Wednesday, November 16, 2011

lettuce spray

The only negotiations more screwed up than Hunter-Stern are those between the Dems and Reps on the (not so) Supercommittee on deficit reduction.

They are charged with producing $1.2 trillion in cuts and revenues over 10 years. That is $120 billion per year. Federal spending is running around $3.6 trillion PER YEAR. The deficit is over $1 trillion PER YEAR.

In other words, $1.2 trillion is peanuts.

We could take the full $1.2 trillion out of defense and never miss it. Defense spending is around $900 billion PER YEAR, so we'd be "crippling" the Pentagon by only giving it $780 billion PER YEAR.

The Canadians would probably pour over our border and conquer us at that point, eh? Well not really, because the cuts are not really cuts from today's levels but from a baseline of future increases. If sequester went into effect, the Pentagon budget would still grow over the next 10 years.

With Congress's deficit-reduction supercommittee barreling toward a deadline for striking a big budget deal, both parties are reaching for accounting gimmicks to help reach their target of $1.2 trillion in savings over 10 years.

Some tools are familiar to old Washington hands, such as massaging budget assumptions and painting rosy economic scenarios. Others include taking credit for "saving" money on wars that are ending and putting off until next year what lawmakers don't want to deal with now.

All told, none of these efforts make the fundamental policy changes needed for a long-term budget fix. "Suddenly everyone is talking not about deficit reduction but deficit-reduction gimmicks," said Stanley Collender, a budget expert and former congressional aide.

Give me that old time sequester, give me that old time sequester, give me that old time sequester, it's good enough for me. It was good enough for Gramm-Rudman, it was good enough for Gramm-Rudman, it was good enough for Gramm-Rudman and it's good enough for me.


Anonymous said...

At least providing for the common defense is one of the actual legitimate responsibilities of the federal government. I’m not an expert in national defense, so I certainly wouldn’t make the assumption you do. It’s pretty irrelevant anyway; we are where we are not because of defense spending, but rather it’s precisely because the federal government has decided that it is the arbiter of fairness. We have less people paying taxes than receive federal benefits. The problem is the culture promoted by the liberal idea that you are entitled to things and the federal government will get them for you, that the rich didn’t earn their lot, and you have so little because they have so much. It’s a wicked idea indeed.

Anonymous said...

Are you aware that the HHS budget is LARGER than DOD? I’m sure most people do not even have a clue, let alone know such a monstrosity exists (what has HHS done for you and your family anyway?). Lefties run amok, but let’s harp on defense spending cuz it sounds so much more Occupyish…

Angus said...

Actually, they are about the same right now, though because HHS has medicare and medicaid, it will certainly grow larger.