Let's try the claim that Barack Obama is a Muslim. Well, no. He is a believing Christian and has been since his 20s.
Let's try the claim that Barack Obama is a Socialist. I roll on the floor laughing. He's a moderate all the way. I mean, just look at his version of health care reform: instead of socializing the health care system or putting a single-payer plan into effect, he threw about a trillion dollars a year to the insurance companies by requiring everyone to have insurance, whether purchased individually or through an employer.
Let's try "I want a smaller government! They should cut waste! But let me keep my Social Security / Medicare / veterans' benefits."
PEOPLE. There's waste in every system, whether private, public, large, small. It's often hard to locate and usually costs as much to monitor and cut as you're wasting. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes, you know?
More to the point, here's what the federal government spends money on. First, nondiscretionary spending, mostly on entitlements, and thank you, Wikipedia:
Mandatory spending: $1.89 trillion (+6.2%)
- $944 billion - Social Security
- $408 billion - Medicare
- $224 billion - Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
- $360 billion - Unemployment/Welfare/Other mandatory spending
- $260 billion - Interest on National Debt
So, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, and SCHIP take up most of that. Well, I'm sure the Tea Partiers want to ditch Medicaid and SCHIP, which benefit primarily poor people.
And here's so-called discretionary spending. Note that nearly half of this goes to the Department of Defense. I'm all in favor of spending less on the military and especially that giant amount labeled "Global War on Terror" (does that mean Afghan and Iraq Wars??) but IT AIN'T HAPPENING IN MY LIFETIME. Anyone want to give up the judiciary? I thought not.
- Discretionary spending: $1.21 trillion (+4.9%)
- $515.4 billion - United States Department of Defense
- $145.2 billion(2008*) - Global War on Terror
- $70.4 billion - United States Department of Health and Human Services
- $68.2 billion - United States Department of Transportation
- $45.4 billion - United States Department of Education
- $44.8 billion - United States Department of Veterans Affairs
- $38.5 billion - United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
- $38.3 billion - State and Other International Programs
- $37.6 billion - United States Department of Homeland Security
- $25.0 billion - United States Department of Energy
- $20.8 billion - United States Department of Agriculture
- $20.3 billion - United States Department of Justice
- $17.6 billion - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- $12.5 billion - United States Department of the Treasury
- $10.6 billion - United States Department of the Interior
- $10.5 billion - United States Department of Labor
- $8.4 billion - Social Security Administration
- $7.1 billion - United States Environmental Protection Agency
- $6.9 billion - National Science Foundation
- $6.3 billion - Judicial branch (United States federal courts)
- $4.7 billion - Legislative branch (United States Congress)
- $4.7 billion - United States Army Corps of Engineers
- $0.4 billion - Executive Office of the President
- $0.7 billion - Small Business Administration
- $7.2 billion - Other agencies
- $39.0 billion(2008*) - Other Off-budget Discretionary Spending