Very few citizens have any idea where their tax monies go. We have only so much to parcel out for defense, human services, administration and interest on the debt.

Either we balance the budget and spend only what we can afford, raise taxes to pay for what we wish to have that we cannot now afford given current taxation levels, or we expand the debt and let someone in the future worry about it.

Every member of Congress should be forced to stand in front of their constituents with a set of chart boards showing where current tax monies are spent and presenting the following facts for all to see.

After all, a budget is nothing more than a comparison of cash flow in and cash flow out. Until we have a national citizen discussion about these issues, we cannot possibly forge any consensus about proper spending and taxation levels.

In 1961:

 The Consumer Price Index tabular value was 30.000, with a base of 10.000 at the beginning of the CPI table in 1913.

 The U.S. population was 180 million.

 The federal government spent $104.9 billion.

 Per-capita spending was $583.33 per person.

 The national debt was about $300 billion, or about $1,666.67 per person.

In 2014:

 The Consumer Price Index tabular value is 233.433, a factor increase of 7.78 from 1961.

 The U.S. population is 310 million, a factor increase of 1.72 from 1961.

 The federal government spent $3.5 trillion.

 Per-capita spending is now $11,290.32 per person.

 The national debt is now about $18 trillion, or $58,064.52 per person.

Adjusted for inflation per person, in 2014 we are spending $2.40 for every $1 spent in 1961, and the national debt is now almost 4½ times higher per capita than it was in 1961. Is this defensible or desirable?

Bruce Sanford