Fact # 1 — How fast is the federal deficit rising? In every second of 2011, the government spent $114,253 while taking in only $73,043 in revenue. That means in each second, the federal government spent $41,210 that it didn’t have. Divided among every man, woman and child in the US, the 2011 deficit amounted to $4,158.
Fact # 2 — The United States has the world’s highest corporate tax rate at up to 35 percent. Japan recently lowered its corporate tax rate to 30 percent, and some US companies are moving operations to countries with lower rates such as Ireland, where the corporate tax rate is 12.5 percent. The US collected $204 billion in corporate income tax in 2009 from 5.8 million corporations, down from $228 billion the year before.
These statistics kicked off the first two days of the 100-day project, Face the Facts USA, by GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs. The nonpartisan, multiplatform content hub and civic engagement initiative – put together by a mostly student team of researchers, video producers and editors – aims to help voters become more informed on today’s most important topics using pop culture-themed digital videos, lively infographics and extensive social media.
“Although we live in a blizzard of information, the irony is that we are often left without clear facts about our biggest issues,” Frank Sesno, director of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs and chief executive of Face the Facts USA, told GW Today. “The electorate has good reason to be confused and turned off by the avalanche of assertion and partisan noise making. But our hope with Face the Facts USA is that we can draw voters in fueled entirely on the power of information.” [Watch a video on CNN of Sesno explaining how the Face the Facts project works, or read more in GW Today.]