Government Spending

Did We Say $38 Billion in Cuts? How Does $14 Billion Sound?

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The budget cuts, why, they're so tiny I almost can't see them!

Behold the GOP's incredible shrinking budget cuts: Republicans claimed victory last week after striking a deal with Democrats to cut $38 billion from this year's budget. But according to National Journal's Tim Fernholz, the numbers don't add up:

The final cuts in the deal are advertised as $38.5 billion less than was appropriated in 2010, but after removing rescissions, cuts to reserve funds, and reductions in mandatory spending programs, discretionary spending will be reduced only by $14.7 billion.

An Associated Press report comes to the same conclusion:

The picture already emerging is of legislation financed with a lot of one-time savings and cuts that officially "score" as savings to pay for spending elsewhere, but that often have little to no actual impact on the deficit. As a result of the legerdemain, Obama was able to reverse many of the cuts passed by House Republicans in February when the chamber passed a bill slashing this year's budget by more than $60 billion.

…Instead, the cuts that actually will make it into law are far tamer, including cuts to earmarks, unspent census money, leftover federal construction funding, and $2.5 billion from the most recent renewal of highway programs that can't be spent because of restrictions set by other legislation. Another $3.5 billion comes from unused spending authority from a program providing health care to children of lower-income families.

The numbers just keep getting smaller, don't they? Republicans started the year demanding $100 billion in cuts. But it quickly turned out that when they said $100 billion, they were just talking hypothetically. Instead, they meant $100 billion on an annualized basis. The next we heard, Republicans were aiming to trim $61 billion. And not one penny less! Eventually, they agreed to a deal that they claimed cut $38 billion. But of that $38 billion, it turns out, the real cuts only add up to about $14 billion. Any bets on how many days before the cuts disappear entirely?

NEXT: Charlie Crist's Road to Nowhere

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  1. …discretionary spending will be reduced only by $14.7 billion.

    Well, that’s hardly enough to force granny onto cat food.

    1. I was recently at a Indian Casino here in California and, based on the number of seniors I saw there, I figured that maybe instead of resorting to cat food, granny might be able to trim some gambling money out of the budget to continue affording real food.

    2. It’s not even enough to force her to put her cat on cat food.

  2. Did We Say $38 Billion in Cuts? How Does $14 Billion Sound?
    Or, How Obama Managed To Win A Second Term Without Spending A Cent

    1. Or:

      How Republicans keep getting elected despite never cutting a dime.

  3. The GOP worked hard to expand Medicare and defense spending under Bush – they are not about to roll those wins back now.

    1. Yeah, thank God the Democrats were there to oppose all that stuff.

      That’s the great thing about having Democrats around–you can always count on ’em to oppose the Republicans’ overspending ways…

      Gimmie a fuckin’ break.

      1. Democrats suck at opposing anything – they live in a permanent Stockholm Syndrome state to the GOP.

        Republicans lie 24/7 and weak-kneed Dems try to reason with them.

        You don’t reason with a liar like Limbaugh or Beck. You hit them in the fucking mouth instead. But not Dems – they won’t.

        1. Hey Shrike, Limbaugh and beck are busy. Try htting me in the mouth you freaking slimy piece of crap.

          1. Wow! A Team Red guy is offended.

            Apologize for Bush/Cheney bankrupting us after Clinton left a budget surplus and then I will punch you in your orifice/receptacle.

            1. Somehow Gingrich always get the blame for the shutdown, and Clinton always gets the credit for surplus.

              1. Somehow Gingrich always get the blame for the shutdown, and Clinton always gets the credit for surplus.

                That is the narrative of the network broadcast media, the wire services, the national daily newspapers, the regional daily newspapers, and the weekly newsmagazines.

                1. Yeah, but Fox News is actually going negative on the President! IT’S NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE!!!

            2. Apologize for Bush/Cheney bankrupting us after Clinton left a budget surplus

              If it takes a sub-4% U3 to produce a “surplus,” it stands to reason that we were already bankrupt.

