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Sunday, February 7

Vote on the 2011 federal budget





As the debate for universal health coverage inflamed moods and while half truths were thrown back and forth from all sides, one argument that struck me as peculiar was “I am not paying for your health care.” It did take me aback for a moment because it came from a seventy-year old man. Whose health care the tax payer is financing to a serious extent at least. Let us not forget that 80% of our budget in 2008 was financed by the tax payer and the rest by borrowing. Which will have to be paid back by the future tax payers. Everything is traced back to our pockets in other words.

Allocation of tax money has been hottly debated across countries. In some, the electorate acts on a collective sentiment of shared responsibilities and rights. In others, the electorate has chosen a more individualistic approach. For example, visitors to northern European countries are struck by the extent of social benefits. And the level of taxation of course. They even have universal child care as decades ago the Swedish government realized that if it were to capitalize fully on the female part of their labor market, they had better offer a sound solution to the babysitting problem. (The centers BTW open at 6:30, stay open for 12 hours and accept children older than one year of age.) Their social benefits include secure pensions, universal everything… decent housing for the elderly and significant unemployment benefits.How much tax do they pay? Higher than ours. For a family with one wage-earner and two children, only Iceland and Ireland have a lower income tax burden than the U.S, whereas Sweden, Turkey, France and Poland impose the greatest tax burdens on families. It is my understanding however that property tax has not been co assessed so the US tax rates are probably higher.

 But before you jump condemning those darn “socialist” countries, remember one basic thing that many politicians forget when they blast at them. The electorate in these countries voted in such a system. Blasting their system is equal to insulting millions of Europeans and Canadians for thinking differently. And as we learned, ethnocentrism usually spreads blindness…

So, we have two different worlds, two different systems. The electorate in the US is reluctant towards a stronger safety net and they still debate the use of their tax dollars. However, much of the debating is missing focus since we lack concrete proposals on where to economize from. Fighting fraud and waste is good rhetoric but it won’t get you far since no bureaucratic system is immune to these ills. Suggesting certain cuts from a certain sector and reallocating them to another (even the one that pays back our debt) seems far more constructive. So here is the proposed budget for 2011.

How would you re-split the pie? And why? To have again a total picture please vote on the right which sector you think should face most of the cuts. Then vote again which sector the saved monies should go to.

Who knows? Maybe your representatives are reading us! :)

78 comments:

jtannebe said...

Well, I was a little taken aback by the proportions for te proposed 2011 budget. It is interesting to see what our taxpayer dollars are being used for. I think that our youth is at a disadvantage because education is suffering from serious cutbacks(especially the arts, which help kids to be creative and give them an outlet to express themselves and stay out of trouble). We cannot stress the importance of education to kids and then take away certain tools necessary for their success in the classroom. I think maybe the funds shoul be redistributed. I think more money should go into funding education programs. I also think that we need to put more money into our healthcare system. There is no reason why anyone in our countr should go without healthcare. We need to adapt a European standpoint and make healthcare accessible to all.

Athena Smith said...

Please remember to tell us where you would cut funds from! We are talking about redistribution of the tax dollars!

Erin Walsh said...

Allocation of tax money is honestly a bit of a cloudy subject for me. I'm sure it's a subject which would make it difficult to find a common mode of action from those of different viewpoints, and that is the struggle I face now.
Though often condemned, I find positive aspects in the systems of other countries. Universal child care, secure pensions, decent elderly housing, and significant unemployment benefits almost seem worth the level of taxation given how far these social benefits reach and the sort of safety net they provide.
However, residents of my own country may not feel the same and may suggest making tax dollar cuts from a certain sector to reallocate to another for the purpose of keeping constructive. Were I to make cuts from any sector, I suppose what would seem most logical for me would be to nearly eliminate the "Other" categories some larger sectors have listed within and make the larger categories they fall into a bit broader. Saving money could be done very easily by knowing specifically where the funds are going rather than grouping them into an almost unplanned part of a budget. By making categories broad enough to accomodate and putting aside money for more specific situations with a little bit of forethought, I feel like a small change could save quite a bit of money and have a huge effect. Once this money has been allocated from what I find to be optional categories, I feel it would only make sense to add the money to either national defense or health. I have no business-minded or adamant reason for reassessing where that money would go, but it just seems to make the most sense to me in the regard that these are most likely two of the most needed places for funds. To thrive, it is important that our country is a healthy country, and a well-defended one at that, and though a simplistic idea, that is my reasoning behind re-dividing tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

osmar

I think that if the funds were to be redistributed it should get cut back from education. I belive there is many means kids can get to college if they trully want. You dont have to expect everyhting to get pay for in order to pursue your career goals. Working to pay for school will pay for your school and boost up the economy. I think the health sector needs all the funds it can posobly get. Many jobs dont offer health insurance or the dues are too high. When a person is able to achieve good health the person can sustain their family and themselves.

NDFB said...

The national security is a bit excessive to me. If it were up to me,I would redistribute the budget towards education and health-care. In this economy, people aren't able to afford quality health-care. Soon, people are going to end up hurting themselves trying to find black-market health-care. Education is of vital importance as well. Without quality education, todays youth will not get the proper tools they need to become our future medical care givers. With that, we will suffer the consequences that are to come.

lbrown said...

