Budget Misinformation Abounds

10.31.2012

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The October issue of Government Executive features “Budget Musings,” which outlines some of the federal government budget speculation as we move toward the upcoming Presidential and Congressional elections. The article cites some shocking polls indicative of the average voters’ understanding of the federal budget, such as:

  • The average CNN poll respondent said food stamps account for 10% of federal spending. Reality is that 2% of federal spending is attributed to food stamp programs.
  • Respondents in a Cornell University poll where 44% of the group received Social Security checks and 40% received Medicare coverage said that they have never used a government social program.

The article also references Scholar Norman J. Ornstein, co-author of It’s Even Worse Than It Looks, predicting that if sequestration comes to pass, “1 million pounds of tainted meat would reach grocery store shelves”  due to the cuts in food processing and agriculture inspection. I mean this as no disrespect to the poll participants or Mr. Ornstein, but misinformation abounds.

I don’t know about you – but I find all the speculations about the budget confusing and unsettling. Rather than taking a truly pragmatic approach, the election season has caused the budget discussion to be supplemented with scare tactic campaign ads and misleading rhetoric – from both sides of the aisle.

At Micro Focus Federal, we’re doing our part to help agencies with mainframe-based systems and applications reduce their budgets, often in year one. Unfortunately, we need a much larger, strategic approach to create the overall cost savings to keep sequestration cuts from coming to fruition. What are your ideas? How can we help?  Let me know your thoughts. Connect with us in the comments section below, on Facebook or Twitter.

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