          2. Shrike couldn’t punch my little sister in the mouth if you gave him a stepstool.

        2. Democrats (read: mostly socialists) reasoning with anyone? Don’t make me laugh.

          Reasoning would be figuring out how to cut the budget without all this duty-to-retirees and no-defense-cuts ****.

      2. Well, the Democrats would have cut spending, but RETHUGLICANCHRISTFAGSFATRUSHGEORGEBUSHTHEOCRATSHATEM.

        1. I swear, I posted before I read the shrike comment above. Guess you can’t beat stupid.

          1. What did I write that is not factual?

            The GOP ran spending up from $1.6 trillion to $3.5 trillion under Bush while Democrats cowered.

            Dick “Deficits don’t Matter” Cheney laughed his ass off for eight years.

            Please inform me if my perception of the GOP is incorrect.

            1. No one is disagreeing with you directly, yet. Keep in mind that the overwhelming majority of regular posters here despise Democrats and Republicans in roughly equal measure. We also remember that you have the propensity to be a colossal toolbag.

            2. Prove your loyalty and join Obama’s Trillion-Dollar Killer Armed forces. You can be the vanguard in The ObamaAfrikore.

            3. Sure glad we got a penny pincher like BushPig Obama now.

        2. I tried to sort that out, but at a certain point you could barely distinguish between words. Congratulations.

  4. Did anyone *not* see this coming? Even if all the Tea Partiers sent up to the hill were true-blue committed fiscal conservatives (which, unfortunately, isn’t close to being true), they are a small minority within a Republican party which has mostly retained its Bush-era leadership, and promoted a few of those loyalists to leadership positions.

    1. we’re screwed so get yours while theres still time.

      1. we’re screwed so get yours while theres still time

        That message was definitely NOT lost in translattion.

  5. Obama was able to reverse many of the cuts passed by House Republicans in February

    Jesus on a pogo stick. When you get pwned by Obama and Reid, its time to hang up your jersey.

    Yeah, I’m looking at you, Boehner.

    1. Don’t make him cry, bully

    2. Uh, huhuhuhuhuhu…
      You said boner.

    3. Boner’s such a fuckstick – this was so, so….predictable.

      I don’t know how he weighs more than 90 lbs, cause I’ll guarantee someone jacked him out of his lunch money EVERY day when he was a kid. Fuck…

  6. I promise that the 2013 budget will be $10 billion less than the 2012 budget, due to the leap year.

  7. No worries, the bond market will just force discipline that much sooner.

    1. Yes, but considering that the population still directly elects its representatives and has had its intelligence diluted to nil courtesy of public “education,” the public will respond to the massive cuts that the bond market forces upon us by calls for a populist authoritarian socialist….

      things will only get worse.

        1. Smallville?! For shame, sir.

          1. Epi wants to be Tom Wolfe.

            1. I always figured him as a John Glover man.

            2. Epi wants to be Tom Wolfe Michael Jackson.

            3. No, I want to be a super-villain. What’s wrong with that?!?

      1. the public will respond to the massive cuts that the bond market forces upon us by calls for a populist authoritarian socialist

        So, you’re predicting Obama gets reelected?

        1. No way, no how. Even Palin could beat him.

          What’s more interesting to me is whether the GOP will out stupid the Dems by not making some real budget cuts. If so, they could fail to secure Congress in 2012, which should be a cakewalk for them.

          1. Even Palin could beat him.

            I’m not at all sure of this. To your latter point – I think the Reps could – and will – fuck up a wet dream.

            I think Bam’s a shoe in for term two, and the only “hope” (for those of us who are neither team red nor blue – e.g. me) is that the R’s can at least control ONE house and hopefully continue to generate that sweet, blessed gridlock.

            God I hate what our gummint has become 🙁

            1. It’s insane that virtually any of the people elected are in power. Obama’s election, for instance, was totally irrational, based on almost nothing substantial at all.

              If we would only demand substance and real answers to our questions, rather than bumper sticker slogans and the ability to make speeches, we might actually get somewhere.

              I’m pretty sure Obama won’t be re-elected, but the GOP can blow this opportunity in any number of ways. Don’t forget, they can hurt themselves considerably by winning. Like they did in 2000.

