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Government Contractor’s Blog

How to Wrap Your Head around a 1.8 Trillion Dollar Spending Bill

It can be difficult to wrap you head around a figure like $1.8 Trillion, the size of the spending bill that was passed Earlier this month. It can feel out of reach, and the people voting on these measures speak about it in only the vaguest of terms: “I’m pleased this bill lends a helping hand to middle- to low-income families.” Moreover, our political antennae are hyper- tuned to issues like waste and accountability, and we can feel as if the government is spending that money on the wrong things. It doesn’t matter your political or ideological bent: the federal government is going to buy something that you don’t like.

The stories of the Golden Toilets and the rabbits getting Swedish massages notwithstanding, the reality is that the government is going to buy normal, not very controversial, goods and services. Things that you sell. And the worst thing that the federal government can spend money on is your competitors’ products instead of yours.

It is important, then, not to think about the spending bill as a 1.8 Trillion dollar monolith of spending. Rather, consider it to be a $20,000 increase for IT training for a department that couldn’t your retain your services. Or a $100,000 for NASA project managers for their new lab constriction projects. These projects, and thousands of others, represent the spending bill. And think about this. 23% of all money spent by an agency must be spent on small businesses.

To discover exactly what agencies are going to do with their newly apportioned funds, look for their agency forecast.