Hostage-taking, Butchering, Lunacy

Randall Hoven
The new debt deal "would cut & cap discretionary spending immediately, saving $917B over 10 years." House Speaker John Boehner's PowerPoint slides.

"[A] nearly complete capitulation to the hostage-taking demands of Republican extremists... many are counting on future Congresses to undo its arbitrary butchering... a political environment laced with lunacy." The New York Times.

This is your federal budget.

 

Source: Congressional Budget Office, March 2011 baseline. Vertical axis is billions of dollars.

 This is your federal budget on "cuts."

 

Source: CBO March 2011 baseline, with 2% cut in each year after 2011.

In case you find it difficult to see the difference, here are both budgets, cut and un-cut, on one chart.

 

Total spending, 2012-21, in baseline: $45.769 trillion.

Total spending, 2012-21, with "cuts": $44.854 trillion.

Spending increase, 2011 to 2021, in baseline: 56.5% (4.6% per year, average).

Spending increase, 2011 to 2021, with "cuts": 53.4% (4.4% per year, average).

Incidentally, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the "stimulus") will cost $814 B over 2009-2019, according to the CBO. The first $572 B of that came in just its first two years: 2009 and 2010. The above debt deal, assuming "cuts" are evenly spread over the next decade, will take seven years to simply undo two years of "stimulus" and a full decade to undo all of the "stimulus".

To summarize, by "cutting" $917 B from the CBO's baseline 10-year budget, spending will go up 4.4% per year on average instead of 4.6% per year, and will essentially undo about three years worth of "stimulus." That's what all the fuss was about.

The new debt deal "would cut & cap discretionary spending immediately, saving $917B over 10 years." House Speaker John Boehner's PowerPoint slides.

"[A] nearly complete capitulation to the hostage-taking demands of Republican extremists... many are counting on future Congresses to undo its arbitrary butchering... a political environment laced with lunacy." The New York Times.

This is your federal budget.

 

Source: Congressional Budget Office, March 2011 baseline. Vertical axis is billions of dollars.

 This is your federal budget on "cuts."

 

Source: CBO March 2011 baseline, with 2% cut in each year after 2011.

In case you find it difficult to see the difference, here are both budgets, cut and un-cut, on one chart.

 

Total spending, 2012-21, in baseline: $45.769 trillion.

Total spending, 2012-21, with "cuts": $44.854 trillion.

Spending increase, 2011 to 2021, in baseline: 56.5% (4.6% per year, average).

Spending increase, 2011 to 2021, with "cuts": 53.4% (4.4% per year, average).

Incidentally, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the "stimulus") will cost $814 B over 2009-2019, according to the CBO. The first $572 B of that came in just its first two years: 2009 and 2010. The above debt deal, assuming "cuts" are evenly spread over the next decade, will take seven years to simply undo two years of "stimulus" and a full decade to undo all of the "stimulus".

To summarize, by "cutting" $917 B from the CBO's baseline 10-year budget, spending will go up 4.4% per year on average instead of 4.6% per year, and will essentially undo about three years worth of "stimulus." That's what all the fuss was about.