Vote Pump

Barack Obama will have ONE BILLION DOLLARS to spend on his re-election in 2012. Bill Whittle calls that chump change. Find out how the Big Government statists spent 22,000 times that amount on buying votes in 2011 alone!




Hi everybody – welcome to the Firewall; I’m Bill Whittle.

Liberals and especially the Occupy Wall Street crowd are incensed at the influence of corporations on elections. Conservatives and especially the Tea Party in turn point out that President Barack Obama is poised to spend one billion dollars in 2012 on his reelection campaign.

To which I reply to both of these concerns: Bah! Chump change!

How much money does the government really have in order to buy a vote? Well, let’s look at the mechanics of the vote pump.

Our federal government spent 3.8 trillion dollars in 2011. Here’s where that money we spent came from:

Income Tax: 956 billion
Corporate Income Tax: 198 billion
Social Security Payroll Taxes: 559 billion
Medicare Payroll Taxes: 187 billion
Unemployment Insurance: 52 billion
Other Retirement: 8 billion
Excise Tax: 74 billion
Estate and Gift Taxes: 12 billion
Customs Duties: 28 billion
Federal Reserve Deposits: 80 billion
And Miscellaneous: 57 billion

But hang on! What about the rest of this pie chart? Where do we go to get the revenues to fill that in? Well, we don’t -- we borrow it. This missing slice – this giant sucking black hole 1,645 billion dollars wide – is debt. It’s the annual deficit. We incur this much debt every single year. It is damn near half of what we spend, and that black wedge gets bigger every year and added to all the other black wedges from years past.

But that’s that we spent in 2011 – 3 trillion, 819 billion dollars. But it’s to run the government, right? We all want government, don’t? So let’s now see how the great men and women running this great government taxed and spent 57 cents and borrowed and spent 43 cents of every one of those 3.8 trillion dollars.

Here we go:

Homeland Security: 43 billion
Department of State: 53 billion
Department of Agriculture: 24 billion
Department of Commerce: 9 billion
Department of Education: 73 billion

Energy is 17 billion, Health and Human Services is 84 billion, and Housing, Urban Development is 42 billion, Interior is 12, Justice is 24, Labor is 14, Transportation is 14 and the Treasury is 13 billion.

The EPA is 10 billion dollars, General Service Administration is .7 billion – just to stop here for a second, that itty bitty little slice behind me is what the government spends on all of their buildings, cars, all that stuff. Just that. NASA is 19 billion dollars; of course, we don’t have any spacecraft anymore.

Next is OCO – the Overseas Contingency Operations. The cost of the nation’s wars, for those of you disinclined to use a Liberal President’s euphemism for war.

Saving the big boy for last – Discretionary Defense comes in at 549 billion. And all the other agencies combined add about another 120 billion.

So! That’s discretionary spending. They’re huge numbers, but at least that’s what a government looks like, right? That’s every single aircraft carrier, building and automobile; that’s every park ranger and the park they range in; it’s the cost of every congressman and a capitol building to put them in – it’s everything! All of it! In that wedge.

So what’s missing?

Well, interest on the federal debt is 207 billion.

It’s still a big hole though. The rest of that hole is entitlement spending, and the government is not allowed to cut it! By law! That money is promised to people in the form of entitlements. And it breaks out like this:

Social Security: 742 Billion
Medicare: 488 billion
Medicaid: 276 Billion
And other mandatory spending – things like food stamps and unemployment benefits – that gets us up to 100%

So there it is. In round numbers, to spend 10 bucks, our government taxes for six and borrows four. And when they actually spend that ten bucks, 4 dollars buys the actual government, and 6 dollars goes to people to buy votes with.

Now what’s even more disturbing is that it is generally true that the people who receive most in benefits pay little or nothing in taxes. So people are voting themselves other people’s money. Which means it’s not just a vote pump. It’s a wealth redistribution pump, and it pumps 2.2 trillion dollars every single year from people who work and pay taxes to people who often don’t work and don’t pay any taxes. And as long as the benefit receivers can out-vote the benefit producers, there will be more and more people taking, and fewer and fewer people working harder and harder to produce those benefits. And that’s exactly what we are seeing today.

So, in summary, just two things to remember:

First, the government brings in through taxation more than enough to run the actual government. We could all take a tax break, and still buy every single thing that the government buys. We wouldn’t have to cut a penny.

Second, if you cut the cost of the government – the entire government -- out of that, we’d still have to borrow billions every year just to pay the entitlements.

So we face a choice. Now one option is to cut back on this food supply, and gradually but firmly reduce this entitlement dependence to what it was originally intended to be: help for those who, through illness or physical incapacity cannot help themselves, and return everyone else feeding on this food supply from the wealth consumer column to the wealth generator column. And that is going to be very, very, very difficult to do.

Or, we can let this continue until the system collapses. That will be sooner rather than later – and much sooner than many of you think. Then there won’t be any benefits at all. And that solution to this unsustainable problem will in fact be very easy to implement. All we have to do is keep doing what we are doing right now.

So, Barack Obama doesn’t have a mere billion dollars to spend on his re-election. He and all of the other Big Government statists have 2.2 trillion dollars a year, every year, to spend on their re-election. Obama just has a billion dollars to tell you all about it.

We need your help getting messages like this one out. Go to and become a citizen producer today. I’m Bill Whittle, and we’ll see you next time on the Firewall.

Published Jan 27, 2012