As you may know, Congress has been inching the FY11 budget forward all year. This occurred because the last Congress failed to pass a single appropriation (0 of 12 appropriation bills). Thus, we’ve been living under a CRA (Continuing Resolution Authority) for the last 6 months, and the knuckleheads just approved the latest one, which will last 3 weeks. Why can’t we get a full year budget you ask? The problem: Reps want cuts, and Dems don’t. Let’s see examine the magnitude of the proposed cuts.
The entire budget for fiscal year 2011 is about $3.8 trillion. The projected deficit for this year is around $1.65 trillion – an astonishing figure. The bar labeled “Discretionary” is about $1.05 trillion and is the source of the squabbling. Mandatory spending needs no annual appropriation – things like Medicare and Social Security run on autopilot.
The last bar, labeled “Cuts”, represents about $50 billion. The Reps want to shave this amount from discretionary spending, but the Dems consider this draconian. Get real people. $50 billion out of a $3.8 trillion is budget dust – a rounding error.