Budget Baselines and Diets

December 11th, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Suppose you’ve been on a successful diet for the last month and you’re bragging about how much weight you’ve lost.  Do you start counting that morning, and proudly proclaim “I’ve lost 2.5 ounces!?”

Of course not.  You start counting when you started dieting a month ago and brag on the 15 pounds you’ve shed since then.

Yet, Congressional Republicans want to only count today’s ounces instead of last months’ pounds.  In a Politico piece sent to me by a colleague (I can’t find the link), it’s reported that claiming spending cuts resulting from the 2011 Budget Control Act is verboten in the R’s world–they call it double counting.

And remember, the $1.5 trillion in discretionary cuts over ten years that we’ve written about before do not count war savings.  Even that’s not “double counting,” though it is claiming savings on spending that everyone now agrees isn’t going to occur.  So we don’t count it here as contributing to the $1.5t over 10.

It’s a Republican mantra that we’ve got a spending problem not a revenue problem.  As I argue here, the numbers show otherwise.  But when they say, as Rep Boehner did today in his presser, “…we’re still waiting for the White House to indentify what spending cuts the President is willing make…,” well…that strains credulity, to put it nicely.

By their logic, any cuts he agreed to today wouldn’t be counted tomorrow, so what’s the point?  That’s one of them there rhetorical questions: apparently, the point is not serious negotiation–it’s fun with numbers, and I gotta tell ya Mr. Boehner, we’re really not having much fun out here.

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3 comments in reply to "Budget Baselines and Diets"

  1. foosion says:

    The question should be whether we have an appropriate level of spending, not whether we’ve hit some spending reduction target.

  2. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    The GOP appears to advocate for economic anorexia.
    I am not sure why they tend to get stuck in that odd Doom Loop, but they do.
    That never ends well.