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FiscalTimes.com: The Looming Budget Train Wreck


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The FiscalTimes.com: The Looming Budget Trainwreck

Laugh. Cry. Cheer. Great synopsis of our budget problem.

An even bigger problem is that it’s far more difficult to find fast-acting spending cuts of that magnitude than Tea Party people routinely assert. They seem to think that the budget consists of spending that Congress has to appropriate yearly. In fact, only a minority of the budget falls into this category. Using fiscal year 2009 numbers for illustration, 65 percent of the budget was for mandatory programs that require no appropriation, such as Social Security and Medicare, as well as interest on the debt. The remaining part, which is called discretionary spending, is the only part that is controlled by the appropriations process. Of this, 53 percent went to national defense, which Republicans are unlikely to cut. All the rest came to less than $600 billion, or about 16 percent of total spending in 2009.
Let me put this in mathematical terms.

$3.647T = Total 2009 budget

$2.371T = 2009 budget for mandatory spending programs

$1.276T = 2009 budget for congressional appropriations

$676.6B = 2009 budget for defense spending under Congress (unclear if this also includes homeland security from the article)

$600B = 2009 budget for non-defense congressional spending

If we are honest, we would say that its the mandatory spending programs that are bankrupting us and need to be fixed (the other spending programs are a factor).

I read the rest of the piece and its fairly harsh and realistic about Tea Party / GOP promises. It's going to be fun for government employees.

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I still think they should cut the military spending and let the rest of the world help police it. That and make congress work for free until they balance the budget. They make a ****load of money for a group of people who repeatedly fail at what they set out to accomplish.

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