Saturday, February 28, 2009

2010 U.S. Federal Budget - by category of spending

Click on the image above to enlarge it.

The Budget of the United States Government provides a breakdown of federal government spending by category.

The President's budget for 2010 totals $3.55 trillion. Percentages in parentheses indicate percentage change compared to 2009. This budget request is broken down by the following expenditures:

Mandatory spending: $2.184 trillion (+15.6%)
$695 billion (+4.9%) - Social Security
$453 billion (+6.6%) - Medicare
$290 billion (+12.0%) - Medicaid
$0 billion (-100%) - Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)
$0 billion (-100%) - Financial stabilization efforts
$11 billion (+275%) - Potential disaster costs
$571 billion (-15.2%) - Other mandatory programs
$164 billion (+18.0%) - Interest on National Debt

Discretionary spending: $1.368 trillion (+13.1%)
$663.7 billion (+12.7%) - Department of Defense (including Overseas Contingency Operations)
$78.7 billion (-1.7%) - Department of Health and Human Services
$72.5 billion (+2.8%) - Department of Transportation
$52.5 billion (+10.3%) - Department of Veterans Affairs
$51.7 billion (+40.9%) - Department of State and Other International Programs
$47.5 billion (+18.5%) - Department of Housing and Urban Development
$46.7 billion (+12.8%) - Department of Education
$42.7 billion (+1.2%) - Department of Homeland Security
$26.3 billion (-0.4%) - Department of Energy
$26.0 billion (+8.8%) - Department of Agriculture
$23.9 billion (-6.3%) - Department of Justice
$18.7 billion (+5.1%) - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
$13.8 billion (+48.4%) - Department of Commerce
$13.3 billion (+4.7%) - Department of Labor
$13.3 billion (+4.7%) - Department of the Treasury
$12.0 billion (+6.2%) - Department of the Interior
$10.5 billion (+34.6%) - Environmental Protection Agency
$9.7 billion (+10.2%) - Social Security Administration
$7.0 billion (+1.4%) - National Science Foundation
$5.1 billion (-3.8%) - Corps of Engineers
$5.0 billion (+100%) - National Infrastructure Bank
$1.1 billion (+22.2%) - Corporation for National and Community Service
$0.7 billion (0.0%) - Small Business Administration
$0.6 billion (-14.3%) - General Services Administration
$19.8 billion (+3.7%) - Other Agencies
$105 billion - Other


Social Security
Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
Unemployment/Welfare/Other mandatory spending
Interest on National Debt
Department of Defense


Thursday, February 12, 2009

25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis

The February 12, 2009 TIME magazine article "25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis" reports on "the good intentions, bad managers and greed behind the meltdown."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Could You Live On A Food Stamp Budget?

In the February 9, 2009 Slashfood article "Could You Live On A Food Stamp Budget?," Emily Matchar reports on the challenges of a limited income:
We talked earlier this month about whether we could live on a $15 a week grocery budget. Many of us thought we could, though it would be hard, time-consuming and rather boring. Now, CNN reporter Sean Callebs is attempting to see what it's like to eat for $176 a month, the most a single food stamp recipient can get in a month. The economic stimulus bill is calling for raising food stamp payments by 13 percent, a sign that the current payments are not enough, Callebs says.

So far he seems to be doing OK, eating basic but healthful meals like chicken stir fry and grilled cheese sandwiches with salads. He's also eating a lot of peanut butter sandwiches and a lot of pasta with tomato sauce. But, Callebs points out, he has time to cook and is well-educated on which cheap foodstuffs are also healthy. He also has energy to run three or four miles a day, making his carb-heavy diet less of a weight gain risk. The average food stamp recipient may be working two jobs, with little time to spend in the kitchen chopping and stir-frying lean cuts of chicken.

Callebs is also getting a lot of interesting comments, ranging from budget and shopping tips to admonishments to "stop whining" to thank-yous for raising awareness about consumer food spending.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Big Mac index

The Economist magazine uses the Big Mac Index to measure the relative purchasing power of various currencies. (Click the image below to enlarge it.)According to
Burgernomics is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity, the notion that a dollar should buy the same amount in all countries. Thus in the long run, the exchange rate between two countries should move towards the rate that equalises the prices of an identical basket of goods and services in each country. Our "basket" is a McDonald's Big Mac, which is produced in about 120 countries. The Big Mac PPP is the exchange rate that would mean hamburgers cost the same in America as abroad. Comparing actual exchange rates with PPPs indicates whether a currency is under- or overvalued.