A Note about Government Spending

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Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) offers this informative note on government spending:
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As we pass the halfway point of 2014 and approach the September 30th end of the federal fiscal year, I think it’s a good time to take a look at a snapshot of House spending priorities.
 
The Congress appropriates funds through 12 separate bills.  Each piece of legislation funds one or more federal priority.  As you can see from the tables below the United States will spend a little over $1 trillion dollars in FY 2014 through discretionary appropriations. Just about half of that money, 48%, will go to non-war Defense priorities (although this does NOT include funds spent in Iraq or Afghanistan).
 
By way of comparison, China spends about $171 billion on Defense (35% of U.S. spending) and Russia spends about $85 billion (about 17% of U.S. spending).  Both those figures represent increases over prior years.
 
The two tables contain the same information sorted in different ways.  The first table is sorted in order of percentage of the FY 2014 budget allocated to various accounts in order to show which items the US government has prioritized.
 
The second table is sorted in order of bills that receive the largest percentage increase over the last fiscal year according to the House.  It also illustrates how the House views each bill for the coming fiscal year.  As you can see, three categories received increases, two remained flat and seven received cuts.
 
The President and Senate each have their own priorities for FY 2015. The differences between the three proposed budgets will be worked out over the next several months.
Table #1 (in Billions) FY 2014 %age of Total FY 2015 House Allocation $ Diff % Change
Non-WAR Defense $486.9 48.1% $490.9 $4.0 0.8%
Labor – Health and Human Services – Education $156.8 15.5% $155.7 -$1.1 -0.7%
Military Construction & Veterans’ Affairs $73.3 7.2% $71.5 -$1.8 -2.5%
Commerce, Justice, Science $51.6 5.1% $51.2 -$0.4 -0.8%
Transportation & Housing $50.9 5.0% $52.0 $1.1 2.2%
State & Foreign Operations $42.5 4.2% $42.4 -$0.1 -0.2%
Homeland Security $39.3 3.9% $39.2 -$0.1 -0.3%
Energy & Water $34.1 3.4% $34.0 -$0.1 -0.3%
Interior & Environmental $30.1 3.0% $30.2 $0.1 0.3%
Financial Services $21.9 2.2% $21.3 -$0.6 -2.7%
Agriculture $20.9 2.1% $20.9 $0.0 0.0%
Legislative Branch $4.3 0.4% $4.3 $0.0 0.0%
TOTAL $1,012.6 $1,013.6 $1.0 0.1%
Table #2 (in Billions) FY 2014 %age of Total FY 2015 House Allocation $ Diff % Change
Transportation & Housing $50.9 5.0% $52.0 $1.1 2.2%
Non-WAR Defense $486.9 48.1% $490.9 $4.0 0.8%
Interior & Environmental $30.1 3.0% $30.2 $0.1 0.3%
Agriculture $20.9 2.1% $20.9 $0.0 0.0%
Legislative Branch $4.3 0.4% $4.3 $0.0 0.0%
State & Foreign Operations $42.5 4.2% $42.4 -$0.1 -0.2%
Homeland Security $39.3 3.9% $39.2 -$0.1 -0.3%
Energy & Water $34.1 3.4% $34.0 -$0.1 -0.3%
Labor – Health and Human Services – Education $156.8 15.5% $155.7 -$1.1 -0.7%
Commerce, Justice, Science $51.6 5.1% $51.2 -$0.4 -0.8%
Military Construction & Veterans’ Affairs $73.3 7.2% $71.5 -$1.8 -2.5%
Financial Services $21.9 2.2% $21.3 -$0.6 -2.7%
TOTAL $1,012.6 $1,013.6 $1.0 0.1%
 
