Budget deal not historicBefore we begin, this editorial is not meant to make suggestions on how to solve the budget issues the country has at this time. It is simply meant to point out some facts about our country in simple terms.
By: Williston Daily Herald, The Jamestown Sun
Before we begin, this editorial is not meant to make suggestions on how to solve the budget issues the country has at this time. It is simply meant to point out some facts about our country in simple terms.
In what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called “historic,” a deal was made on the federal government budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. The deal calls for budget cuts of $38.5 billion from the previous year’s budget.
The $38.5 billion is going to be saved out of an approximately $1.4 trillion deficit. These budget cuts represent about 0.27 percent of the total fiscal deficit. Think about it — less than 1/2 a percent. In much simpler terms, if you had $100, you just saved 27 cents. To save 27 cents per $100 it took approximately an extra seven months, and the last-minute threat of a government shutdown. At that same rate, it would take about 214.9 years to get the current deficit eliminated.
And this was considered historic.
The Congressional Budget Office reports that the actual savings between now and the end of the year is $352 million, or less than 1 percent of the actual possible savings. Yes, much of the savings comes in the fact that there are departments and open positions such as four of the president’s czars that will not use their allocated funds in their entirety, which makes up the apparent $38.5 billion in savings. It is entirely possible that those departments might not have spent that money anyway. By the way, the interest on the deficit is approximately $474 billion currently. The $38 billion in savings per year is not even 10 percent of the interest owed on the debt. And for that, we nearly shut the government down.
Christopher Chantrill on the website www.usgovernment revenue.com has put together a rather impressive compilation of numbers. In a nutshell, the budget numbers are broken down, not just for this year, but through fiscal year 2016. It shows that even with overall deficit reductions projected, the over-debt in this country will continue to grow rapidly, approaching $21 trillion dollars by 2016. Do you think that those who invest in this country want to hear that?
To paraphrase Ben Stein on Fox News the other day: Imagine being in an open field, and looking way off in the distance and seeing a train. The train is headed this direction, and the longer you look, it continues to get closer. There is nothing to stop it; it just keeps coming.
Instead of Reid calling for a good first step, or something to build on, he called it historic. The more you look at the numbers, he probably is right. We are headed down an historic path. Standard and Poor’s has brought the train even closer by rating the country’s economic outlook for the future as negative.
And what does the president say about this? You can probably see if you can find out; he is already out on the campaign trail, 17 months ahead of the next election. Think he would ever come to North Dakota?