Guest Blogger Dick Richards: Do the Math

Today’s post is from an old college friend of mine, Dick Richards:

In addressing a town hall question on extending the current tax rates to everyone including the wealthy, President Obama said he “didn’t have the math” for that.  Well, here’s some very simple math for the president that we all ought to remember when we walk into the voting booth on November 2nd.  Take the 2010 federal budget of $3.7 trillion and divide by the total U.S. population of 309 million.  That comes to federal spending of over $12,000 per person.  That’s nearly $50,000 per family of four.  By comparison, federal spending per person in 1970 was $1000.  And these numbers do not even include government spending at the state and local level.  Where in the world does this money come from?  How can our economy be anywhere but on its knees when government spending is that high?

Another thing to consider is the stimulus.  Again, the math is simple.  Divide $800 billion by the total population and we come to a stimulus package of approximately $2600 per person.  Yet, once we collectively have decided to spend $800 billion wouldn’t the most egalitarian approach be to write a $2600 check to every single citizen?  For a family of four at the poverty level, that would come to over $10,000 and would amount to about half their annual income.  Is there even one poor family in the United States who believes they received that much value from the stimulus?  Is there even one poor family in the United States who is receiving $50,000 of value from this year’s budget?  Is there any question we can stay on this path?

The politicians and bureaucrats in Washington believe they know better about how to spend your money than you.  I don’t think so.  But, one thing is for sure: they do know how to spend your money.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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1 Response to Guest Blogger Dick Richards: Do the Math

  1. NewYawker says:

    That $1,000 in 1970, in inflation adjusted dollars, is now around $5800 dollars. So it really has only doubled. But point taken.


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