How bad was the budget deal, actually?

posted at 11:36 am on April 14, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Republicans on Capitol Hill are pushing back hard on the AP report yesterday that claimed the deal reached between John Boehner and Barack Obama would only save $352 million off the FY2010 spending plan.  John McCormack at the Weekly Standard points to an analysis at Politico by David Rogers that explained that cuts made in the middle of budget cycles don’t stop money from being spent:

[W]hen CBO estimated the initial House bill in February, it projected that the $61.3 billion in nonemergency appropriations cuts would result in $9.2 billion in outlay reductions by Sept. 30 when measured against comparable outlay estimates two months earlier, on Dec. 20.

By comparison, the precise appropriations cut now, $37.7 billion, translates into a vastly smaller sum, $352 million, using the same standard.

A more accurate picture can be drawn by separating out the annual Pentagon portion of the bills.

When this is done, the House bill in February can be seen as having truly proposed to cut more than $68 billion from largely domestic and foreign aid appropriations. The resulting 2011 outlay reduction forecast by CBO was about $18 billion — a roughly 4-1 ratio.

By comparison, the deal now cuts $42 billion from non-Pentagon accounts, but the outlay reduction is about $8.2 billion — a 5-1 ratio.

Continuing resolutions don’t cut anything at all beyond their expiration date, AJ Strata explains, which is why we don’t want government by CR:

Like the ‘shovel ready’ nonsense squawked by the liberal media around the Democrats failed Stimulus Bill in 2009, every action by Congress takes months and years to filter its way through the bloated federal bureaucracy and its ocean of paperwork. That applies to spending increases and cuts. The ship of state is a ponderous and slow thing, making snails look like formula 1 race cars.

What you get in these CRs is nothing more than a commitment to follow through and cut spending, stop programs, close down activities in following budgets. You do not get a $38 billion dollar rebate. That is why you don’t want government by CR – the entire plan in the CR is vaporized once the period of the CR is over. All these cuts disappear on October 1, [2011] if they are not forwarded into the more binding and long term GFY budget for 2012. There you have more resilience (though any Congress can change direction at any time – thus the idea to enact 2 year budgets).

Hill sources point to the updated AP story, which provides a little more context on the issue of driving these debates six months into a fiscal year:

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.

So basically the story is this: the budget bill reduces authorizations for spending by $38 billion.  The actual spending that would have occurred between now and the end of the fiscal year that gets curtailed by these authorizations is $352 million below FY2010 rates, as the National Journal reports:

comparison prepared by the CBO shows that the omnibus spending bill, advertised as containing some $38.5 billion in cuts, will only reduce federal outlays by $352 million below 2010 spending rates. The nonpartisan budget agency also projects that total outlays are actually some $3.3 billion more than in 2010, if emergency spending is included in the total.

The astonishing result, according to CBO, is the result of several factors: increases in spending included in the deal, especially at the Defense Department; decisions to draw over half of the savings from recissions, cuts to reserve funds, and mandatory-spending programs; and writing off cuts from funding that might never have been spent.

The baseline figure is the FY2010 budget rather than Obama’s FY2011 budget request.  That’s a fair comparison, since the CRs have basically spent at FY2010 levels, but it’s still an important distinction.  Also, the CBO appears to have assumed that some of these cuts from spending would never have been spent even without the rescissions, a possibility but not a certainty without the rescissions in place.

The tally of savings only accumulates in FY2011 according to the rate at which those funds would have been spent in the next five months, according to CBO’s estimates.  Since these authorizations mainly zeroed out programs that would have continued into succeeding fiscal years, the long-term impact of these cuts is much more significant.  The GOP leadership scores that as $315 billion over ten years (CBO apparently didn’t score the long-term projection), which is a lot more significant than the $352 million figure indicates.  Besides, spending authorizations are all that Congress can impact, especially this late in the budget cycle.

Of course, that’s also nothing more than a symbolic dent in projected deficits expected to run around $10 trillion over the same period.  But we knew beforehand that we weren’t going to solve the problem in the FY2011 budget debate.  The structural problems driving the deficit are in entitlement programs, which have to be amended through statute rather than budgeting, and that debate can now start that we’ve finished the FY2011 budget.  That won’t make critics of the budget deal any happier — there is still plenty to criticize in the level of reductions in the authorizations — but at least we’ll all be on the same page as to what Congress can and cannot do at this stage for FY2011, and what this deal actually does.


