LETTER: Congress’ fiscal cliff deal doesn’t add upFor those who are flummoxed by large numbers, you may want to skip the next paragraph or two.
By: Bob Brady, Mitchell
To the Editor:
I’m so pleased that Congress has finally rescued us from the “fiscal cliff.” It was as simple as changing the tax rates on a number of folks that make more money than we do. If I have it correct, this will collect about an additional $620 billion for the Treasury.
For those who are flummoxed by large numbers, you may want to skip the next paragraph or two.
Ask the average Joe how much a trillion dollars is: Does it take 10 billion to make a trillion or does it take 100, 1,000 or maybe a million, and you might get a blank stare. The answer is 1,000 billion dollars equals one trillion dollars.
Ask Joe if the $620 billion, just received, reduces the deficit this coming year and each following year and Joe might not be sure. The answer is the $620 billion is spread over the next 10 years, thus, it will only reduce the deficit $62 billion per year. Remember — the deficit is the difference between what the government spends and the revenues it receives — that is the amount that must be borrowed.
It’s my understanding this coming fiscal year’s budget will be in the neighborhood of $1.2 trillion. When numbers are single digits, such as 1.2, they don’t seem too odious, but let’s expand that figure. The $1.2 trillion equals 1,200 billion dollars, however, we can subtract the $62 billion just received and we only have to borrow 1,138 billion dollars. Doesn’t that make you happy? It must have pleased Congress (at least one half of it).