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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sequester: cuts in spending versus projections

You have at hand an opportunity to compare 
a)  real cuts in government spending and 
b) phony cuts in "projections" of government spending.

The Democrats and their friends in the media say that Obama has cut 2,200 billion (AKA 2.2 trillion) from the budget.   They are quite proud and calm about this huge amount that they say they have cut. The Republicans are unimpressed. Even if Obama has "cut 2.2 trillion" what he has cut is a projection of how much will be spent.  He offers up a projection of the total that will be spent in the next 10 years (40-50 trillion).  Then they write another projection which has 2.2 trillion less in "spending" than the original one.  They then announce that they have cut 2.2 trillion in spending, but in reality they have cut nothing but a projection.  In addition to all of that, any part of the cut can be added back in at anytime during the 10 year period.

However, the sequester is about actual cuts in spending.  Those cuts are much smaller - 85 billion in the next year - but they are real money and begin the next day.  You can watch the news to see the difference in how the Democrats react to real cuts as opposed to fantasy cuts in projections - for one example try Chris Matthews on the $85 billion

"It's a down and dirty world when you decide chopping down the government and hurting the economy is the smart move. But bring it all down is now the hard right battle cry. Slash spending, short the pentagon, screw up traffic control, whatever raises the noise level, bashes Democrats and lowers hope. Is this the tea party dream? Is this John Boehner's version of feeding time at the zoo, giving the crazies what they want so they will sit in their seats and behave? Is this final payment to insanity the last vestige of what calm Republicanism is ready to cough up? But how else can you explain the readiness of the GOP leadership to let this Frankenstein's monster, this doomsday machine, this sequestration go all out berserk?  How else can we understand the party of Lincoln doing such economic damage to the Republic, such damage and moral(e) to the people?"  

I don't think that Chris has complained about the 2.2 trillion that Obama has “cut”.  I put it to you that Chris knows the difference between cuts in spending and cuts in projections.For another try Eugene Robinson here.

Taxes on the other hand begin immediately and are for real as all of you who are either "Obama-rich" or pay SS know.   That is one reason why those Republican candidates did not want to accept $10 in cuts in “spending” for $1 in tax increases.  But why those Republicans and their friends in the media continue to acquiesce in referring to these things as cuts in spending rather than cuts in projections is beyond me.

1 comment:

  1. I don’t wish to get this post off track but in the referenced article by Eugene Robinson he uses this phrase “The enemy, truly, is us.” Clearly a reference to one of my favorite quotes whose genesis is from the “Forward to the Pogo Papers” by Walt Kelly in 1952. I find the original text absolutely eloquent and I repeat it below.
    “There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.”
    Walt Kelly 1952