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SHUT’ER DOWN

roflmao

donabernathy on April 14, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Smoke, mirros, & shady accounting tactics.
Does anyone truly know of the waste, fraud, abuse & real debt?

Badger40 on April 14, 2011 at 11:41 AM

I’m for this CR, if it clears the decks for the debt ceiling problem. I think that’s where the GOP has a lot more leverage to cut, where Soetoro is weakest.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 11:41 AM

The Republicans under weak leadership got taken to the cleaners.
.
Show some courage like Reagan did. Enforce the debt limit and force the Government to make the hard choices. Your constituency will strongly support you and so will many independents despite any leftist poll numbers.

FactsofLife on April 14, 2011 at 11:42 AM

I guess it depends on what the definition of is, is…

Gohawgs on April 14, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Point of order; I can’t find any math that supports any discretionary spending decrease over FY2010.

Using the numbers provided by the CBO:
FY2010 total discretionary spending outlays – $1,347 billion
FY2011 total discretionary spending outlays under this “deal” – $1,365 billion

The last I checked, $1,365 billion was $18 billion MORE than $1,347 billion.

To be “fair”, the supposed $100 billion $61 billion non-security discretionary cut in H.R. 1, had it become law, woudl have yielded a FY2011 total discretionary spending outlay of $1,355 billion (see the second link).

steveegg on April 14, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Well, then they shouldn’t have misrepresented this to everyone. They said they were going to make genuine cuts to the deficit, and claimed that the $38.5 billion was a cut to the deficit.

We didn’t elect them to make nebulous future cuts which will be washed away as soon as the next “emergency spending” bill comes along, we elected them to extract meaningful concessions now.

KingGold on April 14, 2011 at 11:47 AM

I’m for this CR, if it clears the decks for the debt ceiling problem. I think that’s where the GOP has a lot more leverage to cut, where Soetoro is weakest.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 11:41 AM

I think Boehner or Cantor have already said they won’t let the US default. So they’ve signaled they will eventually agree to raise the limit. Like with the CR, they said there would be no shut down. Both times they signalled their willingness to give in.

Wethal on April 14, 2011 at 11:48 AM

They might want to think about changing accounting rules while moving to a 2 year budget cycle. It seems like the only real way to force cuts is to make the debt limit a real limit.

cartooner on April 14, 2011 at 11:50 AM

The neocon Weakly Standard has slightly more credibility than Barack Obama, but for “Establishment Republicans” looking for any port in the storm ….

bw222 on April 14, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Fact-checking the media will be a full time job going forward into this election cycle.

Meanwhile, the liberal cheerleader Joe Scarborough is seen bragging this morning about the CBO’s report that the recent 38 billion cut in the 2011 budget, (that Democrats cowardly passed on), turns out to be a meager 350 million in real cuts. Scarborough appeared to be relishing in the embarrassment to conservatives while catering to his liberal audience/base who tune in most mornings to get their dose of over-rated rhetoric and over-priced coffee.

Rovin on April 14, 2011 at 11:53 AM

I’m for this CR, if it clears the decks for the debt ceiling problem. I think that’s where the GOP has a lot more leverage to cut, where Soetoro is weakest.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Heard you the first time, in the other thread.

And you’re wrong both times.

fossten on April 14, 2011 at 11:54 AM

I would like to see a list of Congressmen that need to be primaried and what the choices we have to run against them in the next election. Thats the only leverage we have. Which conservative is going to challenge Lindsey Graham just to start things off.

ldbgcoleman on April 14, 2011 at 11:55 AM

They are rolling on the debt ceiling, from what I am reading. Cowards.

However, my frosh tea party Congressman is voting NO on this budget deal. Hey Boehner, you lost a vote, you moron.

karenhasfreedom on April 14, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Lindsey is not up until 2014, we are stuck with him for 3 more years.

karenhasfreedom on April 14, 2011 at 11:59 AM

So basically the story is this: the budget bill reduces authorizations for spending by $38 billion. The actual spending that would have occurred between now and the end of the fiscal year that gets curtailed by these authorizations is $352 million

Ed, I’m still a little confused. How do these numbers align with the numbers we’re hearing about the deficit? We hear that this year’s deficit is $1.6 trillion. Does that number reflect authorizations rather than actual spending as well?

