Contemplating government spending is like trying to envisage the size of the universe. It’s big. It’s…a lot. Especially in the case of the United States government, trying to understand the sheer scale of the spending we do is pretty much impossible. Even if you could get a clear picture in your mind of what a billion or trillion (or more) dollars looks like, trying to organize your thoughts around the myriad different channels this money goes into would eventually break your brain. Government spending is its own entity, and there are people who have spent their entire career trying to break it down into something that can be understood.
As anything on such a large scale, it’s hard to get an accurate gauge of just where the money goes (and the sheer amount of it) – checks and balances on huge, almost impossible sums is next to impossible. Of course, the government tries to crack down (and cracks down hard, if the IRS is any indication) on fraud and thievery from forces both inside the system and out of it, but it would be impossible to catch every single case. Suffice it to say that in those billions and trillions of dollars the government spends, a huge percentage of that isn’t going where it should. Money is being skimmed off the top, leaking into private sectors, and outright stolen every single day.
For any good taxpayer, it’s a maddening thought. You pay your sales tax, your property tax, your income tax, and at the end of the year you file and pay the IRS more. Finding out that some of the obscene amount of money the government is spending your hard-earned dollars on is going back to the private sector, often to professional fraudsters and people who definitely don’t need it, is infuriating. So how best to combat the problem? There are legal brains and economic professionals who are fighting this corruption and full-scale thievery every day.
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