Tuesday, February 24, 2009

US Budget Quandary

Here's another look at the troubles that we face...there are no easy answers.

"It's not as easy as it sounds. Every president tries to [scrub the budget]. But there's not much low-hanging fruit," said Charles Konigsberg, a former assistant director at OMB in the Clinton administration and now chief budget counsel at the Concord Coalition, a deficit watchdog group.

Here's what Konigsberg means: Roughly two-thirds of the federal budget -- about $2 trillion in 2008 -- is considered mandatory spending. That's money that Uncle Sam has committed to pay out in entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, in interest owed on the national debt, and on other programs for which budget authority is written in stone.

The federal tax receipts for 2009 will barely cover the "mandatory" spending.

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