FAQ

  • Data Questions
  1. Why do you focus on the discretionary budget?
  2. Where are all the congressional agencies?
  3. Wont these figures be outdated when Congress makes their adjustments?
  4. How come some numbers differ from the 2007 version of Death and Taxes?
  5. How can military / security related funding be over 700 billion when the Defense department is only 481 billion?
  6. Why is the TSA not listed as national security related?
  7. How come some circles are bigger than their parent circles?
  8. Is the data accurate?
  • Poster questions
  1. How big is the poster?
  2. How long did it take to create the poster?
  3. Woah, some of the images in the circles are so small I can barely see them
  4. What did you use to create the poster?
  • Shipping/order questions
  1. How do you ship the posters?
  2. Do you offer volume discounts?
  3. I would like to sell your poster in my store, is this possible?
  4. Do you ship overseas?
  • Other questions
  1. How can I contact you?

Data questions 1. Why do you focus on the discretionary budget?

  • The discretionary budget funds all cabinet level departments and what is referred to most often when people think of the ‘federal government.’ It is the single largest part of the budget at one trillion dollars or roughly one third of pot. It is also the portion of the budget that Congress can easily push numbers around year to year which makes it a great tool for tracking our real national priorities. The total budget is depicted (not to scale) in the bottom right corner of the Death and Taxes poster.

2. Where are all the congressional agencies?

  • Independent agencies not belonging to another department are included in the”Other Agencies” portion of the Death and Taxes poster. There are over a hundred small and medium sized agencies so only the largest and most interesting ones made it on to the poster.

3. Wont these figures be outdated when Congress makes their adjustments?

  • Some of the data will be different in the congressional resolutions however this wont make the graph obsolete. The utility of the graph is less the actual numbers rather than the relationships between them. The comparison is where its at. Also Congress does play with the numbers but the final result is very similar to the President’s proposal.

4. How come some numbers differ from the 2007 version of Death and Taxes?

  • The poster is of the President’s February 5th budget request. While the President may terminate a program, Congress may continue funding for it, and unless the President veto’s the congressional resolution, funding will continue for the 2007 terminated program. This doesn’t stop the President from trying to terminate it again the following year.

5. How can military / security related funding be over 700 billion when the Defence department is only 481 billion?

  • Military and national security related funding is spread out all over the federal government. The war in Iraq is funded through supplemental appropriations. Our nuclear weapons are maintained by the Department of Energy. Many counter terrorism activities are located in the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of State is used to fund foreign militaries. The Department of Veterans Affairs is responsible for our soldiers after they return from war. There are pockets of military or national security funding in many government departments. Add them all up and it totals over 717 Billion. For a full list of military spending see the Justifications on the about page.

6. Why is the TSA not listed as national security related?

  • The Transportation Security Administration was originally part of the Department of Transportation but moved when the Department of Homeland Security was created. The TSA is a collection of low level security guards that used to be privately contracted by the airline or airport, and are now part of the federal government. Although increasingly airport security is contracted out again to private companies under the TSA’s Screening Partnership Program. The two main goals of the TSA are airport security the prevention of aircraft hijacking and while these are important, they offer little in terms of national security. The TSA operates more like police for airports than any real counter terrorism program.

7. How come some circles are bigger than their parent circles?

  • This is because the funding for the large circles is not part of the discretionary budget or funded through loans and fees. Such is the case with the Small Business Administration which is a small department of $.468 billion managing a large amount of loans which are repaid. Or in the case of the Department of Agriculture which manges the farm subsidies where the funding is built into the price of the food, so instead of the government paying for the subsidies with the taxpayers money, the taxpayer is paying for it directly.

8. Is the data accurate?

Poster questions 1. How big is the poster?

  • The poster is 24”x36”. It is printed on high quality 100# semi gloss cover stock with an aqueous coating for protection. It is about as think as card stock. It will fit in all standard 24”x36” sized frames.

2. How long did it take to create the poster?

  • The data comes out on February 5th and the poster was finished on April 15th. So about two months.

3. Woah, some of the images in the circles are so small I can barely them.

  • Yes the original image is twice the size of the one available online. This was to reduce the loading time of the images. The poster was printed with the original 10,800 x 7,200 pixel image at 300 dpi.

4. What did you use to create the poster?

  • The poster was entirely created in photoshop. The PSD is 500 layers at 250 MB. The circle area computations were done with a program written by Rob Janssen.

Shipping/Order questions 1. How do you ship the posters?

  • Orders are shipped USPS Priority mail every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Delivery time is usually between 2-4 days depending on location.

2. Do you offer volume discounts?

  • Volume discounts are listed on the buy page. If you would like to order a large volume of posters then contact me.

3. I would like to sell your poster in my store, is this possible?

  • Yes, I currently sell posters at several outlets. If you would like posters for resale then contact me.

4. Do you ship overseas?

  • Yes, I have shipped posters all over the world and will ship anywhere with an address. International orders ca be placed on the buy page.

Other questions 1. How can I contact you personally or privately?

  • The best way to contact me is via email. Jess (at) thebudgetgraph.com

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