This is currently a “hot-button” issue for me. I am a social worker who works for a community mental health center. A very small piece of the pie has been allocated to us. 3.54 billion dollars, in fact, goes to paying for mostly psychiatric hospitalizations for a total average of $1500 per day. Over the past two years, I have experienced dramatic cuts in my employment including reduced benefits, no raises, job cuts, more work and less pay. By the way, you should know that I already receive a relatively low wage. I know that everyone has felt the crunch, but the people hurting the most are those with mental illness. The way the system currently works, a minimal amount of people receive social work and psychiatric services. The rest receive inpatient psychiatric services only when they are acutely ill with no subsequent aftercare. And let’s not even get started on the medications and poor medical healthcare they receive.
This brings me to a larger issue. I think cutting up the pie is ultimately a decision of where you think your tax dollars should go. If I got to cut up my own little section of the pie, I would give the mandatory spending first, but the rest would go to social services. In a country this rich, we should not have so many homeless, so many children without proper healthcare, so many adults without proper healthcare, so many parents struggling to pay daycare, and so many people going hungry. To me, being civilized is not a matter of throwing your military muscle to start a war so you can get more oil for your buddy’s company. It is a matter of taking care of your people. I would give very little to national defense, especially since most of the wars are our form of neocolonialism. And, while I’m at it, I would impose higher taxes on companies. It is unconscionable that corporations can come crawling to the government for bailouts when they don’t pay in their fair share. A glance at their crazy tax breaks is enough to make one vomit. Its time we stop have a “democracy” that caters only to corporations and only throws the occasional bone to humanitarian services.

......stepping off my soapbox now. Thank you ;oP

gary upton said...

America is the greatest country on earth; we have freedom that other countries lack. As taxpayers we have to take this country back from the socialistic and Marxist radicals that have taken over the white house. The democrats or spending money that we don’t have; and if not defeated, our country will soon be a socialist. Yes, we do need reform on health care; however, we don’t need to dismantle the whole system to help the few without healthcare. I believe in smaller government and less tax's is what we need, since lower taxes’ will help corporations make more profit and create more jobs; hence, more tax revenues. We need to cut out all the wasteful spending and socialistic programs that don’t work. I do want more money spent on education and training, as well as money for the military to keep our country safe. I love this country and also respect other countries to do what is right for them; however, I will not give up my freedom for anyone, and the more power you give the white house the less freedom we have as individuals.

precious said...

I think it’s a shame that they have to cut any of these areas. Why did they choose to cut Medicare so bad? And I think they also cut the defense budget hard and they might come to find out that was a big mistake because if something happens here at home they are going to wish they had that money to protect our country. Also cutting social security is another one that they cut hard and some of us that is all we will have to survive on in our old age. Since we never got the breaks other people have.

Julia said...

If I could redistribute the pie, I would probably change very little. One thing that I would at least look into to change would be education. Education has always been primarily funded by the states and taxpayers and doesn't seem to need so much federal funding... that being said, there are provisions made for special education and education for the disadvantaged etc... programs that would be terrible to cut.

I guess the thing that I'd work hardest to change would be the budget as a whole... I'd attempt to find a way[s] to decrease our entire spending, without eliminating programs that we really need. I'd then take any saved money and put it towards our national debt which will be the death of our nation if it isn't taken care of ASAP! I don't know what our net interest is really used for, so that could potentially be cut/redistributed/used to pay back our debts if it isn't being used for that already...

Keykey said...

2010 Budget

I am all for going green, so I would allocate more money toward VP power plants. I support a rapped change toward VP power. Let us not forget about the energy crisis, and what is going on in the environment. The healthier our atmosphere is the healthier the people will be. I vote to cancel Earned Income Tax Credit. I think this because everyone should pay some Income Tax. Also I think Assessed Contributions to International Organization should be cut back because we can’t afford it as we are borrowing money as it is. The monies saved should be used to make America more energy efficient.

lbrown said...

Gary,

In no way are socialists in the White House. They are just less corporation serving than the last guy. And by the way, healthcare for all people is not going to hurt you a bit. It is the super rich who are getting taxed tp foot the bill. Unfortunately, they have convinced the average Joe the burden will be on our backs. And by the way....those "few without healtchare" are 47 million Americans.

Thaer said...

I believe we should cut back from education because it's a choice and not a demand. People should be wise enough to save money for education instead of taking it from taxes. I hear people talking about what they are going to use their leftover finacial aid money on, and no one metions anything about spending it towards school. We should put the taxes toward health care because we all have problems in our lifetime. We can't control health problems so we should provide money to cure those problems that people can't afford.

Alex Logsdon said...

I believe government spending has been and will continue to be out of control. This budget is huge and does not help our national debt but hurt it. We should start focusing on the future generations future, stop adding and adding debt for it to fall on them. This should have been started back in the 60's at least, but still there has been no improvement. As other people commented on, the money going into education is lacking but the funds for war are increasing every year. We spend as a nation 41.5 percent of the total amount spent on every nations military, every other country in the world us alone, we make up 41.5 percent. I wonder what our society will be like if we keep down this path for the next 200 years. Although most of this money for the military is currently needed because of our present situation our government needs to learn to cut some military budgets for weapons development and wasted supplies and bad logistics. There are many things we could save on and why we don't I don't know. I'm military and I love it and believe in serving your country but we could go about things with some more intelligence.

Atro said...

It seems like other countries may have a lot of taxation, but it's what they voted for. They get many benefits from their government and are well taken care of. In the United States our taxation is also high, but it looks like were not using the money in the best way possible. Taxing very high on property tax and other things. We are putting all are money in social security, that we may not even get to use one day. We need to start putting more in education and resources. That way we can further research on how to get out of the debt that the government is causing by this. Also more needs to go into the medical fields and labs to further the human race.

Athena Smith said...

Impressive comments!

Let me add a few thoughts. "Socialism" refers to collective ownership of the means of production. In other words, a health care system that is socialist is the system that is run by one public insurance company and hundreds of public hospitals and public doctors. Are there such systems? The one in the UK is a good example. Do we have one in this country? You will be surprised to find out that yes, we do. It is the veterans health care system.

Do we have other "socialist" elements here? Yes. Collective ownesrhip of highways, ports, airports, NASA, schools, colleges, post office, armed forces, you name it. We like to call those "public" instead.

Kimberly said...

After looking back at the budget plan for 2011, I was a little shocked to see so much money spent on Medicare. I still think money should go towards Medicare, but not that much. I think people on Medicare will be thankful for whatever kind of funding they receive. I defiantly think more money should go towards education; I was defiantly surprises to see such of a difference with education and Medicare. With more and more people going back to school after being laid off jobs and wanting to continue their education to get a degree, I think more money should go to education, doing this will defiantly help out struggling individuals that want to go back to school but do not have the money to go back.

