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Starting Your Budget: My Family


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First, we're going to figure out your family's share of the US national debt and the annual budget deficit.

So to start, enter your family's info here.

I expect my family will earn this year.
Number of people in my family
Age of primary earner
I expect my family will pay total taxes of this year.

Based on what you entered above, we're estimating the following figures. Remember, these numbers represent just the share for your family.

Dollars My Family's...
0 Total Economic Income This is an estimate of your total income that includes many items you probably don't see, like your employer's share of your Social Security and Medicare taxes. more info
0 Total Federal, State, and Local Taxes This is an estimate of all the taxes you pay; federal, state, and local. more info
0 Share of Government Spending This is the amount government spends on your behalf, not the amount that you receive from government. more info
0 Share of Government Surplus (or Deficit) Surpluses occur when government collects more money than it spends. Deficits occur when government collects less money than it spends. more info
0 Share of Goverment Hard Debt This is money government borrowed then spent, and must be repaid to avoid default. more info
0 Share of Government Semi-Hard and Soft Debt These are primarily retirement benefits government has promised to pay, but not saved to do so. Unlike hard debt, this money has not yet been spent. more info
0 Share of Government Total Debt This is your family's share of the government's debt.
If you are concerned about disclosing your income, enter an income number that is not yours. For example: The average American belongs to a household that earns roughly $75,000 annually. Consider experimenting with this number.

Include cash income here; wages, salaries, tips, small business and farm earnings, interest, dividends, cash government benefits like Social Security, unemployment benefits, etc... Include pension benefits, alimony and child support. Also, include taxes that are deducted from your paycheck.

Exclude employer provided benefits, employer contributions to your retirement, and government benefits you receive in non-cash form, like Medicare, food stamps, or subsidized housing.
No need to spend too much time on it, unless this is the sort of thing you like to do. Your best quick guess will do just fine. This number will not be used in estimating your tax burden. It is used to measure the discrepancy between your impression of what you pay versus a estimate of what you pay. Since many taxes are hidden, the discrepancy may be large.
This estimate income taxes, sales taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, property taxes, your share of corporate income taxes, alcohol and gasoline taxes, insurance premiums taxes, utility taxes, etc...

Tax estimates are based on national averages for families of this income level, family size, and age of primary earner. Individual families' tax may vary - as the tax code discriminates between families in different circumstances.
Semi-hard debt is largely retirement benefits expected by government employees. Soft debt is primarily retirement benefits expected by the general citizenry, largely funnelled through Social Security and Medicare.

Taxpayers should be aware that this number does not include loans and other financial obligations which the government has pledged that taxpayers will "make good" if the debtors do not pay; such as FDIC deposits, Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) obligations, private mortgages held by Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, student loans, and now a host of other loans and securities related to the financial crisis that broke in 2008/2009.

This is a "present value". This is the amount needed today. This amount grows and compounds like an unpaid mortgage each year if nothing is done.
As used here, a family is an individual or a group of individuals that would normally file a federal income tax return together.
Family Economic Income includes more than Family Cash Income.

It is an average of all families with the cash income, number of people, and age specified above. It adds in employer-provided health insurance, the 50% of Social Security and Medicare tax that employers pay on behalf of their employees, etc. It also includes government subsidies such as Medicare, free school lunches, and subsidized housing.

Whether taxes are charged directly to families or not, eventually all taxes in the economy are paid by families. Those that are are not charged directly to families are buried in the costs of goods and services that families buy or reduce the returns of investments that families own. Indirect taxes that families eventually pay include corporate income taxes, the employer's half of Social Security and Medicare taxes, other payroll taxes paid by employers, property taxes paid by businesses and more.

Since a proper analysis allocates all taxes to families, it must also allocate all income to families as well, even items families may not think of as income that belongs to them. This additional income includes the value of noncash subsidies such Medicare services, free school lunches, subsidized housing provided to families. Economic income also includes employer provided insurance, the 50% of Social Security and Medicare tax that employers pay on behalf of their employees, income equal to the rental value of homes they own, etc...
It includes your portion of the deficit and your taxes that go to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, K-12 public schools, higher education, defense, roads, farm and housing subsidies, research, etc...
Surpluses can be used to pay down government debts. Deficits must be borrowed. They add to the debt taxpayers must repay.
This is federal, state and local 'debt held by the public' combined.

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