Articles on federal budget need more context

Published: Thursday, Jul. 25, 2013 - 7:07 am

Re "GOP aims to ravage spending, health law" (Page A1, July 24): Here's a new way to improve budget articles so that they are more meaningful to people who read them.

Don't just tell readers that Obama requested nearly $3 billion for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs and that the House approved $826 million, while Senate Democrats want to give $380 million to an advanced energy research program and the House allocated $70 million.

Tell readers: "For the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, Obama requested nearly $3 billion (0.08 percent of the budget) for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs . The House approved $826 million (0.02 percent of federal spending). Senate Democrats want to give $380 million (0.01 percent of spending) to advanced energy research, while the House allocated $70 million (0.002 percent of federal spending).

Readers might wonder why the fight over scraps?

-- Gary Fitzgerald, Carmichael

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