Can’t Make this S*** Up

The Republicans did not quite deliver on their promise to cut spending for 2010.  They would’ve done better just leaving the budget alone, as it turns out:

Republicans stormed Capitol Hill in January vowing to slash discretionary spending by $100 billion right off the bat. In their pledge to America, they promised that, “[w]ith common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone.”

As time went on, it became clear that they wouldn’t get the whole loaf, and the key question became: How many billions of dollars in spending would Democrats agree to cut, without risking massive Republican defections, and, perhaps, a protracted government shutdown?

A few weeks after they cut the deal, we have an answer. It turns out the six-month spending bill Congress passed in March increased discretionary outlays through the remainder of the fiscal year by a bit over $3 billion. In other words, total direct spending will be higher by the end of September than if Congress had just set spending on autopilot for the remainder of the fiscal year back in April.

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5 Responses to Can’t Make this S*** Up

  1. On the one hand, you can kinda feel bad for the new Tea congressmen. They’re new, they don’t know stuff, and their leaders are people like John Boehner and Eric Cantor, who don’t know much either.

    But then on the other hand, the increase in spending of late has been for stuff like unemployment insurance– automatic, countercyclical stuff. It’s not like there’s been some permanent increase in the size of government here. And the near-term deficit is mostly attributable to the downturn, the Bush tax policies, and the foreign occupations. No one who cares about the deficit votes Republican.

    So I can forgive them their procedural ignorance, but their ignorance on economics, history, and policy is a little tougher to take.

  2. olemike says:

    What will be your advice when the interest on the national debt begins to cut into liberal entitlements and big government spending? On I know – more taxes!

    • On no! The debt’s going to cut into liberal entitlements and big government spending?!?

    • dedc79 says:

      One of the great tricks the republican party has managed to pull is to convince a good portion of the country (including you, apparently) of the following things:
      1) Spending increases are the fault of the democrats
      2) taxes are always bad
      3) taxes are higher now than they’ve ever been before

      All three are demonstrably false. Since you asked though, I would allow the bush tax cuts to sunset immediately (starting with the cuts for the wealthiest), I would cut military spending, I would cut oil/ag subsidies, I would implement health care provisions that didn’t make it into the final obama legislation to control healthcare costs (public option, for example). Oh, and i’d recognize that spending is not that big of a deal over the next few years if it can help get the economy back on its footing. That’s where I’d start. And if that didn’t work, then death panels :-)

  3. pino says:

    They would’ve done better just leaving the budget alone


    Republicans have pointed out fairly that reducing budget authority will reduce spending in the coming fiscal year. And overall, CBO finds that the bill Congress passed in April will result in about $122 billion in aggregate spending cuts over 10 years — and $183 billion in reduced budget authority. “[O]ne thing is clear: congressional Republicans were able to save American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in the long term,” Buck writes

    But your point is well made. One thing [hahahaha one thing] that drives me crazy about government is that they work like this:

    Spending Year 1: $100.00
    Spending Year 2: $125.00
    Proposed Spending Year 3: $155.00
    Actual Spending Year 3: $150.00

    “We cut $5 and were able to save American’s from having to pay even more taxes!”

    The cuts aren’t even cuts. They’re simply reducing the amount hat they are going to increase spending!


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