              1. The problem is the system. Anyone smart enough to be able to make good decisions is smart enough to know they don’t want to deal with all the bullshit of being a politician.

                1. Agreed. We need to repair it.

              2. PL:

                Obama’s election, for instance, was totally irrational, based on almost nothing substantial at all.

                Obama had all the substance he needed. He wasn’t on Team Red, and that’s all the substance required to win 2008. Jon Stewart could have won.

          2. the GOP will out stupid the Dems by not making some real budget cuts

            I doubt they’re worried about that. After all, the media keeps telling everybody that the Republican are making drastic cuts. That’s what a lot of people are going to remember.

            1. After all, the media keeps telling everybody that the Republican are making drastic cuts. That’s what a lot of people are going to remember.

              Agreed.

              The root of this problem is a dishonest broadcast network media, news wire media, national daily newspaper media, regional daily newspaper media, and weekly newsmagazine media.

      2. Don’t worry, bro. Obama will totally outsmart this whole “market” thing. He taught classes at Harvard for God’s sake.

      3. That’s a feature, not a bug

  8. Even $14 billion is way too much in this economy.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this slows the recovery.

    1. A+ tony spoof.

      God I hope this actually a spoof

    2. Tony is right! We must feed the animal spirits more money!

    3. A+?!!

      There should be a grade higher than A+. This spoof was genius, subtle and dangerously close to the truth. Only Paul Krugman would utter such a facsimile.

      1. I don’t think it’s a spoof.

        If you advocate trimming 5 bucks off federal spending, the resident liberals will say you are starving some helpless soul and sabotaging the economy by cutting stimulating funds.

        1. You’re offending the animal spirits! Feed the animal spirits!

        2. I think it was a spoof; Tony has said several times that he’s amenable to compromise on some spending cuts, etc.

          1. Ohay, I’ve had it. There’s no real Tony. There never has been. I’ve called him a sockpuppet twenty times, as have others.

            He’s one of you. [Squints eyes Eastwoodianly.]

            1. ….you said “wood”….huh huh….huh huh….huh huh….huh huh

            2. ….you said “wood”….huh huh…

              1. Don’t fuck with the Man with no Name.

                1. A man’s got to know his limitations…

            3. We’ve all been Tony at one time or another. Come on. Admit it.

          2. Spending cuts for the military would be fine with me.

            Anything else that’s not essential should wait until we’re out of this recession.

            1. Ummm….so everything that’s not the police and basic defense (not our overbloated military), right?

              HUD is up for the chopping block, I hope.

      2. Dont worry He already has

        This was one of the most vomit-inducing interviews I have heard in a while.

  9. I’m usually as quick to jump on the Republicans as anybody, and if I had it my way, three federal departments would be eliminated by tomorrow morning.

    Having said that, the Republicans don’t control the Senate or the White House, and I’m not convinced they would have won much more with a shutdown.

    In other words, as pathetic as the Boehner Brigade was in the face of battle–I’m surprised they didn’t retreat further than they did.

    John Boehner is a disgrace to the Tea Party. His pathetic leadership is a significant part of the reason we got into the mess we’re in back during the Bush Administration–but since he only represents one of three levers of the present government, I’m not sure we can give him and his disgusting supporters more than 1/3 of the blame.

    The president was apparently willing to shut down the government to protect Planned Parenthood! I see that, and the first thing that springs to my mind isn’t, “Gee, look what evil bastards the Republicans are!”

    Placing our hope with the Republicans may be one forlorn friggin’ hope–but unfortunately they’re the only hope we’ve got until Obama is out of the White House!

    That’s not enough to make me condoen or vote for any of Boehner’s Bastards, but let’s give credit where credit is due–and the president deserves most of the blame here.

    1. and if I had it my way, three federal departments would be eliminated by tomorrow morning.

      Alcohol.
      Tobacco.
      Firearms.

      All three agencies deleted.

      1. It may be the ATF still, but it’s the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

        So shutting down the ATF would actually shut down four areas of government meddling.

      2. That’s an agency. You’re thinking too small.

        Commerce.
        Education.
        Labor.

