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Record Snowfall Doesn’t Stop Record Federal Spending

Posted By Jessica LaHousse On February 11, 2010 @ 3:00 pm In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

Record snow in Washington [1]

While two brutal snowstorms pounded the Washington, DC, area, the government was busy wasting money to the tune of $100 million a day. Extreme weather conditions forced the government to close for four and a half days straight, costing tax payers $450 million in lost productivity, according to a Fox News report. [2]

Wondering how much $100 million really is for the government? Last spring, when President Barack Obama ordered his cabinet secretaries to cut $100 million in spending, Heritage’s Ken McIntyre took a look at what $100 million really means [3]. For some context that will knock your socks off, he cited the following observation from Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY):

We’ll spend about that much every single day just on interest payments for the $787 billion stimulus bill that Congress passed.

All that interest was for on an expensive stimulus package that may or may not have had any impact [4] on the struggling economy. Which would you rather spend your hard-earned tax dollars on: one day of stimulus interest payments or one of the federal government’s operating expenses?

Furthering his analysis, McIntyre also cited Paul Krugman [3], a New York Times columnist and economist, who compared $100 million to an entire year of federal spending:

Let’s say the administration finds $100 million in efficiencies every working day for the rest of the Obama administration’s first term. That’s still around $80 billion, or around 2 percent of one year’s federal spending.

To the average American tax payer, $100 million might seem staggering; most people won’t see that much money over the course of their entire lives. But, for the government, it is quite a different story, as McIntyre points out [3], “Actually, $100 million might as well be nothing next to federal spending exploding well past $3.5 trillion.”

It looks like wasting $450 million dollars is just a drop in the bucket for the federal government. The record snowfall [5] may have stopped Washington for a few days, but record government spending [6], and its effects, are sure to linger long after the snow is gone.

Jessica LaHousse currently is a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm [7]

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/02/11/record-snowfall-doesn%e2%80%99t-stop-record-federal-spending/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/snow-dc.jpg

[2] according to a Fox News report.: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/02/10/governments-million-day-loss-snowstorm/

[3] took a look at what $100 million really means: http://www.heritage.org/Press/ALAChart/alachart-detail.cfm?customel_datapageid_244663=317720

[4] may or may not have had any impact: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/wm2799.cfm

[5] The record snowfall: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/11/AR2010021100995.html?hpid=topnews

[6] record government spending: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Features/BudgetChartbook/Federal-Spending-Skyrocketing.aspx

[7] http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

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