Caiwyn on April 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I say we take off, and nuke it from orbit…

… It’s the only way to be sure.

Seven Percent Solution on April 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Does anyone know what time the vote is at?

Brat4life on April 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM

And you’re wrong both times.

fossten on April 14, 2011 at 11:54 AM

I guess we’re going to find out.

It’s not like something is going to stop the process. If the GOP falls flat moving into the 2012 elections, then there will be hell to pay – if they don’t know that by now, then there is little hope anyway.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Sounds more like accounting gimmicks were how the smaller cut number was arrived at.

Count to 10 on April 14, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Smoke, mirros, & shady accounting tactics.

Badger40 on April 14, 2011 at 11:41 AM

Yep, and that smoke smells like el Diablo

SouthernGent on April 14, 2011 at 12:02 PM

Ed, I’m still a little confused. How do these numbers align with the numbers we’re hearing about the deficit? We hear that this year’s deficit is $1.6 trillion. Does that number reflect authorizations rather than actual spending as well?

Caiwyn on April 14, 2011 at 12:00 PM

I’m not sure it matters. Either way, we are talking about numbers that are lost in the rounding error. This was never about the impact of the cuts themselves, but changing the story to be about how much to cut.

Count to 10 on April 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM

cuts made in the middle of budget cycles don’t stop money from being spent:

What budget cycle? That makes no sense.

marinetbryant on April 14, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Can someone tell me why unspent TARP and Porkulus monies seem to be a forbidden topic?

slickwillie2001 on April 14, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Ahhhh, screw it. Let’s get on with the 2012 budget battle.

Vince on April 14, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Ahhhh, screw it. Let’s get on with the 2012 budget battle.

Vince on April 14, 2011 at 12:10 PM

It’s due in September isn’t it?

Vince on April 14, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Ahhhh, screw it. Let’s get on with the 2012 budget battle.

Vince on April 14, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Heh. What battle? We’ve already surrendered that one as well.

fossten on April 14, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Great blowouts in history:

1986 Super Bowl: Bears 46, Patriots 10
1990 Super Bowl: 49ers 55, Broncos 10
2011 Budget Deal: Obama 49, Boehner 3

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Can someone tell me why unspent TARP and Porkulus monies seem to be a forbidden topic?

slickwillie2001 on April 14, 2011 at 12:07 PM

That’s Zero’s stash fund. He doesn’t want anyone to know there is money in there still cause without those programs the US would of ended. Zero is never wrong. So they don’t bring it up.

Brat4life on April 14, 2011 at 12:21 PM

Vince on April 14, 2011 at 12:11 PM

Budget expires on Sept 30.

Brat4life on April 14, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Ahhhh, screw it. Let’s get on with the 2012 budget battle.

Vince on April 14, 2011 at 12:10 PM

LOL. The battle where Boehner has already told Obama he will make sure the debt ceiling is raised? That battle.

I think I found a way to guaranteed riches. Get a poker game going and invite Boehner to play.

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 12:23 PM

I’m not sure it matters. Either way, we are talking about numbers that are lost in the rounding error. This was never about the impact of the cuts themselves, but changing the story to be about how much to cut.

Count to 10 on April 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM

I agree, but it does seem to me like the press is trying desperately to dispirit conservatives who were willing to settle on the $38.5 billion in cuts by comparing apples to oranges. If the $38.5 billion figure still applies to the $1.6 trillion deficit figure, then I don’t see how anything has changed.

Sure, only $352 million of that was actually getting spent this year, but doesn’t that mean the actual deficit is much smaller as well?

I agree that either way, it’s a drop in the bucket, but two days ago we were excited have won a minor victory and were happily moving on to push for Ryan’s 2012 budget. Has any of that changed? From what I can see, it hasn’t. So why is everyone suddenly an Eeyore?

Caiwyn on April 14, 2011 at 12:36 PM

So, what we learn from this is that government accounting systems are so bad that no one can tell whether cuts are cuts? How can they have budgets without legible books?

