Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Math is Hard

There's a lot of news about how worried we are that the supercommittee can't find $1.2 trillion in federal budget cuts over the next ten years.

I am surprised that the press reports don't mention the math...

Over ten years, $1.2 trillion is $120 billion each year.

The 2012 federal budget proposed by President Obama was $3.7 trillion. For one year.

So to meet the goal - the supercommittee needs to make a cut of $120,000,000,000 out of $3,700,000,000,000.

Go ahead and try 120/3700 on your calculator. The result I get is .0324.

That a 3.24% budget cut across the entire government. Could you cut 3.24% of your household budget? I could... It would hurt a little, but it's doable. But it's apparently too hard for our elected officials.

I know that things are exempt from the supercommittee's review. COLA for social security and federal retirees will add 3% or so this year to those payments. Also that the President's budget didn't pass. In fact no budget has passed. We're on continuing resolutions and mini-bus excursions. But those are details.

The fact is that Washington finds it too hard to do something most any of us could do without yelling and screaming.

Cut 3.24%. Everywhere. That they can't do it should be pointed out. Clearly. With the math.

As the Professor says... "At the very least they should be mercilessly mocked."