The fiscal year for the United States government is about to finish on Thursday, Sept. 30, and another budget crisis is about to happen. CNN reports that a “continuing resolution” will likely be passed to keep the government in operation temporarily. The bill will give the heads of federal agencies the authority to spend money as they see fit to keep the government operating.
No formal bill has passed both chambers of Congress, but the House has passed two appropriations bills while the Senate has had 11 of the 12 spending bills pass committee muster. The continuing resolution will likely be voted upon late Wednesday so the President can sign it before midnight on Thursday to avoid a government shutdown.
Differences From 2010 to 2011
In the first months of 2010, it was estimated that revenue for the United States government was $1.915 trillion, mostly from individual income taxes and social insurance. The federal government has spent $3.287 trillion so far this year, with three specific areas of government having the most spending, including defense, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid at just over $600 billion each.
The outlook for 2011 looks different. In 2011, the Department of Defense has been allocated nearly $550 billion, which is an increase of 3.4 percent authorized from Congress in 2010. One huge increase has been in the Department of Health and Human Services, which is getting almost $80 billion more, about a 10 percent increase from the 2010 budget. This is probably due to the massive health care reform bill.
Of course, those numbers provided by the Government Printing Office may change once Congress gets a hold of spending bills. With a lot of spending going up and up, the government is on par for having its greatest spending deficit since World War II.
Things to Improve
Any improvements from the previous year will be welcome in order to try to save money. One of them could be congressional pay. Another would be limiting earmarks and pork. A third improvement would be to somehow find a way to raise capital.
Benjamin Franklin said that there are two certainties in the world: death and taxes. The American public is going to have to pay for the spending of its government eventually. We will have to pay for Congress to stay in session, pay for our roads and schools, pay for our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and pay for health care.
Whether our income tax needs to be reformed is another argument. We need to improve our tax system and find a way to pay for things eventually, or our government spending may come to a screeching halt in the future.
CNN and the Government Printing Office supplied information for this article.