Information please !

There is a tremendous amount of press coverage about something called the fiscal cliff, which will arrive 1 Jan ’13 unless congress does something.  I receive hysterical missives nearly daily from AAAS to write my congressman to avert any cut in research funding, etc. etc.   Despite all the uproar, I can’t find the answers to several fairly simple questions, despite searching the web.

l. What is the size of total federal spending predicted to be —

a. as things stand now with the cliff averted and nothing else changed (e.g. tax cuts left in place, no spending cuts)

b. if the cliff comes to pass

2. What is the size of the deficit (both in absolute number and as a percentage of federal spending)

a.  as things stand now with the cliff averted and nothing else changed (e.g. tax cuts left in place, no spending cuts)

b. if the cliff comes to pass

So it’s just 6 simple numbers that I can’t find anywhere.  If anyone knows feel free to write a comment with the numbers and the source.

I do recall reading somewhere, that some 40% of federal expenditures are being financed (e.g. the deficit) and that even if the cliff occurs we’ll still have a deficit of 600 billion.

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  • Bryan  On December 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Here’s a couple of useful infographic from the congressional budget office that contains some of the information:

    • HB  On December 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Please do another post if you do find out – I’ve been wondering this myself for some time.

  • luysii  On December 29, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    Well one component of the cliff is a sequester of funds already appropriated. This seems to be what has AAAS so exercised. The Wall Street Journal today claims that this totals 109.4 billion out of a nearly 4 trillion budget. While this appears in an editorial, their fact checking is usually quite good. This is 10% of the current deficit (I’m still looking for a hard number and haven’t read Bryan’s suggestions yet).

  • luysii  On December 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I read in this weeks Barron’s that the cliff involves 500 million in New Taxes and 100 million in decreased spending, so if the deficit is 1 trillion it will not eliminate it, but cut it in half. The screaming appears to be due to the removal of this money from the private sector, which will slow economic growth, or cause us to re-enter a recession (which personally, I don’t think we’ve ever really left).

    In a sense the cliff makes the political system begin to pay for the goodies we are currently consuming rather then finance them and shift the burden to future generations. I don’t think this is altogether bad. There’s no way we can go on year after paying for only 60% of what we are consuming.

    I still don’t know exactly the size of the federal deficit for the current and next fiscal year. Stay tuned.

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