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."