The Washington Post

Where the money went: taxpayer and budget cuts (post-CBO) edition

Last week they almost shut down the government over budget cuts, and this week the CBO alerted us that instead of $38 billion, as hoped, the cuts would save about $372 million in actual spending. How did that happen? It’s like when you come home from shopping. “I saved almost 300 dollars!” you exclaim. “And how many did you spend?” your friends ask. “800!” you yell. “That’s not really saving money,” they try to explain, but you are too busy yelling at Paul Ryan to hear them.

I have heard the boring answer from people with actuarial expertise, that “much of it came from funds that were not going to be used and only existed on paper,” but that sounds too reasonable.

So where did the money go? This is an especially relevant question in April, since were it not for Emancipation Day, today would be the deadline for mailing taxes! So here are two charts that explain!

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".


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