PaviElleS said...

With each and every coming new year, every section is either going to profit or lose money depending upon what the crisis is during that time or whoever is running the government. It is a constant pendulum that will continue to swing back and forth as long as representatives from each section (or side) have valid arguments. National defense, in my opinion, is probably one of the most important pieces of the pie. After 9/11 everyone has fear, and with that fear, the need for protection. I don’t envy the policies of other countries simply because I know that they don’t have some of the benefits we do, and vise-versa. Whereas the decision of one person can benefit a whole country in other places (like they have for ages) it will not go without turmoil if a Marxist decision were made here (because we are governed by the people). Even though I find the aspect of one group getting more than another because of its significance a little sad, national security, health and education should be credited. However veteran benefits and administration should not have to get the short end of the stick either for it involves a far more majority of people than most.

kriena lang said...

In my opinion most of money Americans pay for taxes should go to schools and healthcare. In reality these are the two most important things to help build our society. They should make sure all school up to date with books and technology. People don’t realize that education in the building blocks to our country, and without proper education we will never be able to grow. Also we should spend some tax money on healthcare, it isn’t fair for someone to not be able to receive health care just because they don’t have enough money for it. Maybe we could even use some for unemployment, not for the people that are to lazy to go find a job, but for some people that have been laid off with families to provide for and until they can find another job.

Nadia said...

With the spending in America on national defense nearly exceeding the world’s spending on defense put together, I feel we should GREATLY reduce spending on defense. The United States (in 2008) spent around 607 billion dollars on defense with the second closest in spending being China, which spent a mere 85.9 billion in comparison. I suggest that we cut down on defense drastically, maybe even cut it closer to 100 billion. The money going to defense, in my eyes, is wasted. And although we spend an overly substantial amount of money on defense, we also spend too much on social security. I feel social security requirements are not strict enough, thus we end up spending too much on social security. I believe that money should be taken from social security and the requirements should be altered. My reasoning for Medicare and health care is that people should take care of their own health. People eat and live far too unhealthily in America and get sick and diseased as a result. As a person concerned about my health, I don’t think we would be doing people any good by providing them with health care when they brought sickness by the way they live. Instead, we can educate people on how to live and eat better. Conversely, I don’t trust that we spend enough on education, natural resources/environment, energy, or disaster funds. Education has not been enough of a priority in the United States and I feel this is what needs to receive most of the re-allocated funds. We no longer even stand a chance in the world because our education grossly lacks compared to that of most of highly developed countries. Furthermore, natural resources and the environment can afford to be more protected. With deforestation and pollution at all-time highs, it is time we pay closer attention to our natural world. I would include energy in this realm too. As I said, with so much pollution, we need to focus more on ways to fix our world. Finding renewable energy sources can help do just that and in the process become more cost effective. Lastly, disaster funds should be more of a priority. Hurricane Katrina proved that we aren’t as ready for disaster as we anticipated and spending more money on it would be a good idea.

Garrett said...

I believe that there should be cuts from national defense, social security and income security because there is just too much money being concentrated in these three areas. More money should go into veteran’s benefits because veterans are the ones who sacrifice their lives to protect our country. Many veterans are also homeless; some sustain battlefield injuries or suffer from disorders like shell shock. We should also focus on improving our use of renewable energies. This can be a way to minimize pollution and make the Earth a better and safer place for everyone. I also believe an enormous amount of money should go into education. Teachers inform kids about things that parents can’t. The students in schools are the future workers of America and they need to be prepared for it. Our education is lacking when compared to other countries, which is why I feel so strongly that much more money should be re-allocated to education.

AMRI said...

It's quite interesting to see where our money is going. All of these individual areas are very important, however, some are more important than others in my opinion. With that being said, I strongly feel that EACH individual area could use some "fine tuning". But, If I have to choose one area to cut from, it would be Income Security. Unemployment rates are out of control right now and yes it is more difficult to find a job these days, however, there are individuals out there who are collecting unemployment because they are simply lazy. I have heard numerous stories from friends and co-workers, of people that have been laid off and are either going to file for umemployment or currently collect unemployment and have no intentions of finding another job anytime soon. I feel that health and education should get more than what is being proposed. Health care is a must! Education is as well. Education is our building block!

LaurenW said...

Income security should be severely cut, a large part of our society has become dependent and has learned to “work the system” without actually having to work themselves. Funny thing is if we just made it a little harder for people to get it this probably wouldn’t be a big deal. There should be more extensive screening for applicants and a time limit for how long you can receive welfare and the like. The money I think would best be spent elsewhere like more benefits for teachers/ police officers/ people serving in the war. A lot of my classmates seem to want it to go towards education which would be great, but unfortunately educating every single person isn’t realistic or economically sound. For a society to function we need all levels of wealth present. If everyone had a bachelors degree no one would want to work at Mc Donald’s or be a sanitation engineer, a lot of jobs “necessary” for life as we know wouldn’t get done. The money could be put to better use in medical research or business loans, you know create more jobs!

Tierra D said...

If it was up to me I would defiantly not cut it from education. college is not as easy to pay for as most people think it is especially the way the economy is with finding a job.Also with out education how will we get anywhere? Education in grade schools is also suffering with them cutting back on arts and music. Health care is another big one that needs to be approved a lot of people can't afford it and most jobs don't even offer it or make you work part time so that you are not eligible to receive benefits. before I had tricare I would not go to the doctor no matter how sick I was just because I had no insurance and I would have to pay the cost out of pocket. So if i had to choose where I would make a cut from it would probably be in the other category.

moneyhoney said...

It is eye opening to see the actual proportions for the 2011 budget. I can't choose which part of our economy needs the money more than the others. Lacking in education affects the children our future, decrease in healthcare affects all of us no matter what anyone says no one person should be approved while another doesn't get healthcare. As far as medicare goes no one considers the importance until they actually get to that stage in life. Personally I think unemployment though needed by some are definitely abused by others who have adapted to using the system. Same goes for many of the other benefits individuals can get freely by simply being dishonest. I understand people who truly need help should get all the help they deserve but I think they should reevaluate how they distribute taxpayers money to those that get it freely

Anderson11 said...

