Government Spending

The Incredibly Measly Savings Under The Spending Reduction Act

|

So last week, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the head of the Republican Study Committee, talked up The Spending Reduction Act, which supposedly showed that the new GOP House meant what they said about reducing federal spending this time around. Recall that the RSC was talking about cutting $2.5 trillion from future spending (unadjusted for inflation, naturally, because it what, would have taken too much to run the figures through an online calculator or something?). As I said then, good for them, even if the cuts are overstated and the cuts will almost certainly never be implemented.

Over at National Review's The Corner, Reason columnist and Mercatus economist Veronique de Rugy has crunched the numbers a bit and shows that the RSC is, in reality, talking about shaving next to nothing off what the Congressional Budget Office is predicting will happen anyway:

The top line is the projected spending under the CBO baseline and the bottom line is the projected spending under the RSC plan (The 2011 figure represents the total savings that year.  The 2012-2021 is the difference between holding at FY2006 levels for non-defense discretionary and CBO baseline as of most recent update, August 2010 (note that the $30 billion in cuts to Freddie and Fannie are not included here). 

De Rugy also rounds up a bunch of predictable comments about how the proposed cuts would be "devastating," "dramatic," and worse. Would that any of that were true. Until the GOP is ready to put defense spending (much of which has nothing to do with protecting us from enemies foreign and domestic) and entitlements not just on the table but front and center on the table, the party of Lincoln isn't serious about cutting back the spending excesses that they helped fuel lo this past decade.

If you want to take a gander at how to cut the budget down to a digestible size over the next decade, chew on this video:

For a more detailed recipe, please read "The 19 Percent Solution."

NEXT: A Beating in Pittsburgh

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The maddening thing is that the Republicans are going to be savaged for putting granny on Alpo rations regardless. The political damage is already done, they might as well get the credit for slashing the budget.

    1. ^^This^^ JFDI, cause you’re going to be vilified anyway. Saw one of the Young Guns? on one of the Sunday talkies yesterday, resolutely NOT answering the question about “what’s on the table?” “Well, we’ve talked about blah blah blah platitudes and generalities…”

      If I’d had any expectations but that Team Red wouldn’t do shit, I’d have been disappointed. Fuckers…

    2. Granny gets Taste of the Wild, not Alpo. Nothing is too good for our Granny.

      1. A can of Chunky Soup is cheeper than a can of either Alpo or Taste of the Wild.

        1. Store brand, even cheaper.

  2. Recall that the RSC was talking about cutting $2.5 trillion from future spending (unadjusted for inflation, naturally,

    Personally, I prefer these kinds of projections in constant dollars. Are you saying that the $2.5T figure is in constant dollars, or counts the future savings in inflated dollars? If so, what inflation rate did they assume?

  3. To be fair, they are planning on spending slightly less, so perhaps the alt text should read “spend, spend, spen”

    1. Heh heh!

      1. If this is anyone but Steve Martin, you’re stealing my bit!

        1. Er, make that Steve Allen. Damn nicotine patches are going straight to my brain…

          1. I’m Steve Martin and Dave Allen’s bastard, demon-seed love child.

            AND YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE!!!!

            1. Dave Allen? WTF? It’s worse than I thought…

              1. PS Heh heh!!

  4. Until the GOP is ready to put defense spending (much of which has nothing to do with protecting us from enemies foreign and domestic) and entitlements not just on the table but front and center on the table, the party of Lincoln isn’t serious about cutting back the spending excesses that they helped fuel lo this past decade.

    Ditto for the Dems. Neither side is serious about fiscal discipline and the mainstream press is nothing but government cock sucking enablers.

  5. Black Chef jackets rule.

  6. Seriously, why not just roll back spending to 2005 levels or something along those lines? Just as a stopgap to implementing some real fiscal reform?

    Personally, I’d like to see massive spending cuts across the board, but no way these weasels (either variety) will do that.

    1. Seriously, why not just roll back spending to 2005 levels or something along those lines? Just as a stopgap to implementing some real fiscal reform?

      They are proposing that. The proposal discussed here is rolling back to 2006 levels, which is at least a start. But it’s only for non-defense discretionary spending, not the formula-driven entitlement spending and the defense spending, which ends up only being a drop in the bucket.

      It’s better than nothing, and inevitably will be attacked as savage cuts. It’s not enough, but it’s a start I suppose.

      1. Give me the budget, and I’ll do the cutting. Both parties can officially blame me. Pro Libertate, Scapegoat Czar.

        1. I call shotgun! If I can’t be the most hated person in the country, I at least want to ride up front with him.

        2. Ohh, sorry. Scapegoat Czar is the one thing both sides agree on cutting.

          1. That’s fine, so long as they let me do the cutting first.

            Besides, I think you underestimate the utility of a good scapegoat in Washington. Blaming the other party is starting not to work. . .finally.

            1. This has something to do with bestiality, I just know it.

              1. And he’s holding her with his paws late, late at night?

                1. He wishes that he had Jesse’s goat?

                  1. Where can he find a aegagrus hircus like that?

        3. Only if I get to co-wield the axe. Spending would require unanimity. If we don’t agree, it gets cut anyway.

          1. In the event we disagree or cannot come to agreement within 1 hour, the default is no spending!

  7. Let’s see. I’m a couple of grand in the hole; I’ll get the grande instead of the super grande!

  8. All I want is one fucking acorn. Is that too much to ask for?

    1. You can try asking. It seems one fucking sheep is too much.

  9. One thing that is being missed is that the cuts proposed do substantially shrink the scope of government.

  10. What that chart needs is the following:

    (1)Clarification that it is in constant (2010) dollars.

    (2) a line showing projected revenue. Let’s see, 2010 GDP should come in at around $14.6T, say 19% of that would be $2.77T, be nice and give a 2% GDP growth rate after inflation, and voila, you have a chart that shows the growth in debt (in constant dollars) as well.

  11. Oh and Sug, don’t forget to say your prayers.

  12. Eric Cantor said yesterday that every dollar will be on the table for cuts, including defense spending, and that they will begin discussing the future of entitlements for people who are 54 or younger. Yeah, I know. Still, things seem to be moving in the right direction.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.