President Obama’s plan to raise taxes on the wealthy will bring in roughly $82 billion a year. Since the federal government is spending well over a trillion dollars more than it takes in each year, that won’t put much of a dent in our fiscal problems.
But what exactly does $82 billion in new revenues each year buy? Not much. Here’s a top 10 list of what $82 billion pays for:
- 8.5 days of federal spending ($3,540B annual budget)
- Food stamps for about one year ($81 billion)
- The budget of United States Postal Service for just over a year ($70.6 billion annual budget)
- The US intelligence budget for about one year (75.4 billion annual budget)
- The costs of Hurricane Sandy recovery for New York and New Jersey (current est. $71 billion and growing)
- Just 4 months interest on the debt ($258 billion in 2012)
- Just under one tenth of the 2009 “stimulus” (about $830B)
- 6.6% of our Social Security/Medicare costs in 2012 ($1231B)
- 7.5% of the deficit ($1.1 trillion) – essentially prevent one month of borrowing per year
- One-third of the annual new cost of Obamacare coverage expansions (about $240 billion annually by the end of the decade)
In other words, taxing the rich does not get us very far out of the fiscal hole we are in.