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10 Ways The Federal Budget And Debt Haunt Us Now And For Years To Come

Leaves are falling. The air is getting crisp. Pumpkin everything is being baked. Apples have been picked. Candy is being sold by the pound. Halloween is right around the corner. Want to get really spooked this Halloween, let’s look at some scary facts about the federal budget and debt. Leave the lights on…

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1. You may never be able to rid yourself of the evil Mr. "Debt"…


Over the next ten years, the federal government will spend over $6 trillion a year on interest creating the third largest government program. Already riddled with increased student debt, millennials will also be responsible for past generations' debt. This problem is exasperated by the low economic recovery and difficulties that millennials are having finding employment. Mr. Debt could be the next Freddy Kruger.

2. Don’t be buying that retirement rocking chair anytime soon…


As a result of years of budget deficits and future government spending on current retirees, future generations are threatened with not having access to social security. Debts in the Social Security Trust Fund alone will add $16 billion to the deficit. Working till 80 is the new working till 60.

3. Proposals could freeze opportunity…


To combat the Federal Deficit, house budget proposals include freezing Pell Grants over the next ten years. Almost eight million Americans depend on Pell Grants to attend and complete college. Research has shown that need-based grant aid increases college enrollment and completion among low- and moderate-income students. More than 60% of African-American undergraduates and half of Hispanic undergraduates rely on Pell Grants to attend school. The cold never bothered me anyway.

4. Who knows who is on the other line…


Everyone wants the newest technology but do we keep paying for iPhone 4s? No, but the federal government could not quite leave the old ones behind. In 2012, the Department of Homeland Security realized they had being spending $10.6 million on phones they were not using and the Department of Commerce were paying for 2,500 phone numbers that had not been in use for three months. Millions of dollars that could have supported programming has been wasted for no good reason. Hello, it’s me, the federal budget.

5. The incredibly shrinking non-defense discretionary (NDD) budget…


We all want better jobs and a higher standard of living. This can be achieved with increased spending on education, infrastructure and research and development. The Budget Control Act capped and required further reduction in caps for starting in 2013 for the NDD budget. There has been some relief in the mandatory cap reduction with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which covers 2016 and 2017 but expires in 2018. If no other action is taken, in 2018, the NDD budget will reach a record low as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP).  The game of Life just got real.

6. Don’t be scared, but federal health programming spending will increase over time at an exponential rate…


In 2026, it is projected that the federal government will spend about $548 billion on health programs. Federal outlays for major health programs accounts for around 29% of today’s total federal outlays but it will increase to almost twice as much, 56% of the growth in total outlays, between now and 2026. Yes, federal spending on health programming is essential, but the spending increase is a result of growing costs and not for the additional Americans being covered. Maybe we can all be admitted to Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital.

7. The federal interest cost will exceed defense spending??!!!


The government’s interest costs are around $200 billion a year. With the gradual increase in interest rates over the second half of the decade, interest costs will increase to nearly $800 billion which means interest costs will exceed defense spending. “A2? You sank my battleship?”

8. Who knew rum could be a tax break…

Congress extended a tax break that increases an excise tax rebate of $13.25 for each gallon of rum distilled in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This rebate cost the government $168 million in taxes that mostly benefited two large liquor companies. That’s a lot of Piña Coladas.

9. And American Pharaoh was just extended a tax break…


A tax break for thoroughbred race horse owners allow them to classify the animals as three-year property which allows owners to depreciate the cost of the horses more quickly. It costs $74 million annually. American Pharoah entered retirement having made $8.65 million, not bad for a horse that depreciates quickly.

10. But the most haunting of all could just be this..


The US Debt Clock just keeps going on and on and on.

So if you are looking for a scary Halloween costume this year, you may want to consider being the federal budget or federal debt. If you use nifty and Pinterest, you may find some clever ways to save money on your costume – you're going to need it. Happy Halloween!

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