No wonder Democrats were recalcitrant to propose a budget over the past four years. I’d be embarrassed too.
This week Washington Senator Patty Murray, as Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, introduced her budget blueprint for the next 10 years. The headline of her budget is that it achieves $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction, presumably, off the $47.2 trillion CBO baseline. Murray claims that the reductions are divided evenly between tax increases and spending cuts - $975 billion apiece.
So what is included in the $975 billion of baseline cuts?
- $240 billion in war spending that would have never been spent. It’s like saying, “let’s spend $3 billion launching a shuttle to Pluto. On second thought, let’s scuttle that idea. Yippe! We saved $3 billion.”
- $242 billion in interest payments on the debt. Due to all the tax increases, the reduced deficit would result in less interest on the debt. That’s another redundant cut, aside for the fact that we will never achieve that degree of revenue increase when the economy gets crushed from tax hikes.
On top of that, Democrats plan to countermand the $1 trillion sequester. In other words, they will wipe out all of their “deficit reduction.” Don’t ask how their additional stimulus spending fits into the equation of deficit reduction either. In fact, over the first year the proposal increases spending by $116 billion from 3.599 to 3.715 trillion. Under their proposal, the annual budget will increase to $5.7 trillion by 2023.
OK, Democrats, now you can go another 4 years without a budget. And the country will be better off for it.