Letter to the Editor: Debt confusion
BY Don Bruning, Bartlesville
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Some polls suggest that nearly half of Americans do not want the national debt limit to be increased. There appears to be much confusion about the debt limit and the budget. The debt limit puts a cap on how much the U.S. can borrow to pay for commitments that have been officially approved by Congress including the already approved budget for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
Current federal revenue only covers 60 percent of expenditures so that would mean effective Aug. 2, if no additional borrowing is approved, there would need to be an immediate 40 percent reduction in federal expenditures. Assume across-the-board uniform reductions. In August, anyone receiving federal money either directly or indirectly would now receive 60 cents on the dollar on Social Security, Medicare, veterans benefits, FEMA disaster relief, matching grants to schools and states, military pay and supplies, federal highway construction, etc. The trickle-down effect of those cuts would impact all of us in a big way. Is that what we really want?
In contrast, all of the debate about future cuts in spending and/or an increase in government revenue really applies to future budgets and associated legislation where such actions will need to be authorized. A 2012 fiscal year budget must be approved by Congress by Oct. 1 or the government will have to shut down then. So the spending/revenue debate is likely to go on continuously until then and beyond in dysfunction junction.
Letters to the editor are encouraged. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.