Budget math in perspective

To the Editor:

Congress establishes a budget every year. Few understand its magnitude and why government bankruptcy is threatening. Here are the facts ...

U.S. Income: $ 2,170,000,000,000

Federal Budget: $ 3,820,000,000,000

New Debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000

National Debt: $14,646,000,000,000

Recent Budget cuts: $ 21,000,000,000

It's hard to conceive what these numbers mean. To simplify assume we're looking at a household budget and remove 8 zero's from the above numbers.

Total annual Smith family income: $ 21,700

Amount Smith family spent: $ 38,200

New debt added to credit card: $ 16,500

Outstanding credit card balance: $146,460

Amount cut from budget: $ 200

Congress, or the Smith family in the above example, agreed to cut $200 from next year's budget. Do you think it's reasonable for any family with a debt of $16,500 think cutting $200 will solve their debt? Any reasonable person would recognize the deception and address the situation.

Congress sure doesn't. Congressman Peter Welch thinks the cut will take our economy over the cliff; Sen. Bernie Sanders is concerned about the impact on children; and Sen. Leahy thinks the cut is about right.

The real problem is the voters who continue sending people to Congress who feed our federal dollar addiction rather than cut spending. Just look in the paper ... train service from Vermont to Canada or health care, food stamps, liheap are rights for all? Who's paying the bill?

It's not hard to tell Congress to stop borrowing from our grandchildren and cut spending. Give them a reality check rather then re-election in 2012.

Frank Mazur

South Burlington, Vt.

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