Laugh or Cry? Relative Size of 2016 Enacted Budgets

Ever wonder just how much money the United States Government allocated toward the endeavors of its different agencies during 2016, and how they compare?  Here’s the answer!

The comic below represents the 2016 Enacted Budgets of fifteen different U.S. government agencies, each with a very different mission.


[Note that Requested and Enacted Budgets are not necessarily the same figure.]

Highlights for 2016: 

Defense spending amounts to one-and-a-half times more money than that spent on all other agencies combined.

The entire NIH is valued at just 80% of the Department of Homeland Security, in terms of funding.

The Department of Defense budget was more than eight times larger than all the money allocated towards the Department of Education.

Defense spending amounts to more than five times more money than the total spent on NASA, the NSF, the NIH, the CDC, the National Parks Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Geological Survey and the EPA all put together.

The budget for the National Science Foundation is equivalent to only 1.2 % of the defense budget — but — it is still fifty times larger than the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts.

But wait! There’s more! Despite the fluctuating tone of the blah-blah-blahbitty-blah that has issued forth from the different Administrations over the years … government spending on research has not meaningfully changed since 1982!  Check it out — it’s been flat-lined for the last 35 years. (Here’s even finer-scale data from the AAAS).

Do your students know this stuff? Do your elected representatives? Feel free to use everything here as a #scicomm tool.  Oh and did you like this comic?  Yeah? … then why not take a look at the others?

My 1-page Comic Book on “Having The Talk With Your Student”

It’s Back-To-School Time! Have you had The Talk with your student yet?

Not sure how? Here’s a handy guide you can Download at the low, low cost of absolutely nothing! It comes to you in the form of a 1-page comic book that I made without any help from grownups (it’s a 1.3 Mb pdf file).

Hey, go read my post from the other side of the fence to further enrich your perspective. Then go read all my other comic books as long as you’re here. I guarantee satisfaction or your money back. Then go stare out the window for a while, forever changed.

About copyright: Yes, you can print this!  It’s all super-duper-legal because I bought the images from Dreamstime for a shockingly measly sum. Golly, how do they do it!?!

My 2-page Comic Book on “The Five Stages of Post-Graduate Academia”

Here’s some deep wisdom for ya!

My 2-page comic book on The Five Stages of Post-Graduate Academia (1.5 Mb)

Can you print it? Yes you can! I bought all the photos from Dreamstime with my own allowance money, fair and square.

And why the hell not read all my other comic books?

About the images: I usually feature waxy-looking photos of women in my comics, but this time I sprung the extra buck for men. Switchin’ it up! 

My 4-page Comic Book on “Twelve ways to save time at your faculty job”

Trying to save time at your job?  Reading the internet is a great way to start!

While you’re at it, why not Download this 4-page comic book (it’s a 2.3 Mb pdf file)?

Fire up your printer!  I bought all the vapidly cheery photographs from Dreamstime, so it’s all above-board.

And why the hell not read my other comic book as long as you’re here?

About the images: Yes, they are waxy-looking white people, groomed up all fakey and buffed to a high-gloss.  I don’t look like that and neither do you.  Neither do they most of the time.  I get that.

My 4-page Comic Book on “How to get a faculty job in 20 not-so-easy-steps”

It is time for me to claim my anonymous* post “How to get a faculty job in 20 not-so-easy-steps” and make it into a comic book for #HopeJahrenSureCanWrite.

So go ahead and Download my 4-page comic book (it’s a 2 Mb pdf file).

Want to print it?  You bet!  I bought all the vapidly cheery photographs from Dreamstime, so it’s all above-board**.

As long as you’re here, why not read my other comic book full of advice for after you get the job.

*I used to be anonymous before I decided I was me.  I guest posted as such twice in 2011, graciously hosted by @JacquelynGill on her blog, “The Contemplative Mammoth“. 
**Thanks to @Myrmecos for helping me do this right.