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Preparing for an Uncertain Forecast

by Eric Karolak
March/April 2011
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As I write this, the President has delivered his State of the Union message and Washington is blanketed in snow. Hopefully as you read this, spring is breaking through all around you.

Navigating the world of government relations and public policy can be a little like predicting the weather. You can't always be sure what's in store or how it will affect you down the road. But there are common patterns and a few basic steps that can help you best prepare for a change in the forecast.

Fiscal pressures mounting

Even from this vantage point in the first months of the new 112th Congress, it's clear the deficit and mounting national debt are receiving greater attention than ever before. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the national debt will top $1.5 trillion in 2011. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has focused attention on the size of government, emphasizing that Washington has "a spending problem."

In February, House leaders unveiled their plan for the current fiscal year 2011, which includes cuts of $40 billion (or 8.9%) to non-security discretionary spending. The real effect of the cuts during the remainder of FY2011 will be greater above 15% some say because more than ...

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