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An $85 Billion Rounding Error
Eagleye Blog ^ | February 27, 2013 | Bethany Stotts

Posted on 02/27/2013 10:14:15 AM PST by eagleye85

In a recent article for the Washington Post, Philip Rucker tries to explain why only some communities seem concerned about sequestration. The sequester “would strike some communities and largely bypass others, cutting across class, politics and geography,” writes Rucker. Ironically, he notes that the “disparity in some ways mirrors the nation’s electoral divide between Democrats and Republicans.” One could read into this that those who elected big spenders are those most likely to be concerned about or affected by the sequester. Government dependence breeds consternation when programs are cut.

An interesting thing to note is that Rucker, while happy to cite the amounts lost by individual communities, rarely indicates the overall budget of those communities experiencing loss. The reader is therefore left unable to gauge the actual level of hurt facing these communities. For example, Rucker writes that in Los Angeles, “the nation’s second-largest public school district would lose $37 million in federal funding.”

“Schools Superintendent John Deasy said that amounts to about $100,000 per school– ‘easily an employee or employee and a half.’” The article leaves one wondering how many employees this school district has.

With regards to the federal government, readers learn that “The sequester is a package of across-the-board, indiscriminate spending cuts that total $85 billion for the current fiscal year and $1.2 trillion over the next decade.”

“The cuts are split evenly between the defense budget and non-defense discretionary spending, which includes many federal grants to state and local agencies,” continues Rucker. “Mandatory programs, including Social Security and Medicaid, are spared.”

Nowhere does Rucker mention the size of the federal government. Instead, he writes that “And yet the federal government is so sprawling that millions of Americans may never feel any effect from the cuts.” How sprawling is the federal government at this point?

John Merline, a senior writer for Investors Business Daily, covered this issue in a recent interview with Accuracy in Media’s Roger Aronoff. “This is no starvation diet that the government’s going to go on if the sequester happens starting in March,” argued Merline. “$85 billion is almost a rounding error.” The federal budget is $3.6 trillion this year, agreed Aronoff and Merline. Why, then, is President Obama and the media complaining about such a small cut in spending?Because, after this year, it entails not a cut in spending but a cut in the increase in spending over the next ten years. Check out the Rightlinks Blog for more on this.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: budget; mediabias; obama; sequestration

1 posted on 02/27/2013 10:14:18 AM PST by eagleye85
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To: eagleye85

The sequester is the financial and lifestyle affecting equivalent of a family being forced to cancel their netflix membership.

The impact will be non-existent. Unless you are netflix.

2 posted on 02/27/2013 10:36:13 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: cuban leaf
You forget that Obama is now politically invested in making the effects of the sequester seem as dire as possible. When Clinton and Gingrich couldn't agree on the budget and the government "shut down" I was camping in Joshua Tree. The park "shut down" in the sense that the rangers did not allow any more campers to enter the park. They did not require those of us already there to leave. Therefore, they saved not a single dime by "shutting down" the park. They just irritated some folks who had planned to go camping.

I call it the Christmas Tree Effect. When we peons dare suggest that the federal government spend a bit less, it responds by preserving those parts of government that we couldn't care less about and pretending to harm those more visible things that we do care about.

3 posted on 02/27/2013 10:44:49 AM PST by p. henry
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To: eagleye85

$8 billion is 0.2% of the $4 trillion/yr they’re spending... well below the rounding error.

if they’re going nuclear on cutting $8 billion... there is no way in hell they’ll be able to get spending under control.

the tax revenues for the fedgov is roughly $2 trillion. in order to reduce our debt, the first step would be to spend less then, or equal to, the amount we take in. this means we need to cut AT LEAST $1.6 trillion per year. that’s 200 times MORE then the proposed cuts

therefore there is no point in pondering whether or not we can get our debt under control. we can’t. it will literally never happen. in in fact, it will continue to spiral radically out of control increasing by $1-3 trillion every year.

by my estimates, by 2016, the US debt will be just about $22 trillion... and that’s if 0bamacare cuts medical costs by 75%... which i highly doubt. therefore i would put the upper bound on our debt by 2016 around $25 trillion (the extra $3 trillion being a 0bamacare shortfall ramping up as the $2.3 trillion annual healthcare system gets nationalized)

by 2020, i would expect the spending to be accelerating wildly out of control... with an overage of about $3 trillion per year. this would put the national debt around $34-37 trillion

of course, i’m only using the big ticket items for my estimates. it could get much, much worse

then again, i don’t believe the debt will get that bad

the country will collapse first... just like the USSR

4 posted on 02/27/2013 10:59:02 AM PST by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
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To: p. henry

You forget that Obama is now politically invested in making the effects of the sequester seem as dire as possible.

Obama is painted into a corner here. If this thing happens, he owns it. He is the leader. He is the one that is supposed to work with the other side. He has had none of it and everybody knows it. Meanwhile, if nothing bad happens he has even MORE egg on his face after all his dire warnings.

Either way, I really hope the R’s don’t cave and this thing happens. Irritating thing is that this “dire” scenario involves money that is not even a drop in the bucket to helping solve the problem. Imagine the impact of something that cut enough to actually help.

5 posted on 02/27/2013 11:01:49 AM PST by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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