Examining Mississippi and the pivotal role of federal spending

Politicians talk earnestly, passionately and with historical flourishes about cutting federal spending.

Here’s the rub – the Congressional Budget Office projects that the federal government will spend $3.602 trillion in Fiscal Year 2014 and collect $3.042 trillion in revenues, which will leave a projected federal budget deficit of some $600 billion. As one might imagine, Democrats and Republicans differ on those numbers.

That projected deficit looms in a country with a national debt hovering just under $17 trillion that already requires an increase of the current federal debt limit of $16.7 trillion.

Balance that with the fact that over the next 75 years, Social Security will owe more than $9 trillion more in benefits than it is projected to collect from workers. Medicare is on fiscal life support and fading fast and the prospects for either program in their present forms past 2025 are dicey at best.

With that background, let’s move to the question of what cutting federal spending really means for Mississippians.

Sid Salter