Picture: Obama’s $100 million in budget cuts compared to the total budget

Victor Joecks

President Obama announced yesterday that he has ordered his cabinet to find $100 million in budget cuts in the next three months.

Now $100 million sounds like a lot of money. And it is – for an individual or most businesses. But the federal budget this year is going to be $3.5 trillion. That’s $3,500,000,000,000. $100 million = $100,000,000. That’s .0029 percent of $3.5 trillion.

To understand how comparatively small these cuts are, consider this chart put together by the Heritage Foundation.

I didn’t even see that small dot the first time I looked at the chart.

Or as Harvard University economics professor Greg Mankiw said:

To put those numbers in perspective, imagine that the head of a household with annual spending of $100,000 called everyone in the family together to deal with a $34,000 budget shortfall. How much would he or she announce that spending had to be cut? By $3 over the course of the year-approximately the cost of one latte at Starbucks. The other $33,997? We can put that on the family credit card and worry about it next year.”

Yep, we’re paying for it.