The Washington Post reports that spending cuts in the budget deal threaten to slow the economy. The article quotes a number of economists who seem to harbor a rather extreme Keynesian bias in their thinking.
The following chart looks at total projected federal spending according to the Congressional Budget Office’s adjusted March baseline and its score of the debt deal. The chart only considers the reduction in outlays resulting from the deal’s cap on discretionary spending, which the CBO says will save $917 billion over the next ten years. It does not consider the $1.2-$1.5 trillion in future “deficit reduction” that Dan Mitchell discusses here.
Republicans and Democrats have come together on a “historic” budget deal that cuts federal spending by more than $2 trillion over 10 years. The Washington Post’s lead story calls the cuts “sharp” and “severe.”
However, the budget deal doesn’t cut federal spending at all.
House Speaker John Boehner has revised his budget plan in response to an unfavorable analysis by the CBO. The CBO has examined Boehner’s new plan and finds that it would cut spending by $917 billion over 10 years. Of the total, only $761 billion would be cuts to programs. The rest of the savings would be from reduced interest costs.
The USPS is proposing to close 3,700 post office locations across the country, as mail volume falls and the agency is losing billions of dollars.
House Speaker John Boehner is scrambling to revise his budget plan after the CBO found that it would only cut spending by $850 billion, not the $1.2 trillion promised.
These are the times that try budget analysts’ souls—especially budget analysts who’d like to see Washington dramatically cut spending. The debate over lifting the debt ceiling has produced a number of proposals from Capitol Hill—none of them have been worth celebrating. We can now add House Speaker John Boehner’s latest proposal to the pile.
I testified to the Senate Finance Committee today regarding federal spending and debt.
Here are some of the points I made:
If it is true that a failure to increase the debt limit on August 2nd has the potential to bring about economic Armageddon, shouldn’t we be asking ourselves if it’s a good idea to allow the political class in Washington to continue collectively play God with our lives? After all, these people are fallible human beings.