October 1st is almost here and no one appears concerned.
Where are we going? To some budget worries.
The Budget Deadline
As the last day of the old fiscal year, September 30th is a budget deadline. By midnight, the Congress has to give the government permission to pay the bills that need an annual okay. That approval could come from a yes vote for the FY2016 budget that President Obama submitted on February 2, 2015 or through a Congressional budget compromise. Because neither appears likely, the alternative is a series of continuing resolutions that maintain spending.
If that doesn’t work? Then the government shuts down.
My concern though is why no one is paying any attention to the budget. During the Republican hopefuls’ debates, they ignored the federal budget. Similarly, based on my informal survey and on the Index of Economic Uncertainty, so too has the news media.
In the Index of Economic Uncertainty (below), you can see that this past week’s news articles expressed few fiscal worries. The last big uncertainty spike that related to the federal budget was during the October 2013 shut down.
Our Bottom Line: The Federal Budget
When you ponder the budget, four huge categories can come to mind:
Primarily under the discretionary category, the big worry next week is all of those programs that need annual spending approval.
For the past nine months, those programs have been funded because of the “cromnibus.” The cromnibus was a legislative compromise that sidestepped a shutdown last December. Sounding like the cronut (a croissant/donut hybrid), the cromnibus combined a Homeland Security continuing resolution with omnibus legislation for 11 of the 12 spending bills Congress passes each year.
Next week the cromnibus expires.