A few better known agencies in each category include (in order of Table #1)
  • Non-War Defense which includes Intelligence Agencies;
  • Labor-HHS-Education which includes the National Institutes of Health, Pell Grants and job training programs;
  • Military Construction and Veterans’ Services which includes housing for military families and veterans health care services;
  • Commerce, Justice, Science which includes the National Science Foundation, Juvenile Justice grants and the Census Bureau;
  • Transportation and Housing which includes the Community Development Block Grant Program, housing for seniors and the Federal Aviation Administration;
  • State and Foreign Affairs which includes global health initiatives;
  • Homeland Security which includes the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection and the Federal Emergency Management Agency;
  • Energy and Water which includes the Army Corps of Engineers and funding for renewable energy programs;
  • Interior and Environmental which includes the National Park Service and the Environmental Protection Agency;
  • Financial Services which includes the Treasury Department and the Federal Court system as well as many independent agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau;
  • Agriculture which includes the Food and Drug Administration, the Women Infant and Children Program (WIC) and other food assistance programs;
  • Legislative Branch which includes the US Capitol building and its functions. 
These are just a few examples that help illustrate the types of programming covered through each appropriations bill and how those bills fall in terms of House budget priorities.
On H.R.4923, considered this week, Rep. Capuano writes:
This week the House continued consideration of Fiscal Year Appropriations bills with H.R. 4923, Energy and Water Appropriations. While this bill does contain some provisions that I support, such as additional funding for Army Corps of Engineer projects, I had too many concerns with other portions of it. In particular, H.R. 4923 prevents the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from updating the definition of “navigable water” which has an impact on whether or not they are subject to protection under the Clean Water Act. The bill prohibits the Army Corps of Engineers from including mining and excavation waste in the categories covered under the Clean Water Act. H.R. 4923 also reduces funding for important initiatives such as the research and development of renewable energy. 
Rep. Capuano voted NO; Rep. Reed voted AYE. Rep. Reed’s amendment which shifted $4 million from one account to another was included in the final bill. As one sees from Table I, $4 million represents 0.01% of the $34 billion total expense. Overall spending for “Energy and Water” is down 0.3% in the House bill.

About whungerford

* Contributor at NewNY23rd.com where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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7 Responses to A Note about Government Spending

  1. josephurban says:

    And looking at the revenue side of the ledger (according to a law professor from Loyola,New Orleans) the following is happening: The CATO institute (extremely conservative) estimates that over $100 billion in tax subsidies goes to corporations each year. Tax breaks to corporations take another $200 billion out of the treasury, Special tax breaks for hedge fund managers cost $83 billion per year. Low wages paid by the fast food industry qualify workers for another $ 240 billion in government help. That alone is $620 billion taken OUT of the treasury as PUBLIC ASSISTANCE to corporations. And there is much more. Just think: a 2 year moratorium on SPECIAL TAX BREAKS to corporations and the US could balance the budget with plenty to spare. Will the patriots of the GOP and Democratic Parties please stand up and be counted ?

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  2. Barbara Griffin says:

    Good point, Joseph…and one that many of us are painfully aware of. Sadly, as in Tom Reed’s case, our “representatives” no longer represent the people. Corporate takeover will lead this country to ruin, which is the ultimate plan.

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  3. BOB McGILL says:

    Today, the Cato institute is releasing a new study looking at the state-by-state value of welfare for a mother with two children. In the Empire State, a family receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, public housing, utility assistance and free commodities (like milk and cheese) would have a package of benefits worth $38,004, the seventh-highest in the nation.

    “Congress and state legislatures should consider strengthening work requirements in welfare programs, removing exemptions and narrowing the definition of work.”

    While that might not sound overly generous, remember that welfare benefits aren’t taxed, while wages are. So someone in New York would have to earn more than $21 per hour to be better off than they would be on welfare. That’s more than the average statewide entry-level salary for a teacher.
    remember there is around 46 million collecting benefits

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  4. BOB McGILL says:

    so tell me, where do you think everyone is going to work ?

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  5. whungerford says:

    Americans want to work so badly we will work at dead-end, low-paying, dangerous jobs when there is nothing better. There is no lack of work to be done: health care, roads and bridges, childcare, and much more. When our economy works for us, we can have full employment; when it only serves the rich and super-rich we have widespread poverty.

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  6. josephurban says:

    Same place they work now.

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  7. josephurban says:

    Seems like a lot of money unless you live in NYC or other metropolitan areas where the cost of living is quite high. Of course many working poor get government help because the wages paid to them are below a sustainable amount .(Estimates that WalMart employees alone account for $6.2 billion in government welfare, as reported in Forbes) Another thing to remember is that entire amount of “welfare ” payments goes right back into the economy. It helps grocers, WalMart, small business, landlords, utility companies, etc. None of it is stashed away in the Cayman Islands or put into retirement accounts or invested in jobs overseas. It is money used just to survive. It would be great if we had a working government that made job creation a priority (even temporary jobs to get folks back on their feet) and made sure that those who wanted to work could find decent employment. But there seems to be no long term or short term planning for a solution.

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