E-Newsletter No. 1
Welcome to our inaugural e-newsletter.
We hope you had a happy holiday season.
Our Editorial Board is pleased to report the successful launch of our website last month, along with the sign up of our initial Members. We believe that we have a very solid Foundation with our initial Members, who share our concerns about the growth of the US government, and our country’s annual deficit and cumulative debt. Our Foundation’s Members are committed to Joining the Conversation, forwarding our website’s link (F2PPR.org) to their families, friends and neighbors, and offering up new thoughts and recommendations on how We The People can affect the political process, to help solve some of our country’s most vexing problems.
As you are probably aware, last month the US House of Representatives and US Senate passed legislation regarding the federal budget for the fiscal year that began last October 1st. You may have read the following encouraging “sound bites” for this accomplishment –
For the first time in what seems like ages, Congress has passed a government spending plan without resorting to last-minute brinkmanship such as midnight negotiations to prevent an imminent government shutdown.
The legislation increases the spending cap to $1.012 trillion for fiscal 2014, and reduces the deficit by about $23 billion over 10 years.
The important fact that is missing from the above snippets is that last month’s legislation only dealt with the discretionary portion of federal spending. It should also be noted that the amounts in the legislation exceed the spending caps for fiscal 2014 that had previously been approved by Congress.
Total federal spending for fiscal 2014 in the President’s proposed budget (which includes both mandatory and discretionary amounts) is $3.778 trillion. The projected deficit in the President’s budget for fiscal 2014 is $744 billion. While this amount is down somewhat from the latest estimate of the deficit for 2013, a $744 billion deficit for 2014 represents an additional $2,300 increase in the amount of debt per citizen – for every man, woman and child in the country.
On our website, we have included a link to the US Debt Clock. On January 1, 2014, the federal government’s “on book” debt (i.e., excluding the net present value of future payments for Social Security, Medicare and other promised benefits) was $17.27 trillion, which equates to $54,426 for each US citizen. The main stream media has an obligation to report this cumulative amount per citizen, along with the additional increase that is now incorporated into the federal government’s budget for fiscal 2014. Lastly, to put the above “accomplishment” into perspective, $23 billion over 10 years represents an average of $2.3 billion per year, which equates to $7.25 per citizen per year.
Our elected representatives’ next big hurdle will be the decisions that need to be made in regards to the country’s debt ceiling. The October deal that re-opened the federal government after a 16-day shut down suspended the country’s debt limit until February 7th. We will give you an update on this issue in next month’s e-newsletter.
In the meantime, our Editorial Board would like to share with you the following link to a concise overview of our country’s annual deficit and debt problems. It is a 13 minute video prepared by David M. Walker, the former Comptroller General of the US Government. If nothing else, please be sure to watch the last two minutes of this video. (The good news is – – at least we’re better than Greece)….
We would like to close our inaugural newsletter with our Foundation’s motto:
If not us, who?
If not now, when?
Keep the faith. We can get this fixed…..