This whole sequestration thing demonstrates beyond a doubt that we cannot continue wasting the majority of our public funds on the war industry. It produces near nothing, destroys vast wealth and economic infrastructure, causes hatred of America, and drains our treasury.
Any rational human being would look at these graphs and shake his head. We should reduce war spending form $700 billion / yr to $70 billion / yr. That would put us in line with the rest of the 17 next biggest spenders, 14 of which are allies, and 1 of which has most-favored-nation trade status.
Doing that one thing would cut the deficit by 70%. Granted, there's still more we need to do after that, but clearly it's critical to turn off the government tit to the war industry. Damn welfare queens.
Remember, the Soviet Union fell solely because they spent too much on the military. We're following them a mere 14 years later.
Yeah, it's Obamaphones and Food Stamps that are forcing America into bankruptcy.
Hell, I'm against federal subsidies of student loans (they increase the cost of college and hurt students) and Obamaphones, but they are a drop of piss in the ocean compared to Warfare spending. The "conservative" view of the budget is so ridiculously out-of-touch with the reality of the budget, it's mind boggling.
When balancing a budget, you first cut the unnecessary, big ticket items.
First, your pie chart is wrong. "Defense Department" spending, or more accurate, Warfare spending, is discretionary spending. In fact Warfare spending is 58% of discretionary spending. More if you count veteran's benefits, something that we wouldn't need if we didn't maim so many people in war.
Second, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are not funded by the federal income tax and do not contribute one little bit to the deficit or the national debt because they are funded by their own, specific taxes, namely FICA
Notice that SS and Medicare are shown as separate taxes on the following sample paystub.
Now, I would eliminate SS for Baby Boomers and beyond, letting people use Roth IRAs with $100k/yr contribution limits instead. And I'd also eliminate 90% of the costs of Medicaid, Medicare, and health insurance by utterly destroying the health insurance industry, instituting a single-payer system, and streamlining medical administration. Short of doing those things, there isn't jack shit you can do to lower health care costs except killing people.
However, we were talking about the budget crisis and sequestration. So we have to look at the federal spending that isn't self-paid by SS taxes and FICA taxes. After all, those programs have absolutely nothing to do with the deficit or the national debt as I have just explained.
So, what should your pie graph look like? Let's just normalize yourgraph after eliminating the things that have nothing to do with the deficit and debt.
Net Interest 197
"Defense" Warfare 689
All other 416
Now, since Net Interest isn't something you can cut since it's a function of the debt. Here's the pie chart showing the funding we can cut.
62% of it is warfare spending, and that's using the disingenuously deflated figures that you gave. If we did proper accounting, direct warfare spending would be about 70%. And if we include the indirect costs of war such as having to rebuild Afghanistan after we destroyed it ($5 billion alone), warfare would be about 80% of the cuttable spending.
And we haven't even included things like oil tax subsidies as expenses.
No matter how you cut it, warfare spending is what needs to be cut first and most. That's where most of the money is going.
Yes, I am a liberal, but that's not why I disagree with you. I disagree with you because I know how to do math and how to get accurate information. Liberalism is a social philosophy that states that people should be allowed to do whatever they want as long as they aren't violating the rights of others such as by hurting others. Quite frankly, if you're not a liberal, you're a scumbag. Liberalism isn't an economic philosophy.
My economic philosophy in a nutshell is this… Economics should be an engineering discipline based on verifiable facts, not religious dogma. Math and empirical evidence are the important factors in considering policy. Long-term prosperity trumps short-term prosperity. Cost shifting, including pollution, is a form of theft. Accounting must be honest and transparent. Inflation, as implemented by the Federal Reserve, is also a form of theft. Private and public debts are both bad. Aggregated demand is not a magic bullet. Per capital productivity is the best metric and means for economic prosperity. Those that produce the wealth, not those that control capital or distribution channels, should retain at least 80% of the wealth they produce with the remaining going to government (10%), normal profit (5%), economic profit (5%).
By the way, I have eliminated the deficit and produced a surplus in every budget simulation I've ever encountered. Not too shabby for a liberal.