Debt & Deficit
The United States continues to increase debt and deficit spending, and passes continuing resolutions as opposed to the constitutionally required annual budget.
The national budget is an estimate of the anticipated annual revenues and expenditures of the U.S. government. Revenue projections are based on accumulated data depicting recent and historical revenue collection from taxpayers through taxes, fees, and fines, as well as taking into consideration the expected economic outlook. Projected expenditures are the expenses anticipated by the government that are needed to pay for the operating and infrastructure costs, and to fund government programs based on the policy priorities of elected representatives. The budgetary process requires the budget to be passed annually by Congress and then to be signed by the President in order to meet the needs of the citizens of the U.S. without resulting in unsustainable levels of spending and debt.
However, due to continually increasing levels of deficit spending, the enormity of the national debt, and ill-considered budgetary practices; the U.S. has lost its AAA credit rating and created a need for, and an unrealistic expectation of, the government’s ability to provide sustained temporary safety net assistance.
Over time, budget priorities have shifted from funding operating costs and infrastructure, which are the primary responsibilities of government, to direct payments to individuals and corporations. As a result, two-thirds of the national budget is now allocated for mandatory entitlement programs and interest on the national debt leaving only one-third to pay for operating costs, infrastructure, national defense, and other essential discretionary spending.