To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Pentagon Paid $998,798 to Ship Two 19-Cent Washers

That headline, from a Bloomberg.com article today, could be rephrased: "Four Average American Taxpayers' Life-time Income Tax Payments Will Fund the Shipping of Two 19-cent Washers."

We see so many stories about the government wasting taxpayer money that we get inured to what that really means in terms of our own individual contribution to the government's waste and inefficiency.

The Wa Post today had an article that detailed how the State Department's $5 billion in spending to remodel US embassies and build a new one in Iraq is a total disaster with tons of money spent on systems that don't work.

Q:How many taxpayers' lifetime income taxes does it take to fund a troubled $5 billion embassy building/rebuilding program?
A: 19,590.
Q: How about the Baghdad embassy alone?
A: 2,319.

Quant note and sources: The average US individual tax payment is $6,381 per year. I assumed 40 years of paying that amount to calculate the life-time earnings of an average taxpayer.

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