Posted on | December 23, 2011 | 8 Comments
Tom Blumer over at Pajamas Media has a crucial outing on the federal budget:
Here are two important but little-known and underappreciated points about the Super Dupers’ failure which cannot be emphasized enough:
- None of the alleged “savings” under discussion (really reductions in projected spending increases) would have kicked in until the beginning of the 2013 fiscal year almost ten months from now. According to an Associated Press report, the “automatic” cuts noted earlier (if anyone believes they’re really going to happen) won’t begin taking effect until January 2013. In other words, contrary to the expectations of most, everyone involved apparently agreed during August’s debt-ceiling debacle that fiscal 2012 would be off-limits. Now, apparently, so is the first quarter of fiscal 2013.
- Even if they had met their definition of super success, the $1.2 trillion involved would have reduced projected 2013-2021 spending of $40 trillion (Page XI at link) by only 3%. Spending for fiscal 2011 was $3.6 trillion. According to the CBO, if spending runs on autopilot for the next ten years — who’s to say it won’t, given that the government has already gone without a budget since April 27, 2009? — fiscal 2021 spending will be $5.4 trillion. Given the tendency to push most savings to further-off years, a “successful” Duper deal might have trimmed that to $5.2 trillion. Big duping deal.
Study the whole thing. And keep in mind that the budget affects the economy, which is The. Central. Issue. of the 2012 election, orbited of course by foreign policy, border security, the culture wars, &c.
And Barack is going to whine that he inherited the wound. Sure, and poured in a lick of salt. But when sober citizens attempting to address the real problems are thrown out of the halls of Congress. . .