The $38.15 billion bipartisan budget cut hoax is already old news for most of us. Republicans claim that the Congressional Budget Office numbers that raised questions about the truthfulness of the budget deal are being manipulated by liberals to make it appear that the 2011 cuts only amount to $352 million:
The confusion is over the terms used by the CBO – and how they’ve been mangled by liberals determined to keep their spending binge alive.1
Just who these “liberals” are is questionable, because Democrats and their president also took credit for the budget cuts, and have not had a lot to say about the CBO report. On the bright side, $352 million makes the $38.5 billion we were told we were getting seem like the landmark accomplishment boasted by both parties. The budget process is doing precisely what Democrats and Republicans have spent years crafting it to do: ensure that nothing will happen which might interfere with election night returns. The status quo will be maintained whatever the cost, and whether the spending cuts are $352 million, $38.5 billion, $78.5 billion, or $100 billion, our economy is going to be ruined.
The president gave us his fiscal vision for the future last week. The much-publicized budget address told us little that we did not already know, and took taxpayers for suckers who assume that using the words “deficit” and “reduction” in the same sentence proves that progress is being made. At least Mr. Obama managed to keep a straight face when he mentioned that this year’s budget cuts would “…keep annual domestic spending low by building on the savings that both parties agreed to last week.”2
When the president finished talking, what sunk in was that the Obama plan has not changed much since 2008. Defense savings came up again, despite a new war in Libya and never ending conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Reductions in health care spending are still on the table, presumably achieved by implementing Obamacare. The president wants to reform the tax code, but most of this is directed at robbing the wealthy, a decades-old Democratic strategy for raising spending money. The push continues to keep the same tired spending triumvirate that worked before: education, infrastructure, and energy.
What we did not hear is a workable plan to reduce the deficit. The CBO has weighed in with its own take on the president’s 2012 budget proposal, projecting that if we do what the president proposes, our deficit will rise by $109 billion through 2012, our public debt will double to $20.8 trillion by 2022, and any deficit reductions will turn to increases after 2015.3
John Boehner is working hard to explain away the minimizing of Republican budget cut promises:
The spending cuts in the legislation are real cuts that help to clear a path for Chairman Paul Ryan’s landmark Path to Prosperity budget.4
This sounds great to anyone who believes that Ryan’s budget plan stands a chance of passage. Claims about the enormity of the deficit reduction planned by the GOP fail to give the slightest nod to the unlikelihood that the Path to Prosperity will become reality.
While lawmakers confuse and misrepresent the truth behind the budget numbers, the deficit is getting larger, debt is growing, and warnings by watchdog agencies are becoming more urgent. All we are getting from those elected to solve the problem are self-serving speeches and press releases that shift blame and pin hopes on impossibilities. The bipartisan budget fraud is sending the country down the path to fiscal destruction, and will result in America being ruined on schedule.