Government Spending

Boehner to Frosh GOP Members: There Ain't No Number Yet So Stop Asking

|

Via Instapundit comes this tale of mystery and imagination:

"[Speaker Boehner] said 'There is no number,'" Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said as he exited the meeting [with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid]. 

"He said, 'I left the meeting yesterday with Harry Reid and I said, Let's be clear: We have no number because we have no agreement here.' And [Boehner] said, 'So help me I walked out of the meeting and all of a sudden they start launching out that there's this number,'" Lankford said.

Vice President Joseph Biden and Senate Democrats have said publicly that there is consensus around $33 billion in spending cuts and that negotiators are working out the details. 

Boehner, however, has denied any agreement, most recently in a press conference Thursday morning.

"There is no number, that is what they told us, there is no number," Rep. Chip Cravaack (R-Minn.) said.  "No number has been discussed with him at all."

More here.

Just to make matters more confusing, it appears that those possible $33 billion in cuts will be discussed as if they are actually $70-something in cuts, because they include "cuts" from spending increases that never took place. That's how they do accounting in Washington.

Tea Party activists and congressmen are wary of Boehner, whose bona fides as a big-government conservative were well-earned during the George W. Bush years. He pushed No Child Left Behind and TARP, after all, and a huge defense buildup (all while doing his best to keep war spending out of the normal budgeting process).

Reason.tv talks with Ohio Tea Partyers who are taking it to state and local officials, and busting Boehner's chops to boot:

NEXT: Whose Body Is It?

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. Are we there yet?

    1. Almost. Take a nap and we’ll wake you in a little while.

  2. That’s how they do accounting in Washington

    Cuts in future spending increases are “budget cuts” not “spending cuts.” The budget is the plan, the spending is the spending. There is nothing wrong with saying that you are “cutting” from the budget by reducing the size of the increase. The conflation of the plan for future spending (the budget) and the actually spending is the source of the confusion.

    Around here I believe that conflation is deliberate as I doubt ya’ll are really that easily confused.

    1. “There is nothing wrong with saying that you are “cutting” from the budget by reducing the size of the increase. The conflation of the plan for future spending (the budget) and the actually spending is the source of the confusion.”

      Okay, so someone can come forth and submit a “budget” for $5 trillion next year. Then, all future more realistic budgets will be “cuts” by default. It’s a stupid, deliberately misleading methodology. Budget increases or decreases only make sense if they’re cited relative to the current year’s spending. Anything else is lying.

    2. But they are trying to make the plan right now aren’t they?

      So it’s a budget cut, based on the budget in that doesn’t exist?

      1. So it’s a budget cut, based on the budget in that doesn’t exist?

        Budgets include multi-year spending plans and include projected increases. Cuts to those are budget cuts. Again, it isn’t that confusing.

        Budget increases or decreases only make sense if they’re cited relative to the current year’s spending. Anything else is lying.

        Nah. Humans can deal with more complexity than that. Anytime the words “only makes sense” are used, the person is lying, because, of course, there are many other things that make sense as well. People should make clear the difference between reductions in the rate of growth and reductions from current spending, but it makes sense to include both in the discussion. And both can be meaningfully and honestly called
        “cuts.”

        1. So there is a budget right now? Gotta link? I’d like to look at it.

    3. In fairness, the opposite is true, as well. Reductions in anticipated future spending are treated as draconian, immediate spending cuts. The deception runs both ways.

  3. There are no numbers…there is no spoon?

  4. There is a number, but it’s imaginary.

    1. Like ?, the number will be irrational.

    2. Am I the only one who started to take math less seriously once they learned about imaginary numbers?

      It just became, “Okay, so you’re just totally making this shit up… and how is this useful again?”

      1. Imaginary numbers are quite useful in certain fluid mechanics applications.

        1. They’re the shit when you get into controls.

  5. The answer is 42.

  6. I sincerely want his speakership to be the most miserable time in Boehner’s life. Tears of pain, not tears of joy.

  7. Meanwhile, here in Montana, the lefties are all indignantly spluttering about the audacity (da NOIVE!!) of EvulTeaFucker Republican legislators who want to turn down free (FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! DAMMIT! NO STRINGS ATTACHED!) money from the federal government.

    “It’s just stupid, because it’s not like they won’t turn around and give it to somebody else. Somebody’s gonna waste that money; why not us?”

    1. “Somebody’s gonna waste that money; why not us?”

      Well, *my* state will waste it more efficiently than yours! That’s a *good* thing, right?

    2. I think the Red State governors have finally figured out that the fewer bribes they allow the Obama administration to pay, the better chance they stand of getting more Reds elected. Which means that the second TEAM RED retakes the White House, federalism goes out of style again.

  8. So it’s a budget cut, based on the budget in that doesn’t exist?

    Exactly. And now I’m going to call the police and tell them somebody stole my Maybach.

    1. Hey, P, remember what today is.

      Tell the cops somebody stole your Henway.

  9. SugarFree had a good post about Boehner.

    1. He’s such a goddam blog whore.

      1. I am not.

      2. Nurtasweet will post anything to get his fix. Crush porn, kooky political rants, you name. He’ll do it for ya.

  10. Thanks for linking to Instapundit, Nick.
    I don’t get enough calls for genocide, mixed with product links to Amazon in my daily blog reading.

    /Jay

  11. Can you live without the Federal Government? Not if you believe these pictures.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/n…..004256763/

    1. That was … sorry, that was, uh … forgive me, … [whispering] heart-wrenching!

    2. I’m not gonna lie, I got aroused.

  12. Not if you believe these pictures.

    No zombie hordes?

    What a gyp.

    1. Who do you think put up the tape?

      BWAHAHAHAAA!!

    2. If I spell it jip is it still racist or culturist or whateverist?

  13. This guy Boehner just absolutely sucks. I hope Eric Cantor can pull a coup and take his place.

  14. Look, this isn’t confusing at all, once you understand that the Dem master plan is to force a budget shutdown and hang the blame for it on the Repubs.

    Reid and the Dems are just killing time in these negotiations until the current CR runs out and/or the debt ceiling is hit. They. Don’t. Want. A. Budget. Deal.

    So I believe Boehner that nothing useful has come out of these meetings, and I think Reid is a lying sack of crap for saying there is an agreement.

    Reid saying there is a deal is useful in hanging the budget blame on the Repubs. If the Dems appear intransigent, they get the blame. If they can make it look like the Repubs are intransigent or broke a deal, the Repubs get the blame.

    This really isn’t that complicated.

    1. Will the non-parasitic portion of the voting public be able to celebrate a government shutdown this time? Is that what it’s going to come down to?

    2. I’m afraid that just like it was in the 1980s and 1990s, the media will hang the blame on the Republicans no matter what — and be believed.

  15. And the nodders on MSNBC will continue to promulgate the completely untrue claim that not raising the debt ceiling constitutes “default”.

  16. Actually, if the “shutdown” happens, I might take a field trip to some federal building in Billings to heckle the parasites as they are all escorted from their offices morosely clutching cardboard boxes filled with their possessions.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.