Exit question: how will it know if it is shut down if it can still spend money?

secant on April 14, 2011 at 12:36 PM

So why is everyone suddenly an Eeyore?

Caiwyn on April 14, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Some people are really keen on ditching parts of the old GOP coalition.

Count to 10 on April 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM

Look at us. We’re parsing recissions of appropriations amended in continuing resolutions covering the current fiscal year while analyzing the finer points of negotiation tactics for the upcoming debt ceiling increase.

It’s like trying to understand VCR instructions written in pidgin English by a Japanese engineer. Nobody with any common sense would tolerate this crap.

We want the federal government to spend less. We want cuts, not “reductions in the projected rate of increase prorated for the remainder of the fiscal year and excluding mandatory expenditures.”

Cut the bull**** and cut spending or we’ll find someone who will. This ain’t rocket science.

OhioCoastie on April 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM

I agree that either way, it’s a drop in the bucket, but two days ago we were excited have won a minor victory and were happily moving on to push for Ryan’s 2012 budget. Has any of that changed? From what I can see, it hasn’t. So why is everyone suddenly an Eeyore?

Caiwyn on April 14, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Speak for yourself. Plenty of us saw right through the charade of a budget deal as soon as it happened.

angryed on April 14, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Why is anyone surprised by this revelation as to the total capitulation of the GOP leadership to Obama? The women in the GOP have more testosterone than any of the GOP leadership. When is everybody going to learn that they will rollover at the first time they face any adversity. Can the GOP and move on. Rand Paul should be the next GOP nominee and he would win in a landslide.

flytier on April 14, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Seems like AllahPundit delivers the perspective of the base and then Ed delivers the party apparatchik’s response to the criticism from the base. I don’t see how anyone can find $350 million of cuts that were advertised alternately as 38 billion or 78 billion in cuts to be anything but a trick played on conservatives by those who promised in 2010 not to violate their trust.

We spent much more than $350 million putting Boehner into the speakership. We would have had more of an effect on the debt if we had donated our campaign donations to the federal government instead of to the Republican Party. How crummy is that

Raisedbywolves on April 14, 2011 at 12:55 PM

And how did a “cut” ever get defined as spending less than Obama wanted to spend. If you aren’t spending less than you did the year before, it’s not a cut.
If I spent $500 last year going out to eat, and spent $550 this year going out to eat, is it a cut of $100 if I originally wanted to spend $650 going out to eat this year? No, I’m spending $50 more, how can these dummies on Capitol Hill pretend not to realize that?

Raisedbywolves on April 14, 2011 at 1:00 PM

increases in spending included in the deal, especially at the Defense Department …

Typical old school horse trading deal.

Can ANYONE EXPLAIN to me how getting NEW spending included in a budget cut deal makes ANY sense?

And how is this dirty secret backroom deal not an earmark? When is the floor debate on this NEW spending in the house going to occur?

Freddy on April 14, 2011 at 1:01 PM

I guess it’s lucky I don’t handle my family’s budget like they do in Washington. We wouldn’t be out of debt (except for our mortgage) and would be on the edge of bankruptcy.

Maybe I should run for President. I certainly couldn’t do a worse job than the current occupant.

hachiban on April 14, 2011 at 1:01 PM

I agree that either way, it’s a drop in the bucket, but two days ago we were excited have won a minor victory and were happily moving on to push for Ryan’s 2012 budget. Has any of that changed? From what I can see, it hasn’t. So why is everyone suddenly an Eeyore?

Caiwyn on April 14, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Ryan’s 2012 budget calls for 3.6 trillion in spending and 1.5 trillion in DEFICITS!

Freddy on April 14, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Just think of this as increases but in reverse. When Dems want to spend money, THEY SPEND money. They don’t worry about the effects in the off years or back loading the budget or decreases in the rate of increase. They go out and spend your money like drunken sailors. It’s only when we talk about less federal spending that we have to get all nuanced up. If the Republicans can’t cut anything more than a few billion dollars from a budget that has a deficit of 1,600 billion dollars this year, they are failures. Stop with the nuance already.

Fred 2 on April 14, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Just a thought…

That MSM story has really driven a wedge between the teaparty and the GOP, hasn’t it?

