In his State of the Union Address, President Obama promised that this year, for the first time ever, American taxpayers would be able to go online and see exactly how their federal tax dollars are spent. Just enter a few pieces of information about your taxes, and the taxpayer receipt will give you a breakdown of how your tax dollars are spent on priorities like education, veterans benefits, or health care.
Give it a whirl. There is widespread ignorance about tax dollars, spending priorities, and their relative size.
The one I am going to point to, just real quick (and I’ll be coming back to this theme over the next month or so until it gets sorted out or the U.S. is screwed for the foreseeable future) is this line item. It’s at the bottom.
Net Interest 7.4%
For anyone who has a credit card, car loan, mortgage, etc….you know how bad this is, right? When you miss payments on your loans, your rate goes up. It’s that simple. So when people start talking about not raising the debt ceiling, that’s what they want to do, skip payments on our debt.
Here’s what happens when that happens immediately (even if we only screw around for a few days), the rate on our debt goes up by at least 1% overnight. Recall that there are only 100 percents in anything. There’s only 100 percents of the Universe in the entire Universe. 1 percent is big deal, especially for big things…like the U.S. debt.
Net Interest 8.5%