Big Red Car here. Cold and now sunny day in the ATX. Bad day in Paris.
Some things to learn about ISIS from its budgeting process. They are proposing a balanced budget. You can stop reading right now.
The American budgeting process requires the President to deliver a budget for the next fiscal year (starts on 1 October) for review and approval by the Congress in early February of each year. All spending bills are required to be initiated in the House of Representatives.
The President has essentially failed to do this in a timely manner for the entirety of his administration. He has sent a few over late but he has missed the mark consistently. The budget discipline is essential as a fundamental financial tool but also because it signals the administration’s legislative agenda — funds to pay for legislative initiatives are included in the budget document.
In a reasonable world, it would have been created in conjunction with the legislative initiatives of the Congress but that may be asking too much.
ISIS, on the other hand, has recently announced their annual budget at $2B — frame of reference the US budget is orders of magnitude $3.3T. That’s two billion for ISIS and three point three trillion for the US.
The biggest difference is that the ISIS budget — most of the revenue is derived from wholly owned energy properties which are producing revenue through sales of product — is balanced. Yes, ISIS has found a way to balance its budget while making a shambles of much of the Middle East.
The ISIS budget includes a $250MM surplus for contingencies. The US budget runs an enormous deficit — not balanced, not even close. The US budget does not include any money for contingencies. In addition, the US Treasury is enjoying RECORD all time high revenue. It is not a revenue issue, it is a spending issue.
While the Big Red Car thinks the hoopla about how ISIS is so fierce on the battlefield is a bunch of BS, one has to respect the seriousness with which they approach their financial affairs. Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to grieve for each and every one of them and the gates of Hell would open wide to welcome them but they apparently are more fiscally prudent and responsible than the United States or, at the least, this administration.
ISIS is trying to pretend it is a state, a country. They desire to take over Syria and Iraq and empower their Caliphate. They are starting with a balanced budget.
What a JV move, no?