With America being one of the largest importers in the world and the gigantic debt that's owed, something needs to be done and fast. Honestly I believe that we can make some minor cuts to some of these areas. When I walk into a casino, and I walk past the slot machines, I notice something in common with vast majority of the people playing. They are all old and a great number of them don't have jobs. But where are they getting this money from to openly gamble with? This is why I can strongly say that making cuts in social security would help. Yes I know not all old people waste their money gambling. Where ever the tax cuts are made I believe they should be redistributed to eduction. It's was remarkable how many idiots I went to high school with that actually passed. It was amazing. They should tighten up they school systems. Also our national defense does get a lot of money which I totally agree with because we need to defend our nation and our freedom.

KP said...

We are the wealthiest country in the world!! I agree with a couple of people that the government and many others should not be spending so much money on unnecessary things. Parents are telling their children that the economy will never be the same, even when things get back to normal, they will never be where they used to be. As a younger generation, we should definitely be worried and take control as much as possible. Every year there are new problems and crisis' so they are going to have to use the profits carefully and as well as to make the end result successful.

Kristi said...

This country is only as good as the people running it; therefore, I believe more money should go to education. But it needs to go to the public schools. The public elementary, middle, and high schools are the basis of the education for the majority of this nations citizens. We wonder why there are so many people going into colleges or the workforces who can barley read or write. Its funny to me how in 2011’s budget Federal employees and retired employees’ health benefits go up 6.2% yet the Children’s Health Insurance Plan goes down .2%? We increase the National Defense budget by $20 billion and decrease the Compensation for Veterans by 7.81 billion? Like I said before if we can not raise intelligent, hard working, and honest generations this country may not thrive.

The great misdirect said...

I believe we should cut back on the income security funds and boost the education funds. There would be less need for income security if more people were educated because the more educated you are the easier it becomes to find and keep a job. unemployment checks do nothing but perpetuate poverty and non growth among communities now if we reached out to these communities with better education their sons and daughters could be saved from making the same mistakes and we could instill good values. Also if we decreased the money being put towards income security the unemployment checks would not be as expensive therefor giving the recipient more motivation to get another job instead of letting uncle sam pay the bills.

Mike B. said...

The whole budget is a very confusing thing for some people in cluding me.This causes problems because when i looked at the budgets i saw a bunch of numbers and statistics that boggled my mind. taking this as a student i noticed that the funds for the education system were pretty low. If i were to do anything it would be to take 1 percent of each grouping and put it into education. I believe that in this economy people are losing there jobs and people are finding that without a college education its near impossible. I graduated last year and due to moving i had to quit my last job. when i moved to florida i started looking for a job though i have gotten a few interviews no one has hired me due to the fact that there are people who have a higher education looking for that same job. This forced me to take out a loan of 5500 dollars just to pay for community college and in a time where people are leaving work and going to school students need more help than ever to pay for college. thus i would shave off a little bit from every group and put that money into education.

lost said...

when i first read this i had to take a minute and take i all in. Why? Because his is a very serious matter of how we divide up the tax money.First and for most yes a good bit should go to defending our country. Speaking from personnal expernce i was in the Army and when you are over seas there is a ton of hings ttha go into play that when you don have the right equipment or proper training things could go bad. then next on my list of impoeance is health care for all no matter who you are.then i would go into education which i was extremly shocked on how much the school system is aking such a big hit and we wonder why our youth is selling drugs and killing each other theres a lack of hope when they can contuine there educaion or the schools they atttend dont have enough tachers or books.These kids are the future leaders of our country and we are robbing them of an education. I know there are more important things we as a country need to worry about bu education should be top of the list right next to defening the country. My hat goes off to Our president because it is going to be impossible to please everyone and to know if he is cutting the right budget.

yaya07 said...

In my opinion, I feel that we should cut funds from the military/national defense. There has been too much money out towards this area. I think these billions of dollars could be put to use in another area like education. Education did not receive as much money as I thought it would. More of this income should be going towards a higher education for students. There is more than enough money already for the national defense and it makes me question if all the money going into the military is necessary. And will the money go to use and how is it affective to the U.S.? I think it would be more beneficial if we cut funds from the national defense and put it towards education.

rrodriguez30 said...

I would start the cut with national defense then net interest.
Too much money goes into these departments. Not enough is focus on education. Serious tax dallors are spend on armor, bomb detecting robots, and rockets that chase other rockets (not sure what is called). Tax payers are having to pay more for net interest. Interest has gone outragously high that we taxers are not even paying the principal. I would redistribute these funds to education with the emphasis on wealth building, investing and entreprenors. On healthcare, we always in need for healthcare, especially the small business owners, with small staff and short capital.

jwarner said...

In my humble opinion, the problem lies not with our government and the ever changing political landscape, but rather with the citizens themselves. America is rapidly becoming one of the more blissfully uninformed nations in the world. As our dollar declines in value and our debt continues to rise, it seems that our citizens are happy to whistle Dixie while turning a blind eye to this somber reality. My fairly bipartisan solution is simple: focus on education while cutting health and national defenses. As a firm believer in individualism, I feel with an education and some hard work anyone can make for themselves a comfortable and satisfactory lifestyle, including things like healthcare. In regards to national defense, I completely understand that regardless of our foreign policy and global involvement in humanitarian efforts, we will always be hated by someone and therefore under constant risk of attack. However, my argument is this, which would you rather have: A society steeped in ignorance and outstretched hands, or a few cutbacks in airport security? Knowledge is empowering, and focusing on giving everyone as equal an opportunity as can be afforded should be the primary focus of our government in the coming years. The lack of parity within our public education system is almost laughable, with many districts across the country lagging behind by as many as two years! The money we as a nation could invest into education would have a turnaround profit that would easily pay for the initial cuts in national defense and health care. With a more educated and aware society, less free healthcare and other assistive programs would be needed, and ideally the employment rate would benefit from having many qualified and eager minds across all disciplines ready to make their mark in the world. Ultimately there is no final solution that can fix all of our nation’s problems, but it is my contention that a country based on democracy ought to have citizens who know what they are talking about, and when we as Americans wake up to that fact, it will be a step in the right direction.

