Imagine you were the head of a well-organized political party in the United States and had to make a budget proposal that would be used by the government of the United States for the coming year. Don't be concerned about the dollar amount. If your budget total must total 100 percent, what percentage or percentage would you suggest allotment to these categories? Consider your options realistically, while remaining loyal to your beliefs. You must do what you think is best for the nation. Think about what you think are the needs of the country and allocation of percentages for the government budget. There is obviously no either or neither. If you're not sure , just do an estimation. However, the sum of your percentages should be 100 since you aren't able to spend more than what you've already got however you should make the most of the resources you've received. (Note that the federal government is able to and does often spend more than it has to. However, let's pretend it's not feasible.) Okay, so what percentage would you pay on (look at the various items on the list prior to making a decision): National defense____________________ Education____________________ Natural resources and the environment____________________ Social security____________________ Medicare____________________ Administration of justice____________________ Science, space, and technology____________________ Health____________________ Other (what do you think? )____________________ ______ Other (what do you think? )____________________ ______ Other (what is it? )____________________ ______ Total (should add to 100%_______________ You are now able to look at what are the real allocations within the Federal budget. Go to "Where the Money Comes From And Where it Goes. " Find Table 2-3, Total Spending by Function. IMPORTANT: USE THE FIGURES IN THE THE 2002 COLUMN. THE TOTAL EXPENDITURES IS $1,961 BILLION OR ABOUT $1.9 TRILLION DOLLARS. Find the right column. If you're asked to give a percentage, determine how much of the budget for the federal government ($1,961 trillion) is used for the categories that are listed. How much in dollars is spent for National defense____________________ That's what percent? _____________ How much in dollars is spent for Education, training, employment, and social services____________________ That's what percent? _____________ How much in dollars is spent for Natural resources and environment____________________ That's what percent? _____________ How much in dollars is spent for Social security____________________ That's what percent? _____________ How much in dollars is spent for Medicare____________________ That's what percent? _____________ How much in dollars is spent for Administration of justice____________________ That's what percent? _____________ How much in dollars is spent for General science, space, and technology____________________ That's what percent? _____________ How much in dollars is spent for Health____________________ That's what percent? _____________ For future reference, those groups "Social security," "Medicare," and a portion of "Health" are off limits to Congress. They are known as entitlements, meaning the spending they incur is more than "uncontrollable." Check out " Entilement" in the glossary of the budget. The other categories are known as "discretionary" spending lines, which implies that Congress is in control (but in reality, less than you would believe) over the amount. What percentage and how much of the 2002 expenditures go to entitlements? $______________ and _________% Simply put, do the federal budgets (they're often referred to as "outlays") agree with your values? Does any of these numbers make you wonder?
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