NPR : News

With Focus On Obama Budget, Fiscal Watchdog Warns Of Broken Process

As fiscal experts around Washington and beyond pored over President Obama's 2013 budget proposal, one of the nation's most persistent nags about the need for the U.S. to clean up its budgetary act reminded his fellow citizens of just how much a mess the whole process is.

David Walker, one-time head of the Government Accountability Office, pointed out something that isn't news but still has the power to disturb when you actually take the time to mull it over: Congress has gotten in the habit of not passing spending bills on time or budget resolutions at all, for that matter.

In a YouTube video aimed at educating the public Walker, who now heads the pro-fiscal accountability Comeback America Initiative, also reminds his listeners that only a minority of federal spending is laid out in that spending legislation.

WALKER: "And even when they do pass a budget and spending bills on time, they only control about 38 percent of spending. Can you imagine doing a family budget, a business budget or any other budget that only controls 38 percent of spending. No wonder we have $15 trillion of federal debt and (are) adding debt at record rates..."

Walker means that spending by federal entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare aren't reflected in those spending bills, for instance.

Walker also points his audience to an online Fiscal IQ test that will probably leave many people feeling like they could stand to learn some more about the nation's fiscal situation, which is his point, after all.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

So This Is How They Do It! Zebras Getting Stripes

The pink on a flamingo? Stripes on a zebra? Spots on a giraffe? All explained. Simply. Elegantly. Oddly.
NPR

Can Wal-Mart Really Make Organic Food Cheap For Everyone?

The giant retailer says it's adding a new line of organic food that's at least 25 percent cheaper. But a large-scale production and supply of organic food likely can't be achieved overnight.
NPR

Obama Adds Malaysia To His Asia Itinerary

Obama travels to Malaysia next week, where the government is under fire for the handling of a missing airliner. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to Joshua Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations.
NPR

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.