Democrats' new budget proposal: Let's trim our $1.5 trillion deficit this year by cutting another ... $6.5 billion

It’s not even one half of one percent of the deficit. And of course, true to the form they perfected in ObamaCare, they’re relying on a cheap, fraudulent accounting gimmick to make it seem more impressive than it is. How do you turn $6 billion in cuts into $50 billion? Easy: Just use White House math.

The White House gets to this by using as the baseline for cuts the president’s never-enacted FY2011 budget, which was for $1.1283 trillion.

The House Republicans’ budget, H.R. 1, was $1.026 trillion, hence the difference is $102.3 billion.

The president’s FY2011 budget never was enacted, so a series of temporary spending bills have passed instead. The original temporary spending bill represented in totality $40.8 billion less in spending that the president’s original proposal. The one the president signed into law yesterday – funding the government until March 18 – represents another $4 billion in cuts.

Therefore, the White House argues the president has already essentially agreed to $44.8 billion in spending cuts from his original proposal. Add the current $6.5 billion in new cuts proposed today and voila! – roughly half of $100 billion.

In other words, the day after the Postal Service said it’ll soon be out of cash and the GAO reported $48 billion in bogus Medicare payments, rather than get down to the business of digging the country out of an almost inconceivably gigantic hole of debt, the White House is trying to minimize cuts by pointing to a higher budget that was never even enacted as a baseline. The GOP could frame its own proposal to cut $61 billion similarly by citing Rand Paul’s plan to eliminate $500 billion in spending this year and then claiming that they’ve already “compromised” by accepting $439 billion in spending from that. In fact, how’s this for meeting the Democrats halfway while setting our own baseline? Instead of Paul’s draconian half-trillion cut, the GOP will demand a cut of “only” $250 billion. Good enough? The difference is, that move would at least address the excruciating fiscal reality in which we now find ourselves instead of fleeing into fantasy. One and a half trillion in liabilities and six measly billion offered to reduce it: There’s the “reality-based” proposal for you.

Exit question: Why shouldn’t Boehner walk away right now and prepare for a shutdown? Their offer’s not just fraudulent, it’s insulting.

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David Strom 3:31 PM on November 30, 2022