"Bipartisan" Budget Resolution Claims Phony Spending Cuts


Posted by Mattie Duppler on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012, 5:48 PM PERMALINK


The budget resolution introduced by Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio) and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) claims to net $4 trillion in savings over the next ten years. We have already pointed out how $1.6 trillion of these supposed savings comes from tax hikes. Supposing the remaining "savings" were actual spending cuts, this would represent a spending cuts-to-tax hikes ratio of roughly 1.6 to 1.

However, according to its own numbers, the spending cuts are a sham.  It claims $502 billion in their grand total comes from spending caps instituted in the Budget Control Act (BCA). Since these caps have already become law, the savings would already be included in the baseline. The lawmakers can't claim credit for them now.

Secondly, the Cooper-LaTourette budget erases the sequester required by the BCA and claims to substitute these savings (only by half the amount required by the law) with new caps on discretionary spending. Problem is, these caps ignore the supplemental spending the congressmen write into the bill. The plan calls for $424 in war spending over the next ten years, but does not include that spending in its caps.

Taking the sponsors' original claims of $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending cuts, subtracting the $502 billion in cuts already in law and the $424 billion in war spending that would come from their spending caps means the Cooper-LaTourette budget provides for only $200 billion in real discretionary spending cuts.

Adding this to the tax hikes disguised as savings (and giving them credit for all of the mandatory spending cuts that are claimed) this results in a 1:1 spending cut to tax hike ratio. Effectively, the bill contains no productive tax and spending reform. Any lawmaker supporting this resolution is not serious about controlling the size of government, its burden on taxpayer and the nation's growing debt.

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