What The US Government Spent Its Money On Last Quarter

Tyler Durden's picture

The most vocal justification provided for the disappointing Q4 GDP print by the mainstream was an increase in US government "austerity" resulting in a decline in the government contribution to the economic bottom line in the last quarter (or first fiscal quarter of 2013). Ironically, both total spending and total debt issuance in the past quarter increased, which means that far from being austere, the US actually spent more, not less, i.e., the opposite of austerity.

And while it is true that Defense spending declined by a tiny amount in the past quarter compared to the year ago, it was more than offset by a surge in Medicare and Medicaid, as well as Social Security, or, as they are better known, welfare. And, as the CBO yesterday showed, these two components of US spending, which together account for half of all US spending and which couldn't be funded by all US revenues even if the government spent $0.00 for all other programs, which will soar in the coming years as US society ages, as more workers retire, and as more are reliant on Uncle Sam for the payment of every bill. So the next time someone say that the US has a defense spending problem and nothing else, show them this chart.

Oh, and those concerned about the decline in interest payments on a year over year basis, don't be. Here is the OMB's forecast for what US interest expense will be in the next decade. Needless to say, it is growing fast to quite fast...

... although since by 2022 the Fed will own all US debt and promptly remit it to the Treasury, a condition most prominently observed during the Weimar hyperinflation, it is arguable that the US will have bigger problems by 2022 than what the debt interest payment is.

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ghostfaceinvestah's picture

I love the terminology "defense".  We really needed to spend that much to "defend" ourselves???

Let's call it what it is - military spending pork.

azzhatter's picture

Should be military aggression

ghostfaceinvestah's picture

Good term - "military aggression spending".

Spider's picture

Actually the military spending/aggression is way off - it only includes on-budget military expenditures.  off-budget/extraordinary military expenditures probably add another $100 billion / quarter.

Thats the cost to make a few people rich off fat military-industrial war contracts...

dick cheneys ghost's picture

I dont recalll seeing a line-item deduction on my paystubb for $trillion dollar, endless wars


Maybe they should add one.



new game's picture

upped my mic spending-some new toys and training to boot.

no off sheet acctg as my wife approves....

AlaricBalth's picture

Did everyone here sleep through elementary school indoctrination?
We must defend...freedom!
Whatever the cost.

kchrisc's picture

And to protect freedom we had to destroy it.                 hujel

CH1's picture

You MUST obey teacher.

Zap Powerz's picture

Dont you just love how all the anti war, pro civil liberty types that were around when Bush was president have suddenly decided to shut the fuck up as obama, their guy, continues and even expands the same policies of Bush?

I look forward to asking these useless fucks that voted for Obama if they are still glad they said nothing about the expanse of exeutive power under Obama when the next guy is a republican "war monger".

You know, just like I get a kick out of asking brain dead republican fucks now if they are glad they supported Bush and his illegal wars that Obama carries on (that they complain about).

What a retarded fucking cuntry we live in.

James_Cole's picture

Actually, the same people who protested all the Bush bullshit are still around and now protesting Obama (including many lawsuits surrounding the Drone program etc.). Unfortunately, no one paid much attention then and they don't pay any more attention now.

Even still, there was some surprising success vs. NDAA (until an absurd emergency stay saved the Obama admin collective asses)


Harbanger's picture

Really? The MSM must be doing a great job covering up all of the protests.

James_Cole's picture

I don't know what people refer to when they say "MSM" all I know is if you read newspapers (where do you think ZH gets about 90% of their stories from??) you will see the coverage.

The case against NDAA (which I linked to and was successful in court) was covered frequently in the press I read.

If all you do is watch television "news" then I have no idea what coverage you are seeing, probably a lot about guns, superbowl, reality TV - I don't know though, I don't watch TV news anymore.

mofreedom's picture

I didn't like bush but it ain't about him anymore you cock sucking mother fucker.  It's Obama now.

James_Cole's picture

"I didn't like bush but it ain't about him anymore you cock sucking mother fucker.  It's Obama now."

Some grade school reading comprehension classes would do you well mofreedom.

Totentänzerlied's picture

Comparing Bush to Obama in front of a liberal is the fastest route to unmasking their hypocrisy. The response is literally priceless.

James_Cole's picture

A lot of liberals despise Obama. But yes, there are clueless people of all political stripes.

Doomer's picture

Ooooo, that is rich:  Israeli-designed drones dispached from the Muslim holy land to kill Muslims.  That is going to go over really well with the rank-and-file over there.

You know it is just a matter of time before those things get hacked and turned against our bases over there.  That'll be fun for our boys.

knukles's picture

Had the drone bases been found under Bush or any other non-Democrap, the press, independent, fair, balanced, insightful and whatever other horseshit you wanna believe would a been spread over all the front pages, shouted from the roof tops.