Almost as if that was the purpose.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM

There is no 2011 budget. That is what is supposed to be voted on today. So if there is no budget why the heck can’t they cut, cut, cut?

marinetbryant on April 14, 2011 at 1:20 PM

I’ve looked at the CBO documents directly. I don’t see any #’s anywhere that look like $352M or any numbers that would add up to them.

Right now, my opinion is that number is not based in reality, and everyone’s being played, although I fail to understand why.

Jamie Dupree says total outlay reduction for FY2011 in the $20-25B range, and that seems to be supported by the documents.

http://twitter.com/#!/jamiedupree/status/58561797204094979
http://cbo.gov/ftpdocs/121xx/doc12143/additional_info_hr1473.pdf

Chris of Rights on April 14, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Ryan’s 2012 budget calls for 3.6 trillion in spending and 1.5 trillion in DEFICITS!

Freddy on April 14, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Oh, look, the Mobys are here to egg the media on.

Caiwyn on April 14, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Better link to Jamie Dupree’s tweet.

Chris of Rights on April 14, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Just a thought…

That MSM story has really driven a wedge between the teaparty and the GOP, hasn’t it?

Almost as if that was the purpose.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM

+1. It bugs the hell out of me that we’re smart enough not to trust the media… until they tell us that the Republicans are betraying us.

Caiwyn on April 14, 2011 at 1:29 PM

That MSM story has really driven a wedge between the teaparty and the GOP, hasn’t it?

Almost as if that was the purpose.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 1:15 PM

No, they didn’t. The GOP managed to do that by their conduct in the last couple of decades. That isn’t something you can hang on the media.

The GOP were given another chance in 2010. They promised $100 billion in cuts. How much of that did they deliver?

Now the AP says 15% ($15B), the GOP cheerleaders claim 38% ($38.5B) and the CBO says .35% ($.35B).

So how much of the lame ass promise of a $100 billion are you saying they delivered?

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 1:31 PM

So how much of the lame ass promise of a $100 billion are you saying they delivered?

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 1:31 PM

What I’m saying, the best possible result for the democrat party, is to cause dissention in the GOP and split off the teaparty into a suicidal 3rd party.

This MSM meme is doing exactly that, which gives me plenty of cause to think they’re spinning the numbers to do exactly that. I don’t trust the MSM one iota, especially when it serves the progressives so well.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 1:39 PM

This MSM meme is doing exactly that, which gives me plenty of cause to think they’re spinning the numbers to do exactly that. I don’t trust the MSM one iota, especially when it serves the progressives so well.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 1:39 PM

What you seem to be ignoring is how easy it would be for the GOP to make that inevitable media spin meaningless.

Deliver on their promise.

A $100 billion is chicken feed and we all know that.

They are not serious and the media of course uses that against them. They use lies when it suits their purpose and they will use the truth as well.

They increased spending in this bill and added on billions to defense.

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 1:44 PM

Deliver on their promise.

A $100 billion is chicken feed and we all know that.

They are not serious and the media of course uses that against them. They use lies when it suits their purpose and they will use the truth as well.

They increased spending in this bill and added on billions to defense.

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 1:44 PM

To do that would require compliance by the Senate and the White House. Last I checked, those were still controlled by Democrats. Things are never as “easy” as you claim.

Caiwyn on April 14, 2011 at 1:51 PM

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 1:44 PM

True, in the grand scheme of things, $100 billion is the same as $38 billion – even if the GOP got every penny asked for, we’d still be boned.

The only chance we got, is a supermajority senate and a true conservative president for 2013, and take a meatcleaver to the budget. It’s not a great chance, but it’s the only one.

Getting all pissy over this CR, which is all chump change anyway, only hurts us. Keeping the eye on the prize and not freaking out (which is exactly what the MSM wants) is what’s called for.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 1:53 PM

To do that would require compliance by the Senate and the White House. Last I checked, those were still controlled by Democrats. Things are never as “easy” as you claim.

Caiwyn on April 14, 2011 at 1:51 PM

The house controls the purse strings.

If they aren’t going to use the power they now have, then why should anyone give them more?

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Keeping the eye on the prize and not freaking out (which is exactly what the MSM wants) is what’s called for.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 1:53 PM

They have already said they are raising the debt limit.

