I had to look up a figure to answer a blog-related question. Sometimes, it’s useful to actually do that rather than just make up numbers–although that can be fun too. After all, 83.67 percent of all statistics are completely made up.

At any rate, the federal budget, including the figures for every year since 1940, are available in PDF form at OMB. The short form: we spend a lot of money.

Which reminds me of the chapter from the P. J. O’Rourke classic, Parliament of Whores, “Our Government: What the F- Do They Do All Day, and Why Does It Cost So G–dammned Much Money?”

FILED UNDER: US Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. jen says:

    As a federal employee, I can tell you that we don’t do much. Most of us sit around for about an hour when we first get to the office (late, btw) with a cup of coffee and some sort of breakfast-type snack, catching up on our evenings and complaining about what we have to do today. We are soooooooo busy.

    Then we stand around random places in the office, with folders or papers in our hands, in order to look like we’re working, when what we’re really doing is making the social rounds to visit the people who missed the morning coffee.

    Lunch follows, which is always longer than expected. Followed by the afternoon rounds, to stretch out legs, because we’ve been cooped up in our offices/cubicles all day *working*. A few phone calls (personal, of course) may be placed as well as a few emails (also personal). By then it’s almost time to go home, and there’s just not enough time to start a new task, so we decide to leave a few minutes early. No harm, no foul.

    Of course, my days aren’t exactly like this, you have to add internet surfing. And for some of our deputies there are computer games to be played when they’re “not in court.”

    ***This is a joke. The people in my office actually do work very hard. I’m not kidding.***