Lindzy22 said...

Where our taxes go is a very important issue and can sometimes get people into heated arguments. As for me, the tax distribution gets pretty confusing so I don't know much about it. All I would say is that education and healthcare are both very important to me. So I would like to see taxes redistributed to our schools. But honestly all the areas which our taxes are distributed are important for our society, its just how much each is getting that can be a problem. But cutting funds from something such as our national security could be very bad it the long run.

Athena Smith said...

Some pretty well thought out comments. So far the big loser is national defense and the biggest winner is education.

For a more detailed break down of National defense go here

More info on the budget on education can be read here

Latifah Aziz said...

If I had the option to cut back on one of America’s budget it would be national defense. I feel that national defense is a budget that doesn’t need improvement, by adding money to the budget how is that helping us with the war. May be if we cut back on some of the national defense budget we could focus and add more money toward the health and education budget; which needs improvement. It is outrageous how many Americans that do not have health care and need it. Also on the other hand, maybe if more money was put into education then a lot more of Americans would have the opportunity to further or better their education in college.

hondasi2007 said...

Wow this is not at all how i think this should be split. First I think education needs a huge increase. At first I could not even find it, Then the national defense budget needs to be cut. Then the income security should be decreased.

P-Walk3 said...

Many people today were worried about Barack Obama trying to change America into a socialist country. Many of the programs that we fund through our taxpayer dollars go to social programs such as, Education, Social Security, and Medicare. I think the budget is pretty accurate in its aims although I have a few problems such as, half a billion going to the Smithsonian and one billion going to the Library of Congress while there is 66% decrease in school improvement and 47% decrease in unemployment programs. Although we are in a war I think we should trim our national defense budget which in some ways could help shorten the war.

bluntness said...

To begin, I would take some of the money from national defense and put it towards education. America needs to focus on education. Right now, education is a joke! Children should be taught how to work hard to achieve their goals instead of trying to find the easy way out. This is what our education system is like. There is no emphasis on long term learning; everything needs to be quick. I would take money from social security and healthcare to put towards agriculture and educating the nation about making healthy food choice. It is too costly for a family to eat healthy in other words buy only organic food. Some of the manufacturing plants that put junk in our food (because it is cheaper for them) that is directly related to some of these illness should be put out of business. To promote a healthy lifestyle, you have to be able to afford healthy food. This would in turn lower doctor visits, hospitalization and medication. Last but not least, I would take money from Medicare and use it in natural resources. It doesn’t make any sense we spend money on protecting our borders, education and healthcare if we cannot take a breath of fresh air!

pricethepig2002 said...

After reviewing the budget and seeing the mandatory spending I would cut back on national defense and redistribute some of the funds to healthcare and education. National defense takes up 20 percent of the entire budget, and it is the largest non-mandatory expense. I believe that some of those funds could be better put to use in other areas. I believe that a small portion of the national defense budget can be dedicated to healthcare, which many US citizens are unable to afford. Additionally, I would relegate some of the money to education, to help students through scholarships, grants, and subsidized student loans.

Magnolia said...

I think it is unfortunate that they have to cut anything. I do not think education or medicare should be cut. Without a good amount of funds going toward education a lot of unfortunate low income families will not be able to afford it.The same goes for medicare. I think if anything should be cut it should be our national defense because i think our education and health takes more priority over it.

justfish247 said...

The decision making entailed in making the budget has to be one of the hardest jobs around. Knowing that your judgement to add or cut spending could affect the lives of so many that may depend on those monies on a daily basis would take a severe mental toll on anyone. With that being said I know this may be one of the worst times to look at cutting funds from this field but I may have to go with national defense. I am of the belief that more monies should be distributed towards education. Whether it be giving some an opportunity at college or getting it to more who may find a specialization in a vocational school. Giving people a chance to better themselves and get jobs or better paying jobs allows them to pay taxes and contribute to the system. Granted, in this recession jobs are hard to come by, but what better time to get educated.

silk said...

This is really not my area of discussion however, if I had to choose a sector to cut back from it would be national defense because I believe they waste a lot of money in that area. For example this whole war with Iraq and Afghanistan should be over by now but yet we still waste money and lives pursuing this war. I would give most of the money to healthcare because that seems to be the main topic everybody is making a big deal about, and I do believe that would be a big help for most people who need healthcare

yolkia said...

I think should go with Medicare on the budget cut. I think that they had received enough. Also, I think that most of the money should go to education and health care. Most people cannot afford education, so; they just stay at home instead of trying how to be better on society when they cannot find a job. Regarding the health care issue is sad to see how year after year there less funds for it. Homeless and people from the middle class cannot afford to go to the doctor. They just buy things over the counter to see if it helps.

jimayyee said...

In my honest opinion, the national defense should be seriously cut back and the funds should go more towards education and health care. The money spent on national defense is most definitely a waste. Instead of tax funds going to the national defense, it should go to the more important things in this country, education and health care. Education is a very important sector because not a lot of people can afford to go to school and it's just not right for those people who worked so hard and can't finish their degree because of money issues. With a good education, people would be able to acquire a good job that could benefit this country. Health care is also important because there are a lot of people in need for treatment, and there are many more to come. New cancers and diseases are being developed and those people with them are sometimes not treated because they can't afford it. With funds going to health care would really help those people in need of treatment.

Gerald Dodd said...

In my opinion I think that the education and national defense should have the most money put into them because they are the most important to a country. I mean when you look at it we need military to protect us, and we need education so we can build a brighter tomorrow. With that being said I also think that we should cut funds to social security because people need to learn to save their own money and to stop relying on the government to take care of them. Another place that I think needs to take cuts is the administration department because they make too much money as it is. Why do they get pay raises and we get nothing? All in all that is my opinion.