They have said that Ryan’s budget is DOA.

So you are talking about the year 2013 before we can even imagine doing anything at all. That’s IF everything goes great. Right?

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Right?

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Yup, that’s right.

The sad truth is – we’re at the end of the rope. If we can’t get what we need in 2013, it’s all over anyway, it doesn’t matter who the captain of that Titanic is, it’s over.

There is no time to get a 3rd party off the ground, even if that wouldn’t just insure progressive dominance in perpetuity, we are bankrupt now. The GOP is the girl we brought to the dance, we have to make the best of it in the short time we have left – there are no other options.

2010 was not the end of the teaparty’s work – it was only the very beginning. There is still is an immense amount of work to do. Now is not the time to take your marbles and go home, now is the time to dig in and work even harder.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Yup, that’s right.

The sad truth is – we’re at the end of the rope. If we can’t get what we need in 2013, it’s all over anyway, it doesn’t matter who the captain of that Titanic is, it’s over.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Well I hate to break this to you, but they aren’t the ones.

There is no will in the GOP to fight Leviathan. They attack conservatives with more fervor than they ever do Democrats. They don’t want to cut anything, and giving them more power won’t change their nature. The sheer inertia within the organization of the GOP will prevent any freshman member from accomplishing a thing, even those who really are there to make a change rather than just riding coat tails.

If we had a leader it would be a tough fight, but possible if we were lucky. We don’t have any leaders in power, and we only have a small minority of members who believe in fighting.

Its over.

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Its over.

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 2:35 PM

The way I figure it, there is a 20% chance to save the republic if we all buckle down and pull together. There is a 5% chance if we turn into a circular firing squad – which is what’s happening.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Ed & Co.

Thanks for addressing this on a fair manner – and hopefully no on took my ‘ignorant’ comment beyond the topic of the arcane federal budget mechanisms.

We do not need to set up a circular firing squad between the libertarians and conservatives and independents based on unfair (and unreasonable) expectations that derive from wishing the government does not operate as it does and has for a century.

If we want to have success, we need to keep the debate grounded in reality and based on knowledge instead of wishful thinking.

Knowing how the government actually works will help us stay on target and not create unnecessary and unforced errors.

AJStrata on April 14, 2011 at 2:56 PM

However, CBO estimates that enactment of H.R. 1473 would produce federal outlays over the 2011-2021 period that are between $20 billion and $25 billion lower than the amount of outlays that would be expected from having 2011 appropriations set at the same level as 2010 appropriations. That range of $20 billion to $25 billion represents the change in outlays, relative to a continuation of funding at the 2010 level, only from the difference in appropriations for 2011—not from any changes in appropriations in subsequent years that might result from the 2011 action.

steebo77 on April 14, 2011 at 2:57 PM

The way I figure it, there is a 20% chance to save the republic if we all buckle down and pull together. There is a 5% chance if we turn into a circular firing squad – which is what’s happening.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 2:52 PM

I see where you are coming from, but I just do not see the GOP being a part of it. They don’t want any part of it, and we are only fooling ourselves because we desperately want to believe. They are not fundamentally different than the Democrats, and if push comes to shove they will choose the Democrats over conservatives because they like them a lot more than they like conservatives.

We said the same thing in 2008 when they told us we should back McCain. They shook the scary Obama doll at us and told us he was bad, real bad. Well we know now, that he was bad.

BUT they never believed that!

McCain attacked conservatives while telling us what a fine fellow that Obama was. Others told us about the cut of his jib, or the crease in his pants.

Those people will NEVER fight.
You are looking for something that won’t be found.

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 3:03 PM

I think we have good chances of getting significant cuts through in the FY 2012 budget – but we certainly will NOT get the whole Ryan plan, or even the Bowles-Simpson plan, even if we shut the government down. The real wet work was always going to be after the 2012 election.

We control the House, and have enough votes in the Senate to block anything but to not enough to pass anything. Democrats control the Senate and the White House. 2 out of three ain’t bad; we aren’t in charge here.

Consider the Democrats’ and Obama’s position: they have no realistic solution to the problem, and any step toward fiscal sanity they make (except raising taxes) will cause a revolt in their base constituent groups, whom they’ve been telling for decades, “Yes, you CAN have it all – and for free!”

