Budget Number Relationships
The Fiscal Year 2008 Budget Request for the United States Government comes to $2.9 Trillion. Written out, that is 2.9 plus eleven zeros
Now that’s starting to get into spitting distance of 3 Trillion – 3 with 12 zeros.
That recalled to mind the “big” announcement from the Census Bureau that on October 17, 2006 the population of the United States hit 3 hundred million – that is 3 followed by eight zeros.
Now if you divide the Budget request by the population, the President proposes to spend $10,000 for each person living in the United States. For the purists, if we stick with the budget submission at $2.9 Trillion, total spending per capita by the federal government comes out to $9,666.
If one takes the Federal Budget request at $2.9 trillion and divides it by the amount of this year’s Defense Department Base budget of $481.4 billion, the result is 6.02. That is the number of years of spending just on Pentagon programs for Defense to equal the total 2008 budget request.
To fight the “Global War on Terror” in 2008, the White House wants another $141.7 billion. In 20.5 years – virtually a single generation – spending at this rate will hit $2.9 Trillion. In a press briefing today on the Budget, the Pentagon said it had no intention of coming back for more money in FY2008. But this is the same outfit that said the war would cost no more than $50 billion when, including the 2008 request, the dollar cost is approaching $750 billion.
And the trend lines are going in the wrong direction.
The Pentagon recently revised its estimate of monthly expenditures for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan from $8.0 billion to $8.4 billion – that is 8.4 followed by eight zeros. Taking 30 days as an average month, that means the war is costing $280,000,000 per day. As it happens, that is within spitting distance of the U.S. population figure – the aforementioned 300,000,000. So each person in the U.S. might as well hand over $365 to the Pentagon except for 2008 when the cost would be $366 since 2008 is a leap year.
Better yet, perhaps every person should consider deducting $365 (or $366) from their taxes.