Yeiria said...

I definitely think that education and health care are the two most important aspects within our country. We've got to be smart to prosper and be healthy at the same time. It's not very beneficial to fund ways of inflicting damage upon your fellow human being. We need to stop spending so much money on national defense and try to better our society as a whole. Other countries are good at funding programs that will better their children because children are the future! Where would we be as a country without smart, healthy people? We've got to think about what's best for the human race and our taxes need to stop being wasted on military and redistributed to benefit us as a race not as a leading power of the world. Funding alternative fuel sources and energy is also another avenue of importance.

dawn drake said...

I sorry to admit that I have never really paid attention to every section that the budget money goes to. I realize that more Americans want health care for Americans that do not have it, but the reality is that Americans do not want to pay higher taxes. I would reduce some of the National Defense money and redistribute it into the Health care section. Health care is a major problem with the country and needs to be addressed. I feel that instead of initiate a new health care system the government should restructure the Medicaid system that is currently in place. It would cost less money and not put the United States further in debt.

SkipperJ said...

Even though my knowledge of taxes and what it funds is limited I have seen and read that our funds for education is being neglected. I do strongly believe that our education is one of the most important things in our country and without it we get the disadvantage. Why not put more money into these funds and really help the younger generation thrive. It seems that a good education is one of the main topics that gets beaten into our heads at a young age but yet we don't fund it as well as we could or should. Another fund that should be taken into serious consideration is health care. No one should be neglected in this area and its ridiculous to see a lot of cases where people are turned away because they are not covered. I think that there should be a reconsideration on what we are using our taxes for and make sure that the people who are paying them get what they need.

Dawn Shepperson said...

Wow, there are some interesting comments on here. It makes me realize just how differently we all view what's important in this country. I would put more emphasis on healthcare and education, with education being most important of all. I have only been in Florida for 11 years, and the differences in the education system here is a world away from what I went through in Virginia years ago. We should be more concerned with producing students that can think for themselves, rather than students that can pass standardized tests for funding.
When it comes to healthcare, it seems hard for some people to see how it looks from the point of view of the person who has no healthcare. As a person who had no insurance for two years, I can tell you it's a rough ride. I had a good job, but the insurance they offered was the bare minimum and didn't cover much besides the basics. I couldn't afford individual insurance for more than 4 months because it's so expensive. Then I lost my job, went on unemployment, and saw just how horrible it really is out there. Did you know that you aren't eligible for any low cost health insurance if you are single with no children and on unemployment? The only way that I would qualify was if I had nothing coming in at all. Of course, then healthcare would be the least of my worries, having to deal with being homeless first. In this economic crisis that we are in, too many people are falling between the cracks that exist between the have's and have-not's.

Ashley Alexander said...

The way the money and budget are spent on certain things surprise me. I don't see how so much money is spent when it is claimed that we don't have the money to spend. There is money, it's just being spent on other things like education and military excessively. Yes scholarships are awesome but too many people abuse them and take advantage of them. The military, well I don't support the war that much and I honestly don't get into it, but I don't think so much money should be spent in those two areas.

Dawn Shepperson said...

continued......I would move some money from National Defense into healthcare and education.

DijaBou said...

It is amazing how the American tax payer's money is being spent without proper distribution. I think that national defense and income security should be cut, but not too severely because they are still important. Yes security is a major aspect of the national attention but we need to be smart and practical about how we spend our ever-increasing "budget". The most important in my opinion are education and health care. Health care is crucial because it has to do with our general well being and without it many people are struggling and cannot do much about it thanks to the stingy, rich people who don't want to be taxed like the rest of us average joes. I also think that more money should be pumped into education because it is our gateway to becoming better and more advanced, allowing for a better future. After all, education is the building block to success and without it there will be no advancement for the United States. We need to start thinking about the consequences of our action that will pretty much destroy future generations.

Antaysia :) said...

I believe all portions of our system are important but if I had to cut I would put more into education, social security and health. In order for citizens to help grow and mature the economic system educational opportunities need to be available so these individuals can obtain jobs that will strengthen the national funds from taxing. I would put more into social security; the elderly need to be taken cared of. They have done their part in society and contributed to the growth of the nation so that we can have what we have today. I would also put more into health and Medicare. No matter what stage in life our health in important and many social classes suffer do to the burden of health costs. We need to function as a society and aim for the prosperity of every individual. The next biggest portion will be given to National defense and Veteran Benefits to support our national defense and our war heroes. Lastly, the remaining portion will be given to the income security and Net interest group.

ycampos said...

After looking at the 2011 budget, I found it shocking that we are spending so much of our money on our defense. Yes, I believe that we should have adequate defense but is so much money allocated towards it really necessary? I think we should redistribute it towards Healthcare and Education. It is unreal that a country such as ours does not have adequate healthcare for their citizens. In times such as these were so many people have lost their jobs and are trying to go back to school in order to provide a better life for their families, it is crucial to allocate more funds towards education programs.

Torie said...

Being so young, I have not been contributing to the tax fund very long but even in my few years of putting money into the system realize that my money is not necessarily being put to its best use. I understand the importance of having a military to protect our country but I think a lot more can be allocated toward reinvesting in our country's future. Education and health-care need more funding. I feel like the US is more of a selfish country. Democracy is suppose to be about the "whole" and yet everyone wants to take and receive, but not give. I recently had a conversation with an elderly man at my job about health-care reform. And he said, "I'll be damned if I'm going to pay for yours or somebody else health insurance; I can barely pay for my own! And can you check my transaction history to see if my Social Security Benefit check came through yet? I need to go pick up my prescription." Other countries are investing in their countries future by providing them with higher education paid for by the people's taxes. There should be no excuse for a child coming from a low-income family to not go to college. Not being able to afford bloated tuition and textbooks should not be a reason for not obtaining a higher education.

