Ten: The Magic Number Behind Budget Planning Cycles

Friday, December 28, 2012

With all this talk about whether we’re going right over the cliff, The Takeaway started thinking about the patterns of budget cycles.  These sorts of down-to-the wire negotiations are actually rooted in the political back and fourth of budget cycles that started years ago. The notion of the ten year budget and fiscal cycle is actually a rather common one -- but why?

It takes ten years, apparently, to shoot for big overhauls in the budget. Tax structures get a hard look and potential revision every ten years, even those pesky Bush tax cuts that are up for renewal have a ten year expiration date.

But why ten?  And is it possible to determine, based on our current tax structure, where will we be in ten years from now?

Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and its co-producer WNYC says, it's a pretty arbitrary time frame.

Produced by:

Jen Poyant


Charlie Herman

Comments [2]

Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

The ten year window sure goes by fast and the dust keeps collecting and obviously no one in Washington does windows

Dec. 28 2012 05:24 PM
Kerry from New York

Guys - 2 stories in a row you got totally misleading information out on the air! First, in this story, you let you guest talk about the crisis in "Social Security and Medicare." There is no crisis in Social Security. Generally speaking, with no changes, the fund will be in trouble in 2033 - 20 years from now. With a small change to the income cap for the tax (only income up to around $100k is subject to the tax) the fund would be solvent for 75 years! Let's take that out of the discussion and stop scaring people.

Also, in the discussion of Django, John said a "Post-Civil War..." Obviously you did not see the movie as that timing would not make sense AND they tell you it is 2 years BEFORE the Civil War.

Dec. 28 2012 03:50 PM

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