I. am. sick. of. this. shit.

Henry Hub's picture

There definitely should be a war tax, there should have been one from the get-go, right from the the start of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. Then people would know what it costs and they are paying for it.

hooligan2009's picture

the pentagon figures that its costings are for limp wristed accountants...they generate a lot of tapayer revenue from oil (iraq) cocaine (colombia) heroin (afghanistan) not to mention tax free goods from the colonies of the US (Japan, Germany, Korea, the UK etc) whilst providing the backbone of fit and strong men to keep comunities sane.

diogeneslaertius's picture

"military aggression pork"

permission to make that the name of my new punk band lol

CrimsonAvenger's picture

It actually used to be called the Department of War - guess that wasn't as palatable.

CClarity's picture

Meanwhile, Irish Parliament calls a late night meeting to discuss liquidating one of the largest Irish banks.  We just pay them off here ala taxpayer revs - in the budget?

lincolnsteffens's picture

Should be commercial/industrial natural resource extraction protected by Military and backed by Banksters aided by US taxpayers.

Please continue

LawsofPhysics's picture

In the meantime, the BRICs are dumping the equivalent amount plus some into research and development.  Yeah, I am sure this will end well.

Sudden Debt's picture

Oh well... if that chart wasn't a zero base graph it wouldn't look all that bad...

And inflation adjusted, that debt won't even buy ya a sack of peanuts!

Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

"And inflation adjusted, that debt won't even buy ya a sack of peanuts!"


marathonman's picture

How about we call it the Republican make-work jobs program?

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

As long as you call the US Postal System the Democrat make-work job program we have a deal.

DosZap's picture

the US Postal System

Should have been PRIVATIZED years ago.

trav777's picture

isn't delivering the mail in the constitution or something?

Woodyg's picture

Yea it is but the Constitution is Sooooo yesterday -

Neither party gives a flying f@&* about the constitution.

I might also add that Social Security isn't adding to the debt but is in fact lessening the debt as any surplus is stolen by the general budget never to be repaid.

Making it an added tax on the lower income worker.

Kind of like people who always talk about the high Income taxes the wealthy pay but fail to mention any other tax paid - from sales taxes, to property taxes, to gas taxes, and on and on -

And besides since the worthless Malinvestment we call the top .01% don't actually create any real economic wealth AND they're taking home 93% of all new income perhaps they shouldmpay 93% of all new revenue needed. These are the same predators and jackals that outsourced decent jobs and then bitch because the lower working class doesn't pay enough taxes.

Rossalgondamer's picture

Queen's gotta have something to read.

midtowng's picture

The postal system goes back to before there was a Democratic party. So no, that doesn't work.

Zap Powerz's picture

Yeah! Rock on dude!  Blue team kicks ass! Blue team is number one!  Blue team go! Blue team yay!

Those stupid red team guys suck dick!  Losers! Boooooo!

Since youre probably too fucking dense to understand that Im making fun of you, marathonman, let me just say that youre part of the problem.  You root for statism and complain when your team isnt winning.  Freedom loving people have no use for dicks like you so fuck off.

haskelslocal's picture

There's a "message" issue with the top three. I think the titles need some freshing up:

1) Pharma & Obesity Spending

2) Geting Old and Dying Quick spending

3) Fear Mongering


hooligan2009's picture

3) Colonization

there, fixed it for you...pick your colon !

FL_Conservative's picture

More like military corporate welfare or military industrial complex pay backs.

Zap Powerz's picture

The welfare/warfare state is really expensive.  You can either "join up" and "serve your country" or you can just quit working and have your country support you.  Either way, youre a ward of the state.

There are a few of us left that get to work 60+ hours a week building a business so the government can take over 50% of it to support the welfare/warfare state.   Jesus, who is the dumb one here?

There is just no way what we have in this country is anything remotely close to capitalism. 

CH1's picture

There are a few of us left that get to work 60+ hours a week building a business so the government can take over 50% of it to support the welfare/warfare state.   Jesus, who is the dumb one here?

I agree entirely. So... Just Stop Obeying Them.

Zap Powerz's picture

Im a rat in a cage.  I made the cage myself, I know.  But I like to work and produce something of value. I just hate it that people that produce little or nothing get over half of it.

de3de8's picture

Agree, worked for years to create some net worth and now have to keep grinding to support the loads. The sooner it collapses the better IMO.

tarsubil's picture

I heard a story about an old timer that ran a very honest and good business that sold wood working supplies. He'd been in business for decades. A bunch of his big customers just said they were going bankrupt and unable to pay their bills. After a good go at running his own business, he liquidated everything and closed up shop. He no longer saw the point in working his derriere off to be net negative over the year. I hear negative stories about real businesses all the time. But stocks are up so no worries.

LongBallsShortBrains's picture

You, my friend are on a fucking ROLL!!!!!!!!

Lendo's picture

"Offense spending"

"Department of offense"