By Ben Cohen: Want to know just how big the US defense budget is, how Obama compares to other Presidents in terms of spending, how many unmarried couples are living together, and how much a baby costs in its first year? Improve your Banter with these need to know facts:
THE U.S. BUDGET: The U.S. defense budget is larger than the combined defense budgets of China, England, France, Russia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Germany, India, Italy, Brazil, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Turkey, the UAE, Spain and Israel. Almost $1 in $5 Uncle Sam spent in 2011 went to defense. Twenty cents of that $1 was spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In total, the US spends about $700 billion a year on its military.
As for health spending, $1 of every $4 goes to health care. If current policies remain in place, government spending on health care will consume 33% of the budget by 2012. If President Obama fired every federal employee tomorrow, the deficit would not be cut in half. Uncle Sam spent $435 billion last year in wages and benefits for 4.4 million employees.
TAXES: The share of income most families pay in federal taxes has been declining for the past 30 years. In l981, the feds took l9.2% on income from the average middle class family. In 2007, the tax hit for a similar family was 14.3%. Last year, nearly half of American households—roughly 46% didn’t pay any federal income taxes.
OBAMA AND SPENDING: President Obama has been tighter with tax dollars than any U.S. president since Dwight Eisenhower. In fiscal 2010, the first Obama budget, spending fell l.8% to $3.46 trillion. In fiscal 2011, spending rose 4.3% to $3.60 trillion. In fiscal 2012, spending is set to rise 0.7% to $3.63 trillion, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. Lastly in fiscal 2013, the last budget of Obama’s firs term, spending will fall to 1.3% to $3.58 trillion. Republicans bought into the Obama big spender tale because during the first year of Obama’s presidency, the federal budget increased a huge 17.9@, increasing from $2.98 trillion to $3.52 trillion. Unfortunately, Obama inherited the 2009 budget was property of President George W. Bush, which was in effect four months before Obama took office.
READING—Twenty-one percent of Ohio’s third-graders—-25,963 students—were not proficient in reading during the last school year, according to preliminary test results released by the Ohio Department of Education.
MORTALITY AND BREAST FEEDING: The black infant mortality rate is twice as high in the U.S. than it is for whit babies. The Center for Disease Control report the infant mortality rte at 6.7 per 1,000 live births for white women, compared with l3.3 per 1,000 for African Americans. Black women also lag behind white women significantly when it comes to breastfeeding rates.
COHABITATION: More unmarried couples in the U.S. are shacking up and more are getting pregnant. The number of births to cohabiting women increased from l4% of all births in 2002 to 23% in 2006-10. Today more than three-quarters of all births to married women are intended, as compared with about half of births to cohabiting women and a third of births to women who are unmarried and not cohabiting.
KIDS: The average middle-income family will spend roughly $12,000 on child-related expense in their baby’s first year of life. By age two, one can add an additional $500 to that figure. If a couple lives in the northeast and make more than $100,000 a year, you can expect to spend more than $500,000 on your kid from birth to age l8.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.