As many of you may know, if the political class does not get its act together by March 1, 2013, automatic Federal government spending cuts will kick in that will reduce government spending by over a trillion dollars over the next ten years. This “sequestering” of budget dollars was agreed to by Congress and Obama in August of 2011 in the debt ceiling negotiations.
While this is a decent first step in reining in government spending, it is still pretty meager. Overall government spending will still increase in the baseline budget view, it will just increase at a somewhat lower rate. Annual spending deficits will continue to mount up, increasing our national debt and burdening future generations of Americans with that debt.
How anemic is this effort at reducing spending? Let’s do some simple math:
- Let’s assume that the ten year trillion dollar spending reduction averages out to about $100 billion a year.
- According to the official White House website, the Federal government will spend about $4.5 trillion in 2017.
- This $4.5 trillion is less than it spent in 2012 but is less than it will likely spend ten years from now, under baseline budget assumptions, so the 2017 estimate is a good ten year annual average.
- $100 billion a year in spending cuts against an average spending budget of $4.5 trillion is only a meager 2.2% spending decrease.
- According to the White House website budget spreadsheet, in 2017, this $100 billion in spending cuts would still add over half a TRILLION to the national debt.
Despite this feeble attempt at expense reduction, many in the administration are choking on it. Retired Defense Secretary Leon Panetta claims our national defense would be endangered by a 2.2% reduction in spending. Secretary of State John Kerry asserted that we could not afford a meager 2.2% reduction in his budget since we needed to continue to butt into the lives of people in other countries around the world. President Obama has been spreading panic, claiming many vital government services would be slashed because of this meager 2.2% cut in spending.
Makes you wonder if these so-called leaders are 1) that out of touch with the real world, 2) want to protect their turf at any cost regardless of the impact on the fiscal integrity of the country, or 3) are just that fiscally incompetent that they do not know how to run an efficient operation and can only operate it by increasing their budget rather than decreasing their organization’s waste, redundancy, and incompetence.
To help these politicians understand why this 2.2% reduction is a very easily attainable goal, let’s point out via just a HANDFUL of examples of how wasteful, redundant and incompetent their organizations are today:
- Medicare and Medicaid lose over $100 billion a year to waste, inefficiency, and criminal fraud.
- Social Security loses over $100 billion a year to waste, inefficiency, and criminal fraud.
- The IRS admits that it is so incompetent that it fails to collect over $380 billion a year from tax evaders.
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