Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Red Ink

This is in my running for the best book of 2012 - - Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget by David Wessel.  You learn something on every page regarding the federal budget - - and citizenship should be about learning where the money comes from and where it goes.  Some of this is rather complex, but other parts of understanding the federal budget is extremely transparent and can be explained with a simple pie chart.

Consider this from the book - -

"This book focuses on the federal government, but Americans pay state and local taxes also, too.  For every $1 the federal raised in 2011, state and local governments collected another 58 cents from sales, property, income, and other taxes.  That measure recently has been distorted by the federal government's ability to cut taxes and run deficits during a recession; most states can't do that.  But even before the recession, the weight of state and local taxes rose from 44 cents for every $1 of federal taxes in 2011 to 49 cents in 2007.  Of course, the burden varies widely by state.  State and local governments in New York take about 15 percent of personal income, while in Missouri they take about 9 percent."

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