President Trump (bottom right) announced that America would walk away from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty earlier this year, in a move which came into effect on Friday. The treaty was signed by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev (top) in 1987 and banned all-but the most powerful nuclear weapons, and was credited with putting a stop to the Cold War arms race between the United States and Soviet Union. America has accused Russia of violating the treaty by developing the 9M729 cruise missile (bottom right) and said that it needed to tear up the deal in order to counter that threat, and weapons being developed by China which was never a signatory to the treaty.
Americans on average spent more on taxes in 2018 than they did on the basic necessities of food, clothing and health care combined, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey.
The survey's recently published Table R-1 for 2018 lists the average "detailed expenditures" of what the BLS calls "consumer units."
"Consumer units," says BLS, "include families, single persons living alone or sharing a household with others but who are financially independent, or two or more persons living together who share major expenses."
In 2018, according to Table R-1, American consumer units spent an average of $9,031.93 on federal income taxes; $5,023.73 on Social Security taxes (which the table calls "deductions"); $2,284.62 on state and local income taxes; $2,199.80 on property taxes; and $77.85 on what BLS calls "other taxes."
The combined payments the average American consumer unit made for these five categories of taxes was $18,617.93.
At the same time the average American consumer unit was paying these taxes, it was spending $7,923.19 on food; $4,968.44 on health care; and $1,866.48 on "apparel and services."
These combined expenditures equaled $14,758.11.