Budget Talks Strangled By Self-Interest

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Unusually, I am not trying to advocate any position in this post, but simply pointing out that few if any of us are willing to make the hard decisions that must be made about our economic future.  This is an exercise I would like all of you to try and do.  The pie chart above comes the the Congressional Office of Management & Budget – it will always be argued that politics impacts the presentation of statistics, but this pie chart should reflect something pretty close to reality – certainly for the purposes of this exercise.

You have now been appointed the Uber DIrector of All that is Good and Right and now have the duty and the authority to balance our nation’s budget.  To be successful, you will have to reduce spending by 30%.  Understand that even if you are successful in reaching your goal, you will have merely balanced this year’s budget and will have done nothing to reduce our existing debt which will still continue to incur interest.  In addition, the “remainder” section includes our debt payment (6.5%) and also includes infrastructure maintenance on things like water quality, sewer systems and roads, freeways and bridges.  If you think that it is all the fault of the “rich” you can tax every dollar of income above $1,000,000, but that will only gain you a .05 reduction on the budget.  Good luck and please show your work:

Health Services – Currently 18% – reduction -____

Pensions – Currently 16% – reduction- ______

Defense – Currently 16% – reduction – _________

Education – Currently 14% – reduction – ____________

Welfare – Currently – 11% – reduction – ______________

Remainder – Currently – 25% – reduction – ______________

Total Reduction ____________

Remember, the total reduction has to be at least 30% or we all lose.

About Geoff Willis