Their ONLY chance in 2012 is to run against us, make us appear mean, cruel, insensitive, and lacking in the true spirit of diversity. They have NOTHING else. They know any sort of compromise is a win for us if it cuts spending, and they will suffer at the polls for it.

So don’t get your hopes up too far too fast. The problem we are seeing now is that too many people had some stupidly unrealistic expectations of what taking control of the House meant.

Adjoran on April 14, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I think a lot of the problem with this whole issue is that most people do not understand how government spending works..money is constantly coming in and going out. For instance, if they cut crop subsidies, that would not show up by September anyway, because most subsidy payments go out in late fall.

Terrye on April 14, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Yeah, but not understanding things hasn’t kept people from expressing a strong opinion on them, and declaring their ignorance set in stone.

If Obama decides to play hardball, he will just shut down the whole government and veto any CRs. He has contingency funds to keep him in wagyu beef and golf balls, what does he care if Social Security checks don’t go out?

Naturally the big mouthed oafs will cry, “So what? Call his bluff!” They don’t realize that Obama has nothing to lose at all. They are perfectly will to plunge the country into darkness to prove a point, but so is Obama. And what would it accomplish? Nothing much of any good to anyone.

Adjoran on April 14, 2011 at 3:19 PM

352/37700=0.0093, i.e. almost a penny on the dollar. That’s not so bad as government programs go.

burt on April 14, 2011 at 3:37 PM

You are looking for something that won’t be found.

sharrukin on April 14, 2011 at 3:03 PM

The simple fact is, there is no alternative.

Sure, the lifeboat is full of holes – but the alternative is to jump in the sea. Better to bail with all your might for some chance, rather than swim with the sharks. And if they fail, you’re really no worse off – the sharks will still be waiting.

Will a GOP supermajority and president Palin fix this boat? Maybe, maybe not. But anything else will see the boat go down with all hands. Gotta go with the best chance, even if that chance is pretty small.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Republican Study Committee releases its analysis of the budget deal, including the potential gimmicks

The Republican Study Committee, which is the center of gravity in the House when it comes to pushing for bigger spending cuts than the leadership’s deal with Obama, has released this analysis of the CR that will be voted on shortly. The analysis highlights the $13.6 billion included in the bill that will not likely produce any savings:

Spending Levels: The total non-emergency spending level for H.R. 1473 is $1.05 trillion. The bill leads to $421.9 billion (compared to $378 billion in FY 2008) for non-security spending and $627.9 billion for security spending (compared to $554 billion in FY 2008).

Savings Amount: Overall, this is a $78.3 billion reduction compared to the President’s FY 2011 budget: $56.1 billion of this reduction is to non-security spending, $22.2 billion is to security spending. Compared to FY 2010, and counting the $12 billion in savings attached to three previous continuing resolutions, the final spending reduction amounts to $40.0 billion. According to the Majority Whip’s office, the legislation will reduce spending projected in CBO’s baseline by $315 billion over ten years.

Compared to FY 2008 Levels: Compared to the original House Republican goal of returning non-security spending to FY 2008 levels, the legislation is $43.9 billion short of this target.

Historical Perspective: The $1.05 trillion spending level is the second highest spending level for the appropriations process in U.S. history (in nominal terms). This will be the third time in U.S. history the appropriations process will wrap-up with a spending total in excess of $1 trillion (others being 2009 and 2010).

Read more: http://nanosecondinv.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=18851#ixzz1JWv27edG

CommentGuy on April 14, 2011 at 4:06 PM

What I’m saying, the best possible result for the democrat party, is to cause dissention in the GOP and split off the teaparty into a suicidal 3rd party.

This MSM meme is doing exactly that, which gives me plenty of cause to think they’re spinning the numbers to do exactly that. I don’t trust the MSM one iota, especially when it serves the progressives so well.

Rebar on April 14, 2011 at 1:39 PM

totally agree with you, divide et impera, Dems are soo good at that, and the MSM is lending them a hand in the process. so far it looks like they have managed just fine, you bet they are laughing their a%$ off watching how effective they were at sowing discord among the conservatives, alas, again…

jimver on April 14, 2011 at 5:11 PM