The deal does eliminate $38 billion in “new spending authority,” but as we learned yesterday in agonizing detail, spending “authority” and actual spending are two very different things. So to sum up: In less than a week, we’ve gone from $61 billion in cuts to $38 billion in cuts to $15 billion in real cuts to $352 million in deficit reduction this year, which is less than one percent of the number agreed to in the budget deal. I can’t help but suspect that tea partiers might feel a tad … antsy about that trend.
$352 million. I can’t even wrap my head around how epic a fail this is… That’s about 6 Bill Clinton speeches… or 30 Madison school bus driver salaries for one year…or 2 union bosses’ salaries for one year….That’s all that was “doable”?
NRO was initially on-board with the 38 billion spending cut deal, calling it a modest win for Boehner, but now as more facts emerge are saying: Strike One, Speaker.
As they push a bargain that is still not fully understood, Boehner and the leadership have put their members in an awful fix with another deadline to keep the government open fast approaching. We’d vote “no,” even if we understand the impulse to move on to more important matters and to avoid a leap into the dark that might include a politically damaging shutdown. At the very least, freshmen and other conservatives should be frank about the deal’s shortcomings, refusing to exaggerate its merits as their leadership often has. The episode is strike one against the speakership of John Boehner.
Credit where it’s due: Mark Levin wasn’t fooled by the budget scam for one second. He was on a tear last night when he thought it was $15 billion that was cut.
“The Marxist In The White House Has A New Catch Phase, Tax Expenditure”:
More on the weak looking budget cuts…
The WaPo With Bloomberg Business reports:
At issue is a concept in budgeting that is often difficult to grasp. Appropriations bills like the pending measure give agencies the authority to spend taxpayers’ money. But such authority typically takes months or years to actually leave the federal Treasury, so cuts made in the middle of the budget year often have little immediate impact.
The CBO study confirms that the measure trims $38 billion in new spending authority relative to current levels, but many of the cuts come in slow-spending accounts like water-and-sewer grants that don’t have an immediate deficit impact.
Like Ace, I won’t even pretend to know how these things work. I tend to rely on other wonkier types to help me form my opinion on budget numbers. But I was one of the last bloggers to jump on the WTF bandwagon because I just wasn’t predisposed to distrust our guys to that extent.
My instincts were to believe Boehner when he said he fought hard for all the cuts he could get. That’s why I was so nonplussed to hear reports that we were being scammed, (which you can see from my thoughts in the comment section). I truly believe that Boehner’s an honorable man — he’s one of the good guys. I’m still bothered by the fact that we didn’t start from a bargaining point of $100 billion like they promised us in 2010, and I wish he hadn’t taken shutting down the government off the table, but now I’m back to my Friday night position — I think he did a decent job, considering who he was negotiating with.