Are You a Fiscal Chicken Hawk?

Posted on 17. Nov, 2005 by in News

A “Fiscal Chicken Hawk” might be described as someone, perhaps even you or I, which becomes outraged at the ludicrous and lavish spending habits of our government. But in the same breath a fiscal chicken hawk is what the Wall Street Journal is calling the Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill who are fiercely battling over entitlement restraint that is so minor “that it reveals this year’s entire budget debate as a political charade.”

And it’s true. The situation is that the politicians have been throwing punches over entitlements – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, student loans, food stamps, farm subsidies and other programs that increase automatically each year without policy changes. These entitlements cost $1.3 trillion annually and are expected to reach $2.5 trillion in 10 years. However, the proposed “cuts” to these programs barely leave even a trace of a dent in the total budget – and yet affect the lives of millions.

More specifically the Republicans are proposing to cut these entitlements by $35 billion over the next five years. But when you compare that cut to the total budget over the next five years of $13.855 trillion and the proposed cut merely “erases the rounding error.” The fight that is ensuing over these cuts is almost laughable when you put the cuts into perspective – and yet campaign lines are drawn and political battles fought over such an insignificant fiscal amount that has plenty of real implications to the families that depend on those funds.

When you examine the chart presented here – pulled from “A Citizen’s Guide to the Federal Budget” – you can see that perhaps there are some larger pieces of the pie that can be whittled down before these entitlements. But what do I know; those types of cuts aren’t as newsworthy.

Economy, Federal Budget, Medicare, Medicaid, Politics, Fiscal Policy

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