To learn the truth about the cave-in, Ryan-Murray budget deal I go to Cato’s Chris Edwards. As he points out, the analysis by Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee (SBC) raises spending by $63 billion in ’14 and ’15. But the so called $85 billion in “savings” is a mix of $34 billion in revenue increases and $47 billion in spending reductions that don’t kick in until 2022 and 2023. Like that’s ever going happening. As Edwards puts it:
Here’s the most astounding thing: $47 billion of the $85 billion in claimed savings are scored to occur in 2022 and 2023. So the package hikes spending right now, but promises to deliver more than half of the offsetting savings a decade from now.
Most of the 2022 and 2023 savings ($28 billion) are supposed to come from putting caps on entitlement spending in those years. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Jeff Sessions says these savings are of “dubious validity,” but he is being polite. After all, we now know that Republicans won’t stick with caps when push comes to shove, so I would call those future caps “worthless.”
If we count the 2022 and 2023 entitlement savings as being worth zero, we are left with a budget package that hikes spending $63 billion, cuts other spending just $23 billion, and raises revenues $34 billion. With fiscal results like that, I’d take gridlock over bipartisan agreement any day.
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