THERE ARE NO CUTS! – The Fallacy of Baseline Budgeting
I almost have to laugh at the old car commercials with the loud salesmen and the blinking graphics, “Come in today and save $5,000!!” You have to know that this type of advertising works because it is still being used. Ergo, there must still be idiots out there that think they are really saving $5,000 by spending $25,000 on a car that has a $30,000 price tag on it. So it is with baseline budgeting and “Washington” speak.
The ignorant on both side of the aisle are decrying the failure of the “Stuper-Committee” (NO, I didn’t spell that wrong) as the next man-caused disaster. With weeping and gnashing of teeth, they rent their garments and wail at the moon, giving a performance that only Chicken Little could only appreciate. Now, because 12 of the most partisan people on the hill couldn’t come to an agreement as to what to order for lunch, let alone the deficit, the debt ceiling legislation passed in August will kick in “draconian” cuts to both domestic and defense spending. Only, there’s one little problem….
THERE ARE NO CUTS!!!
They only thing ever cut in D.C. is a ribbon in front of yet another government program designed to make out lives easier – that is as soon as someone actually reads the legislation that created it!! What baseline budgeting does is to set the next year’s budget “based” on the previous year’s expenditures, but then tacking on a 20% increase in spending per year. Then someone comes along, spends only half of that increase and calls it a cut.
NO, IT’S NOT!
You STILL spent 10% more than last year! If you did that in your own household, you wouldn’t call it a cut, but Washington does.
Here’s an interesting fact. If the federal government froze spending today, and for the next 10 years – aka, they literally didn’t spend one more dime for the next 10 budgest than they do now, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) would score that as a NINE TRILLION dollar cut! Remember we have been overspending an average of about 1.5 TRILLION dollars more than we take in for the past 3 years. For you and me, this means going from the measly 15 TRILLION dollar debt we have now to 30 TRILLION dollars by 2022!! And Capitol Hill calls that a CUT!!
This is like barreling towards the cliff in your car at 100 MPH, talking your foot slightly off the gas and declaring that you are now going in reverse! YOU ARE STILL HEADING OFF THE CLIFF, YOU MORON!!
Until we are really prepared to put Jabba-the-Congress on a real diet, we will continue to hurdle headlong toward the cliff. Probably the most shameful thing about this latest Washington debacle is that none of these so-called leaders – one both sides – will ever have to pay this back. It’ll be their grandchildren, and yours, and mine. Remember that next November.