Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Your Money

This website is fantastically cool. It allows you to track the amount of money (either in grants or in contracts) that go to any specific congressional district, state, or company. It's fun to just look over the top 100 lists.

Top 5 contract recipients:
1. Boeing: 12.01 billion dollars
2. Northrup Grumman: 8.34 billion
3. Lockheed Martin: 7.99 billion
4. Raytheon: 4.82 billion
5. General Dynamics: 3.26 billion

The number 26 company on the list is FedEx, earning 773 million dollars for shipping things and people around for the government. The biggest spender on FedEx? The Air Force. Don't they have their own planes?

Of the 2.2 trillion dollars awarded in contracts between 2000 and 2007, 68% were spent by the Defense Department.

Compared to the 2.2 trillion in contracts (which presumably are used to buy "stuff" that the federal government can use), there was 13.8 trillion awarded in grants (which covers everything from funding school lunches to buying hazmat suits for police departments). The top agencies awarding grants were:
1. Health and Human Services: 3.70 trillion
2. Homeland Security: 3.62 trillion
3. Social Security: 3.49 trillion
4. Housing and Urban Development: 0.83 trillion
5. Department of Agriculture: 0.82 trillion

By far the biggest recipients of grant money were Florida and California, to the tune of 1.5 and 1.2 trillion, respectively between 2000-2007. This seems to mainly be for flood, hurricane, and earthquake insurance. So roughly 20% of all federal grant money was spent on making sure that people who live on a) one of the most unstable fault lines in all the world, or b) the equivalent of an interstate highway for hurricanes, will be compensated when - lo and behold! - a catastrophe strikes. That means as much is spent on catastrophe insurance as on all of Social Security. We could make Social Security AND Medicare solvent by ending the subsidization of living in places that God is intentionally trying to destroy on a regular basis. Just a thought.

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