Sunday, January 04, 2009

OK, Some Facts and Figures

First I had to make some eggs and watch FoxNewsSunday, but then I did my digging.

You can follow along at home by starting here - Budget of the United States Government: Browse. From this page, you pick a year in Clinton's or "W"'s administration. They have reports available on line going back to 1996.

"W"'s first year is 2002.

From the 2003 budget we read that $51.5 billion was spent in FY02.

From the 2004 budget we read that $56.9 billion was spent in FY03.

Then the GAO takes on a different way of reporting with everything broken down by program, so I shifted to the VA's website.

On page 68 of the Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2005 "Annual Performance and Accountability Report" it is explained that the net costs for 2004 were $63.3 billion and the net costs for 2005 were $65.6 billion.

On page 77 of the Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2006 "Annual Performance and Accountability Report" it is repeated that 2005's net cost were 65.6 billion. then the FY 2006 figure of $70.3 billion is introduced.

On page 91 of the Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2007 "Annual Performance and Accountability Report" the 2006 figure is corrected to $69.3 billion (still an increase over 2005) and the FY 2007 figure is projected at $76.2 billion.

On page 87 of the Department of Veteran's Affairs FY 2008 "Annual Performance and Accountability Report" the 2007 figure of $76.2 billion is confirmed and the 2008 figure is given as $82.5 billion.

Ok.........where is the cut?

2 comments:

Stella said...

OK, maybe we're both right and wrong. The White House Budget (page 58) is right in line with your research. (I'm impressed...)

We agree on Fact Check's data, so this article runs pro and con to both of us. I've got articles from NPR, In These Times, Hispanic War Veterans of America, IAVA Health Care cuts, and the NYT.

So, in fact, numbers don't tell the entire story. Despite the "increases," veterans have to pay more for health benefits. In addition, there are homeless veterans because they only get a $21 K stipend per year. No one can live in a large metropolis on that salary.

Do you know anyone who could live on that salary in a major city?

The numbers from the VA and GAO apparently don't tell the entire story. Even if the numbers go up, so do the expenses. Retired Retired Marine Sgt. Todd Bowers, who saw combat in Fallujah, dropped out of George Washington University after falling behind on student loan payments.

"The creditors were more ruthless than the insurgents," Bowers said.

So, apparently, there is a story behind the statistics, such as increased cost of living, which doesn't match up with the benefits. I think that's a critical part of the story.

I feel Bush has not given enough thought to the budget and the cost of living. If we compare the 1995 vs. 2005 dollars, would even the increase be enough?

Thanks for all your hard work finding these figures, Maggie—I admire your smarts, but you knew that already.

Stella said...

Holy, Crap, Maggie! You've broadcasted me.

=)