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2011 Budget Cuts Compromise Revealed

I personally think this whole debate on cutting the budget is a little silly, especially now, and that both parties are to blame. On one hand, it’s a little disingenuous for the Republican party to demand lower spending when we had massive spending bills during the Bush Administration. On the other, the 2011 budget should’ve been settled last year when Democrats had control of both chambers of Congress. That said, we are where we are and here are the nitty gritty details of the budget compromise reached last week.

The budget cuts are to cut spending by $40 billion (the fiscal year ends in September 30th) and it is the largest biggest cut made in a single year, made even more stunning by how little time we have left in the year (less than six months until October 1st). Part of the $40 billion is covered by $12 billion in reductions that started at the beginning of the fiscal year, Oct. 1, 2010; but the remaining $28 billion starts now(ish).

If you’re curious to see them all, CNN Money compiled a list [3] and has offered some commentary here [4].

It seems like there’s a lot of penny pinching here or there but not much attention paid to the biggest pieces of our spending. Case in point: The Pentagon would receive $5 billion to be partially offset by $4.2 billion in eliminated military earmarks, with the difference made up elsewhere. I’m all for making sure we’re supporting our troops but there can be some belt tightening in the development efforts (rather than support/operations). When you look at a family budget, you don’t save much when you ask the kids to take an allowance cut.

What do you think about all this?