We hear lots about how our federal taxes may rise.
But little about how our federal services will definitely fall.
Oh sure, we read that park rangers will be fired, space exploration slowed, foreign aid shut off. But the cuts that affect us directly, in education, medical research, protection from toxins, community services - no politician wants to tell us what that will be like.
Yet, unlike whose taxes go up, the spending cuts are apparently a done deal.
Recently Eduardo Porter laid out the reduce-spending scenario, and the cuts being negotiated in Washington are far greater than I had realized.
"Our political leaders . . . are pulling the wool over Americans’ eyes about the kind of budget we are about to get. The truth is that both the president and House Republicans have agreed to shrink a critical part of the government to its smallest in at least half a century.
"The president and his advisers proposed cutting the discretionary part of the budget devoted to everything except defense and other security agencies to 1.7 percent of economic output by 2022, down from 3.1 percent last year.
"This is not irrelevant spending. It accounts for every government expenditure except entitlements, security and interest."
The media paint vivid pictures of American families coughing up more in federal taxes. What seems far more likely is that we'll need new strategies to get the same quality of education, community services, infrastructure, and environmental safety. Let alone the same enjoyment from our nearest national park.