The sequestration cuts enacted in March imposed strict limits on federal spending. Washington liberals, though, can’t seem to accept this, so they’re crafting ways to get around the limits.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) is now conspiring to spend $85 billion by using old budget gimmicks. While Reid maintains that “it wouldn’t add a penny to the deficit,” The Heritage Foundation’s Romina Boccia shows that this spending would in fact add substantially to the deficit.
Reid would pay for this new spending with caps on spending in Iraq and Afghanistan. But any “savings” gleaned from these caps would be a sham. “The savings from the caps are phony because they appear to be based on the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline, which assumes that [war] spending will rise, even though it’s winding down,” Boccia explains.
Reid claims his plan to use what Boccia calls “phantom war savings” would save $110 billion. In fact, his approach is premised on faulty assumptions and would actually cost taxpayers money. Boccia continues, “Under the CBO alternative baseline, however—which includes the reality that the number of troops deployed will fall by 2015—Reid’s proposal could actually increase spending by $28 billion.”
And even if Reid’s savings weren’t fake, Boccia points out that his proposal would still increase spending immediately by $85 billion, while any cuts would come over three years.
Do you think these kind of budget gimmicks are appropriate?