Late last week, the entire country waited in suspense to find out whether or not lawmakers could come to an agreement to prevent government shutdown. While we pushed for the maximum amount of cuts from an overly bloated federal spending bill, "the deal" we received was far less than what we demanded. Headlines and lawmakers alike began touting that these were the largest spending cuts in history. But what they forgot to include in those headlines was the asterisk seen above.
For a little insight into just what is meant by the asterisk, read below.
New CBO estimates released yesterday show that the actual savings from the $38.5 Billion in cuts for the rest of the fiscal year is $352 million. That's just less than 1% of the "spending cuts" that were agreed to last week or 0.3% of the cuts the Republicans pledged to cut this fiscal year.
These factors do not include war funding. When factored in, federal spending is actually increased by $3.3 billion for this fiscal year.
It is important to note that the $38.5 billion in "spending cuts" is referred to in Washington, DC, lingo and should not be taken literally for the value the numbers visually represent. It seems that most of the "cuts" were made in what is known as "spending authority" and ultimately most of that "spending authority" that was cut was not likely to be spent this year anyway.
Note: Government spends $6.85M per minute. CBO says the "deal" cuts $352M in spending. $352M / $6.85M = 51. So the deal effectively cuts 51 minutes of federal government spending over the next six months.
The average American family spends $49,067 per year. That's 9.3 cents per minute. 51 x 9.3 = $4.76
So what our genius Congress is agreeing to is the same as if the average family was in grave fiscal danger and came together and agree to cut $4.76 of spending out of their budget for the next six months. That's 79.3 cents per month.
Oh, the pain and suffering....
This is yet another chapter in the never ending saga to get our fiscal house in order. But not to fear! The President hinted yesterday that he would increase taxes to shrink the deficit and vowed to put Vice President Biden in charge of managing deficit reduction, all while the Vice President dozed off for an early afternoon nap. Click here to see.
This fight is NOT over. The House of Representatives will be voting today to put this hollow deal one step closer to becoming law. But it isn't too late for you to have an impact. Use our Action Center to contact your representative and tell them that $352 million in real cuts just simply isn't good enough. Will you allow them to continue playing political games at the expense of the future of America?
While many lawmakers continue business as usual in Washington, DC, (which now seems to include operating without a federal budget), some lawmakers are at least taking initiatives to tackle our financial problems and putting forth budget proposals to begin eliminating our deficits.
Before the end of this week the House of Representatives is set to vote on the RSC budget proposal. If you support the budget proposal, call your Representative and tell them to support your wishes.
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