Attack of the Mutant Ninja Fiscal Conservatives
Via TPM: the GOP-led budget insurrection over the six-month spending bill in March actually boosted spending over that period by $3 billion, according to the latest CBO analysis:
“Total discretionary outlays in 2011 will be $3.2 billion higher as a result of the legislation, CBO estimates–an increase of $7.5 billion for defense programs, partially offset by a net reduction of $4.4 billion in other spending,” reads a just-released report from the Congressional Budget Office — Congress’ non-partisan scorekeeper. Analysts there conclude that increase is due in large part to the fact that the six month spending bill shifted defense spending to more immediate activities, which means the bills will come due sooner than later.
It is true that the bill will, if unchanged in any future budget, lead to about $122 billion in spending reductions…(wait for it)….over the next ten years.
That’s barely more than what the Republicans road into office swearing they’d cut this year alone…not to mention that $122 billion out of a truly unrealistically conservative estimate* of ten year expenditure of $25.4 trillion dollars amounts to a rounding error — a reduction of on the order .5% over a decade.
Way to go!
The initial reports of $38 billion in cuts, by the way, were Teabagger bait, which means that the Republican party has some ‘splainin to do to its base, and the rest of us should help tell that story as much as we can.
Here’s how the scam worked:
the approximately $38 billion in advertised cuts spanned the entire federal budget, including locked-in “mandatory” spending programs, and it reflected reductions in “budget authority” — how much the government is allowed to spend — as opposed to projected “outlays” — how much the government truly will spend.
Ah, that old problem for the GOP and its voters — the difference between what the tooth fairy promises, and what actually happens in the real world:
When viewed more narrowly — how many fewer dollars will the government spend this year as a result of this bill — the results flip.
Which is to say, the GOP rookie congresscritturs and the Tea Party electorate were promised one thing, and got…played.
The moral, dear faux Minutemen: the GOP’s central command has exactly no interest in actual lower-case “c” conservatism. They serve different masters…or to put it another way:
If you can’t tell who the patsy is at the table, it’s you.
*That number comes from the simple-minded multiplying the (pre-stimulus) 2008 numbers — an arithmetical gesture of maximal kindness to our GOP arithmetic-challenge friends.
Image: Follower of Hieronymous Bosch, The Battle Between Carnival and Lent, (A subject sometimes titled The Dance of Fools, Carnival.), c 1600-1620.