INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 28, 2013, 09:30 PM

Looming fiscal cliff put into perspective

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Another fiscal cliff looms, and without a deal, automatic cuts will go into effect tomorrow.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY Staff Reports, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Another fiscal cliff looms, and without a deal, automatic cuts will go into effect tomorrow.

Most federal programs and activities would be affected, from the FBI down to Meals on Wheels.

Many people would agree, $85 billion is a lot of cash. Most of us will never see that much money in the course of our entire lives.

But with a $3.8 trillion dollars in federal expenditures, it comes to about two percent of the big picture.

The sheer number of zeroes in those numbers can be difficult to grasp, so let's bring it down to more relatable terms.

The average household in the U.S. has a budget of about $50,000. If the U.S. government was a household spending that amount, and had to cut 2% of the budget, that would mean eliminating $1,000 a year, or roughly $20 a week.

Is that a lot of money? $20 can buy a case of beer or a latte for each workday. It could also buy a pair of pants, or a medical prescription.

Federal agencies say the $85 billion in cuts is enough to compromise funding for food inspections, weather monitoring, medical research, and even Meals on Wheels.

But whether that 2% is a big sacrifice depends on your perspective.

Congress came close to the last "fiscal cliff" January 1st, reaching a deal just hours before the deadline.

Tags: