Editorial Exegesis

Demo deficit reduction plan
"Both the White House and House Republicans are pretending that their goal is 'reducing the deficit,' which they suggest means making real spending choices. ... Since 1974, Capitol Hill's 'baseline' has automatically increased spending every year according to Congressional Budget Office projections, which means before anyone has submitted a budget or cast a single vote. Tax and spending changes are then measured off that inflated baseline, not in absolute terms. The most absurd current example is Mr. Obama's claim that his '$4 trillion' plan reduces the deficit by about $800 billion over 10 years by ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But those 'savings,' as he calls them, are measured against a White House budget office spending baseline that is fictional. Those wars are already being unwound and everyone knows the money will never be spent. But they are called 'savings' to gull the public and make the deficit reduction add up to a large-sounding $4 trillion. ... In Washington, Democrats designed this system to make it easier to defend annual spending increases and to portray any reduction in the baseline as a spending 'cut.' Chris Wallace called Timothy Geithner on this 'gimmick' on 'Fox News Sunday' this week, only to have the Treasury Secretary insist it's real. Republicans used to object to this game, but in recent years they seem to have given up. In an October 2010 speech at the American Enterprise Institute, House Speaker Boehner proposed that 'we ought to start at square one' and rewrite the 1974 budget act. But he then dropped the idea, and in the current debate the GOP is putting itself at a major disadvantage by negotiating off the phony baseline. In a press release Tuesday, his own office advertised the need for 'spending cuts' that aren't even cuts. If Republicans really want to slow the growth in spending, they need to stop playing by Beltway rules and start explaining to America why Mr. Obama keeps saying he's cutting spending even as spending and deficits keep going up and up and up." --The Wall Street Journal


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323401904578157233680080150.html
_________________________
MUP

Amateurs: Built the Ark

Professionals: Built the Titanic