Following the failure of the Super Committee to reach an agreement, a total of $1.2 will be cut across the board (well, almost — congressional pensions, for instance will remain untouched) over the next decade. This “works out to roughly $54.5 billion per year apiece for security functions and nonsecurity functions,” which sounds like a lot at first glance. But it isn’t actually that much when you consider that we have a national debt of $15 trillion and a 2011 budget approaching $4 trillion with a deficit of nearly $1.5 trillion (yes, that’s more deficit in one year than will be cut in the next ten years combined).
On an annual basis at current rates, this situation is analogous to borrowing $1,500 to spend $4,000 and then claiming that you’re responsible because you didn’t borrow $1,600 to spend $4,100.
Except in real life, there are 9 more zeros after each of those numbers.
Regardless, even if these “trigger cuts” do seem like a lot, there’s a solid chance they won’t ever happen: Congress can just repeal the measure requiring them. I’m guessing that’s a likely outcome — don’t you think?
Originally posted on my blog.