Right Thinking From The Left Coast
Adventure is worthwhile - Aesop

How Budget Cuts Tally

Hmm.  Looks like the media has discovered baseline budgeting:

A close look at the government shutdown-dodging agreement to cut federal spending by $38 billion reveals that lawmakers significantly eased the fiscal pain by pruning money left over from previous years, using accounting sleight of hand and going after programs President Barack Obama had targeted anyway.

You should really read the whole thing.  For example, the cuts include not extending a 1-year $350 million dairy price support program from FY2009.  In another instance, simply capping a fund allows the entire thing to be counted as saving.  They estimate the amount of real cuts is closer to $14 billion than $40 billion.

This is not exactly surprising.  Congress has used spending gimmicks like this for decades to weasel out of budgetary restrictions.  And it is worth pointing out that Pelosi’s Congress would almost certainly have spent these funds, one-year programs or no.

In the end, however, all of this amounts to pennies on the dollar.  The real money is in defense, entitlements and taxes (and with the latter, only over the broad base, not just on “the rich").  Cutting the last one would be reckless in the middle of a fiscal year.  Cutting the second requires statutory changes.  And raising taxes shouldn’t happen without big spending cuts and a massive overhaul of the tax system that results in a net decrease in deadweight loss on the economy.

As I said, the real fight is for FY2012.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 04/13/11 at 10:49 AM (Discuss this in the forums)


Posted by on 04/13/11 at 02:40 PM from United States

Boehner at first critized “smoke and mirrors” cuts during the negotiations, instead demanding that “real” cuts be made. In the end, he knowingly lied and deceived, making it look like the token cuts ($38 billion) were at least real, not budget gimics.. but they were just a budget gimic with the true amount of cuts much less than claimed. Boehner is a severe disappointment. He is completely untrustworthy and needs to be removed from leadership position ASAP.

Posted by on 04/13/11 at 02:58 PM from United States

To be replaced by who?  Another politician?

Posted by on 04/13/11 at 03:02 PM from United States

On an unrelated note:


The comedy just never ends!

Posted by on 04/13/11 at 03:06 PM from United States

SO, you don’t have a serious problem with what Boehner did here? I think he was particularly deceitful and dishonest in what he claimed. You think Paul Ryan or Allen West would have done the same? I don’t think it’s acceptable to sugarcoat this with “oh well, all politicians are the same, let’s not be angry over this” when you know damn well that many would not.

Posted by on 04/13/11 at 04:13 PM from United States

Of course I have a problem with him, but I really don’t think any given politician is going to be much more honest - generally speaking, most of them are pretty much corrupt liars of one degree or another.  It’s what the job either attracts or turns people into.

I’ll put it this way, I haven’t actually trusted a politician since Barry Goldwater…

Posted by on 04/13/11 at 08:57 PM from United States

As I said, the real fight is for FY2012.

I believe the debt ceiling battle will preempt and redraw the political battlefield.
Last weeks stop-gap measure was hardly a skirmish compared to what’s coming in both May and September.

Tea partiers weigh debt filibuster

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