Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pennies From Heaven?

One of the hardest things to do when facing any crisis is to fully comprehend the magnitude of the task at hand at the beginning.

After all, if you can’t grasp the implications of the problem in its entirety at the outset, how can you ever expect to solve the problem down the road?

Cancer patients need to know just how extensive the cancer has spread before undergoing treatment, military commanders need to know what the enemy strengths and positions are before attacking and investors need to know what the risks are before making an investment….supposedly…despite what you have seen in the news lately.

And then there is the problem of the federal budget deficit and the burgeoning national debt.....

Not two of the most exciting subjects in the world but two of the most critical to our long-term prosperity and economic future. Almost as important as the intellectual capital we instill in our kids from grade schools on through college and graduate school. Except that if we fail to manage our national fiscal matters properly, no amount of intellectual genius or creativity is going to just make all things alright with some sprinkling of pixie dust.

Take a look at an interesting way to look at the $100 million in savings the Obama Administration was going to find this year through administrative cuts in the various agencies. $100 million may sound like a lot in the abstract to us mortal human beings but when compared to the backdrop of a $3.6 trillion federal budget and now a $1.84 trillion annual deficit, it really doesn’t amount to even a penny, as you will see when you click on the following video:




Now that we have gotten your attention and rearranged more than a few synapses in your brain, think about what the Administration was really saying when they announced $17 billion in projected savings in the upcoming fiscal year, FY 2010 that starts September 1, 2010.

Those trumpeted significant budget cuts of $17 billion will account for just 42.5 of those pennies on that table you just saw in the video.

We gotta do better than that.

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