Vivianle said...

I would cut back on the national defense and use the saved tax dollars towards education and health. Many individuals do not have the money to attend college which is quite costly. To be quite honest, without the help of financial aid, I do not know how I can afford college. Health is a must. Health problems come unexpectedly and many don’t have the money for meds or operation. It’s not right to not help someone who doesn’t have the money for a specific treatment. Reality check is not everyone in the United States can afford it. Overall, I believe education and health are the most important in society and needs to be improved.

Deborah said...

I definitely do not agree with the 2011 budget. National defense should not be our main priority. Education should be getting much more money. Isn't America getting dumber? With the economy how it is, it is getting harder and more expensive to pay for college. The school systems are just continuing to go down the drain. I do not really understand the details involved with the budget, but money doesn't seem to be distributed where it should be.

Nermin Mohamed said...

I would cut funds from the national defense and redistribute it to the education and health care sectors. A lot of money is spent on the national defense and the wars, which is such a waste of money and lives. More money should be going into funding education because it is the only way to achieve a better future for future generations. I also think that more money should be redistributed to health care because many people cannot afford going to doctors and buying medicine. It's not fair that some people cannot get treated because they don't have insurance or their insurance does not cover except the basics.

GoGreen said...

I think that most of the tax money should go towards education and health. Education is so important because it will provide people the opportunity to acquire good jobs. Schools need the money to improve the way kids can learn and pay teachers more. By focusing on education, our country will benefit in the long run. It will also help kids stay in school and out of trouble. Health is also a crucial part of everyone’s life. People are always worried about health benefits so I think that a lot of the tax money should go towards that also to help people get healthy and so forth. People shouldn't have to worry about whether they will have the money to get better when we are wasting money in other areas.
We should cut down the amount of money that goes towards the national defense because may be that will cut down the number of wars and death.
We have been wasting so much money on wars that have killed many people when there are people back home who needs the money. WE really need to consider what is more important.

spatel said...

I believe that the money should go to health and education.Without education there will be no future.If they cut money out of education then a lot of students,adults will quit going to school.Education is the most important thing in life.Health is another important thing that is part of out life.If they put more money in the heatlhcare field then people will start feeling better and it's not fair for the people that can't afford healthcare because they don't have enough money.

sean1391 said...

I would be the first to say that I do not pay attention to this subject and really do not care. The government is going to do what they want and it does not matter what the people say. If I had to choose a change, then I would put more money into education for k-12 schools. These children are the future for us and we should make sure that they have the best education at their fingertips, no matter what school they attend in any state. The other thing I would change, would be an increase in Medicare. The older generation helped build this county to what it is and should be taken care of better than what they are.

ClickClack said...

Money, it’s what makes the world go round. Although I think the government needs some serious changes to what they spend our taxes on I am having a little bit of a hard time picking what section should get money cuts. I believe in the vote that all of those sections were important. I want Medicare/healthcare to change though. It’s very expensive to go to the doctors my daughter fell and got a black eye I took her to the doctors. 70 dollars for the doctor to walk in and say its black eye and confirm what I already knew. My mother had to get stones pulled from her gall bladder in the hospital 2 months later she is filing bankruptcy. We can’t help it sometimes when we get hurt, but do we choose to hurt ourselves more and not go to the doctor or do we go and hurt our wallets.

itszmeweksos said...

I most definitely think that the funds should be more focused on health care and education. Two of which, in my opinion are the most important aspects a country has to offer. Health care and a solid education are the basis of a much more promising future. I guess you can say that one is more important than the other, but in actuality without one the other couldn't have progressed and advanced as much as it did. Without education, health care wouldn't have improved by leaps and bounds and vice-versa. So with that said, I surely hope that the funds would be more focused on health care and education sometime in the near future.

Karly B. said...

I think the 2 areas that could use the biggest boost in funding are health care and education. I can't tell you what the perfect solution is to our health care problem but it's obvious that our current system is not working. I'm not sure that President Obama's proposal is the answer either however, as it appears to have many flaws as well.

Our educational system needs a lot of help, and fast. Our students are significantly lagging behind those of other countries and we need to look no further than the sad state of the Florida educational system to see proof. You can argue that China has already passes us as a "superpower" and that won't change as long as our school systems continue to fail our children.

What needs to be cut? A LOT. They say that the path of our federal budget is unsustainable. I think we could probably stand to cut a bit out of national defense, though I think it would be foolish to cut it drastically like some have proposed, as the situations we're in today just require significant spending. With that said, we need to work on pulling our military out of certain areas and start focusing on our problems at home. This also applies to some of our humanitarian efforts. While disasters like the earthquakes in Haiti were tragic and horrifying, I believe our government has now spent nearly half a billion dollars to help a country that was already in disarray before the quakes. Again, we need to stop playing worldwide humanitarian and focus on getting things fixed at home before its too late.

I also think we could cut a lot out of income security. While there's certainly plenty of people that need the help considering the current state of our economy, the system itself is very flawed and the welfare system is a total joke.

Finally, just cut the fat in programs that aren't essential and use it to start paying off our ever-growing national debt. Programs like NASA that cost us billions of dollars yet provide us with minimal benefits are unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

If you cut the cost of health or medical you cut the cost of peoples lives. Its hard enough these days having a decent medical plan and going to the doctor. Cutting the education won't work much either. All the push to go to school go to school an then they say oh the education buget is going to be cut is so contrudicting its rediculous. Who really knows what to cut to get the economy back. "No one" So vote on the 2011 buget why? The government is still going to mess it up.

Athena Smith said...

Please don't post as anonymous.

Sunny said...

If I were to re-split the pie, I would focus in on the education. The youth is suffering a lot from serious cutbacks. America should favor the youth as they are the future for the country. I would also support veteran benefits because they have fought for the country. I would cut from the net interest and mainly the national defense. The national defense is already strong it does not need more funds going to it. I also do support other benefits but do not like how they are taken advantage of such as welfare. In time it cheats someone who deserves it. Making healthcare accessible to all would also be beneficial like it is in Europe. Healthcare being distributed to all will benefit families financially.

