Yes, you read that right. With all this talk about budget plans to cut $1.4, $2, or 4$ trillion over the next decade we should be wary of such big numbers in this political climate. Both sides are at a stalemate and are willing to make a deal that makes them look good to the voters. All that is needed is the impression of spending cuts from both sides and the voters will be none-the-wiser. The media will hale it as a once-in-a-lifetime achievement, praising both Republicans and Democrats. Who knows, it may even get President Obama re-elected.
I can only hope that non-traditional media like Godfather Politics can inform as many voters as possible about the raw deal we will most likely be getting.
When I hear things like a $2 trillion spending ‘cut’ over the next decade, it sounds like it may be a massive reduction. To the average American, billions of dollars is a huge sum, but so is trillions of dollars. It’s almost too massive to the point where we can’t fathom it. Here’s a graphic guide to help you visualize how large one trillion is. The 2010 budget amounted to a little over $3.55 trillion and if the Federal government were to spend an equal sum (quick hint…it will spend more. The budget cuts are always based on current projected spending data extrapolated out.) that $200 billion in spending cuts would amount to a massive…actually measly, 5.6%.
So, our supposed Conservatives in Congress want to make a deal to conserve taxpayer income and the best they can shoot for is a 5.6% reduction? That’s like cutting out a daily Starbucks and monthly Netflix subscription from a taxpayer’s budget. It’s small potatoes.
Thanks to a video by the CATO institute (I implore everyone to watch this) we learn that the interest we owe on our over $14 trillion in Federal debts will amount to $207 billion which is less than the proposed amount to be cut from the budget.
Even if the Federal budget never increased in size, we would be on a path to continue adding to our budget deficit every year. Boehner already gave up on the $4 trillion in spending cuts which is the only deal that was ever on the table that made sense. We need bigger spending cuts than that, but at least it would have been start.
Our politicians continue to play games with the voters by manipulating numbers. They think we are stupid. We aren’t. We are on to their game and we will remember what happens with these budget talks come 2012.