of your ilk? Hopefully, your anklyloproctia will subside someday, and you will be able to think more clearly.

  29. Adam Faber

    Snuss, that that exact phrase does not appear in the U.S. Constitution does not invalidate the premise laid out by the text “[c]ongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” that does appear in the first amendment and that was coined a separation of church and state by Thomas Jefferson.That term was used in opinions by SCOTUS as far back as 1878. You know this, or at least you should know this if you are going to attempt to engage in any serious discussion on this topic. Playing semantics is a last-ditch effort to back up an untenable position. The fact that your position cannot be supported is reinforced by your next move: potty talk. Using big boy words, even if you had managed to spell “ankyloproctia” correctly, is still immature potty talk that you only use because you have nothing else.

  30. JRM_CommonSense

    Oh isn’t the little 3rd grade playground bully cute when he pretends that he can play with the big boys and use fancy grown up words. Someday he will have to outgrow his fixation with other people’s behinds or he could be spending time in the big house with the really big boys who will not hesitate the kick his behind when he makes one of his usual smart-mouthed comments that they take exception to.

    If you would like to see the “truth or factual basis” for my insults of you, just go back and read lots of your past posts. Maybe we should start a facebook or twitter poll on how many people really put any stock in anything you post. Most of your posts are repeats of other peoples words (also known as regurgitation)- except those that you don’t change and/or add words to make support your positions. AND, we know you will not disappoint us with your next post.

  31. Adam Faber

    Ted, you still have not responded. Are just masquerading as a true, small-government conservative when you’re actually one of those “conservatives” who wants a large nanny-state government that forces Catholicism upon the people, removes all personal liberties, legislates morality and imposes harsh criminal penalties for victimless crimes? Your posts and comments would indicate the latter. Man up and admit it.

  32. Adam Faber

    Waiting. Still waiting. By now we know that this is a tacit acknowledgement that our allegations are, in fact, true. I knew it, Ted. We always knew it.

    • Ted Biondo

      Adam, I am not getting into a debate with you as to “When did I stop beating my wife.” There is no answer to that kind of question. I stand on the millions of dollars I have saved people who have no spokesperson, regardless of what your little mind tries to conceive as inconsistencies in my position! Your view, as for as I’m concerned, doesn’t matter in the scheme of things. Is that final enough of an answer for you?

  33. Adam Faber

    This is a typical response from you, Ted. When caught in a lie or bit of hypocrisy, you usually revert to juvenile insults as you did here with your sophomoric “little mind” comment or try to change the subject to your perceived accomplishments with local fiscal issues which have absolutely no relevance to the topic at hand. The former is immature and reveals your true character while the latter is just desperate.

    I can consistently articulate my position: I favor a government that allows each individual to practice his or her selected religion so long as it does not interfere with the right of others to do the same, that does not impose religious restrictions upon citizens and that does not try to legislate morality. If I can do this, why are you not man enough to state your own position instead of pretending to be something that you are not?

  34. Adam Faber

    Ted, I just noticed that you edited your post from August 8, 2012 at 3:00 P.M. that originally said simply: “Secularism is a religion in this country.” Now it includes talk of a church bulletin. That’s a cute new habit that you have picked up: post something, allow others to respond, then edit that post which people have based their response off of. Cute — and the pinnacle of professionalism.

    • Ted Biondo

      Adam – “…based their response off of” – what does that mean?

  35. Adam Faber

    Exactly what is says. We base our response off of what you write.

  36. $ 38,500,000,000 minus 8 zeros is $385, not $38.5. I can’t believe this was posted back in August and no one has picked up on that yet.

    • Ted Biondo

      Good Catch Paul, but it still doesn’t change the fact that a family would ultimately go bankrupt if they spent their money like the government does!

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