Engineer09 said...

Looking into the financial budget for 2011 I began to notice we were spending a major “piece of the pie” on social security. Social security is a major consumer of tax payer money, for what? If a majority of money is just being moved to another person that doesn’t solve any financial issues that we are facing. The sad truth is the government cannot truly fix economic issues by relying on the tax payers’ money without trying to build up jobs. These jobs should not be within the government, but within the private sectors. If someone works for the government the money they are getting taxed on is already tax money. If people start working for businesses, even if they are not the most wanted jobs. By bringing workers back, cash flow will increase. So in order to solve the problems faced with any budget plan it is going to take a major part from each US citizen, not to sit around waiting for a job that they want to get, but by going out there and getting a job or jobs.

Goodfella said...

It was very interesting to see how the money is spent. Obviously there's too much money going towards national security, I like the fact that a lot of money is going to Medical and health purposes. However, I feel that there could be a little more money going toward education. There isn't too much that I would change and it would be interesting to see the impact it has in 2011.

Yasmin C said...

When it comes to federal budgets and where I think cuts should be made, it has become a very hot topic for everyone. We all have our different opinions of where the government should spend money and where they should make cuts. It was very interesting to see how the money is spent and how it is proportioned. It's obvious theres too much money going toward certain areas like the national security, and not enough to education. I really wouldnt make any changes to our budget cuts, because it has already been calculated and balanced to fit this countries lifestyle. But i disagree with most people's opinion and it should be very interesting to see what they have in store for us in 2011.

Mudbeaver said...

Im not for sure how to break everything down into acceptable numbers for the necessary cuts but i would start with Temp assistance and food stamps for needy families. I believe there should be a better evaluation process for who is selected for these funds. Too many people within the system take advantage of it and this as a whole reflects on our country as an embarrasment. You work hard for what you desire, you should reap the benefits! Its our confidence and freedom that liberates us, not our fear of failure! It's almost like a pre-thought out assault into brainwashing us into believing we are a minority! How will this change our lifestyle, our rights, our freedom, and our pursuit of happiness? Oh, lets talk about the state child nutrition program. Whatever happened to teaching your child how to eat healthy. The responsibility lies in at least one parent or guardian. There are other methods of comfort besides food. Try to exercise! The saved money should be spent on defense. It seems the world is at turmoil and our security is at risk. There has to be an order of importance that reflects our safety!

Nga Nguyen said...

In my opinion, America has so much already and even if we lost a little it wouldn't make such a big differecnce for us because we are rich compared to other countries. If I had the chance to split the pie, I would first give a big proportion to education for sure because I know how important it is now a days for kids to get the best education they possibly can. The reason why I would do this is because for me education is above all when it comes to the children's lives of this centuries. The more we blossom during the coming years the more higher education is required to find a job in the real world and in order for these people to get this kind of education there has to be a good amount of money coming from somewhere. Then another big proportion to medicare because we are in serious need of all the benefits from that as of now. Then the rest of the proportions to everything else equally because those two sectors are the most important.

carpe diem said...

I was surprised that America had one of the lowest income tax rates in the world. With so many people complaining about paying taxes I was shocked to learn that America doesn't have it as bad as some of the European countries. I think that the veterans benefits should suffer the most serious cuts. I always notice that many veterans drive in very expensive cars and live in nice houses. I think with this economy they should start living a little more average than luxurious. I think the saved tax dollars should go to health and education. The most important things in a persons life is their health and education.

GatorBoy said...

I never knew exactly where every dollar of the budget money was going to. Now I see that the majority of it is going to national defense and social security. I think a major chunk of the money that’s being distributed to national defense and social security can be cut and given to mainly education. I think education needs to be at the top of their list because more and more people are needing education to be able succeed in life, and in this country. This proposed plan is furthering our increase in debt and is just making it bigger and I am against it.

Mariana Yarleqeu said...

It did come as quite a bit of a suprise to see how much is alloted for certain things in the budget. I am not sure I can decide on a certain section to take away money from. I believe we can redistribute the money so that it is evenly propotioned out. I do not completely agree with taking money from the national defense budget for the simple fact that I have significant people in my life who are overseas and in the military and I know what a lot of that money goes toward and that it is not wasted or put to vain. I do not knows as much about all the other options which is why I can not speak for those either until I study them deeper but I believe if change is needed, we should redistribute the entire budget.

riverchild said...

Personally, I have no clue specifically how I would re-split the pie that is our nation’s budget. For this reason, I am not the president of the United States. I can say, though, in my opinion that education and health are my main two concerns. Unlike what I would believe to be most Americans, I don’t mind paying taxes, and wouldn’t mind paying even higher taxes, if it generated better social benefits for our nation’s citizens. I have friends who live in both Sweden and France. I’ve spoken with them on occasion with regard to the amount of taxes they pay. It is definitely greater than what we pay here in the United States, but the social benefits they receive in return are worth it, and they all live quite comfortably.

riverchild said...

Furthermore, I'd pull funds from National Defense. I find it interesting that we want other countries to discontinue their development of nuclear weapons, but we don't have plans to discontinue our development or possession of nukes.

I simply love the comment about the Socialist and Marxist radicals taking over the White House. (Yes, that's right, I capitalized the W and H.)

As for the few without health care, according to census numbers, 45.7 million Americans were without health insurance during 2007. Additionally, that number only represents those who were without insurance for the entire year, and does not consider those that were without coverage for less than 12 months, such as individuals in between jobs.

It also seems to me that most Americans don't have any idea what Socialism is. Here is a modest list of Socialist programs we currently have in the United States: police, unemployment benefits, public parks, public libraries, public highways, public schools, street lamps, VA hospitals, Medicare, SSI, Social Security, etc.

Also, increased corporate profits don't necessarily equate more jobs. It could simply mean increased value for stock portfolios and bonuses for upper-level position holders. It doesn't always trickle-down.