Budget “cuts,” etc.

Dear Editor:

Economic realities seem to have shifted discussions in both St. Paul and Washington D.C. from new spending to reducing spending. The problem we taxpayers have is these discussions have little practical meaning. Budget proposals from both political parties project “savings” as much as 10 years in the future.

The trivial little detail being overlooked, or more likely ignored, is that none of this is binding on subsequent presidents, governors, state legislators or U.S. Congresses. The only thing real is the actual budget for the next two fiscal years, FY 2011 and FY 2012. The budget for FY 2013 will be set by a new legislature and Congress in no way legally bound by the actions of their predecessors. Hopefully the new group will be working from a lower baseline than they would have been without “cuts” in the next two budgets, but that would be the only thing controlling their budgeting activities.

If individuals or businesses are bankrupt, neither is allowed to promise the problem might be fixed in 10 years. Action required is immediate, severe, concrete and final. This is not going to happen in either our state or federal government, so we are left with promises and projections. Good luck.

David Greer