Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cuts, What Cuts?

Here are the liberals:

Paul Krugman:

It will damage an already depressed economy …

Brad DeLong:

… Come Tuesday I will be forecasting a double-dip. Horrible for the economy. Horrible for America.

Both quotes were drawn from Kids Prefer Cheese. They also link to this chart of projected discretionary federal spending:

Note that this is not adjusted for inflation: it shows nominal growth averaging 1.9%, which beats just about any projection of inflation driven by actual data rather than judgment calls.

Wait a minute, those bars are rising! Spending isn’t being cut at all.  The “cuts” in the deal are only cuts from the CBO “baseline,” which is a Washington construct of ever-rising spending. And even these “cuts” from the baseline include $156 billion of interest savings, which are imaginary because the underlying cuts are imaginary.

No program or agency terminations are identified in the deal. None of the vast armada of federal subsidies are targeted for elimination. Old folks will continue to gorge themselves on inflated benefits paid for by young families and future generations …

From The Economist:

There is no balanced budget amendment, the cuts are less than the rating agencies want to ensure the continuance of AAA status and there is an element of "can-kicking" in the way the cuts are designed. Much is left to 2013, which will be a new Congress (and possibly new President); what one Congress can do, another can undo.

This is what America agonized over for the last 2 months. Spare me.

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