        I’d say “Agriculture” but it has too much support in the Senate. So I’d fight to eliminate it, knowing I’d be willing to throw it in as a compromise…

        I’m not made of stone!

        ; )

        1. Just those four? Surely you can find a few more.

          1. I came up with a method for eliminating agencies a while back. See #88.

            1. I can never load Urkobold anymore in IE. It just freezes. Been going on for a while. What gives? A brother’s tryin’ to give you hits– respect.

              1. That’s odd. It’s pretty much just a Blogger page with some text and graphics.

                I just loaded it in IE without any issues.

                1. When I was on computer #1, I blamed my computer… went on with my life.

                  When I was on computer #2, I began to think… ‘hmmm’…

                  When I was on computer #3, #4, and #5, now with Windows 7 and IE 8, I began to wonder if you were doing something that was designed for that light-in-the-loafers browser, Safari.

                  I’ll try it on as many ‘puters as possible and get back with you.

                  Whole browser locks up, all tabs.

                  1. I’m displeased by this development. Maybe I should print the pages and have them mailed to you?

          2. I think that’s pretty good for before tomorrow morning!

    2. The president was apparently willing to shut down the government to protect Planned Parenthood!

      Planned Parenthood’s support for Barack Obama has paid off.

      1. I think his support in this context is really hard to defend with swing voters.

        If swing voters think Obama is willing to shut down the government over keeping taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood–because that really is his position?

        That’s one radical position!

        If the government isn’t there to funnel taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, then I’m just gonna shut down the government then?

        This is your President, America!

        The Republicans should have been on TV talking about that all last week.

        1. I think his support in this context is really hard to defend with swing voters.

          If swing voters think Obama is willing to shut down the government over keeping taxpayer support for Planned Parenthood–because that really is his position?

          That’s one radical position!

          If the government isn’t there to funnel taxpayer money to Planned Parenthood, then I’m just gonna shut down the government then?

          This is your President, America!

          The Republicans should have been on TV talking about that all last week.

          Think about how the broadcast network, news wire, national daily newspaper, regional daily newspaper, and weekly newsmagazine media would spin this.

          1. Tomorrow–in the middle of the day. Barack Obama is making a speech to announce his plan to cut the deficit long term.

            Barack Obama’s plan includes cuts to Medicare!

            So what do you think Barack Obama’s read on the electorate is–and what they’re concerned about?

            If we’ve got an obstructionist president who won’t trim the deficit if it means cutting funding for his personal favorites?

            Then I think the Republicans would have won that argument.

            I guarantee you there are lots of people who think women should be free to get counseling and free to choose–and that the taxpayers shouldn’t have to cough up more than $350 million a year for other people’s choices.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P…..od#Funding

            1. Legally PP are not allowed to use taxpayers’ money to fund abortions. Technically, taxpayers are not coughing up $350 million a year to fun other people’s abortion choices.
              Technically that money is for things such as reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies, and HIV prevention, albeit I would not be surprised if a few bucks got misrouted.

              1. If we limit ourselves to only cutting budget items that aren’t politically sensitive, then substantive fiscal reform is impossible.

                If the president is hell bent on shutting the government down every time somebody threatens some spending near and dear to his constituency’s heart, then swing voters should know about that.

                If he’s the kind of President that would let our economy stagnate in debt for a generation because he doesn’t have the cajones to do what needs to be done, then fiscal conservatives should expose him for that.

                1. I think that approximately 1.5 trillion have to be cut from the current Federal budget. Obviously that implies deep cuts pretty everywhere.

                  I only objected to the hint that funding of PP should stop because of abortions.

      2. Planned Parenthood’s support for Barack Obama has paid off

        Well, they are sentimental about Obama; after all, he’s the one who got away.

        1. That was unexpectedly clever, well done.

          1. How perspicacious of you 🙂

            1. NOW!

  10. The president was apparently willing to shut down the government to protect Planned Parenthood!

    Why this shouldn’t have been a perfectly good talking point for the Repubs, I have no idea.

    There was also a lot of chatter about how the shutdown plans would have cut off all kinds of benefits for veterans, military pay, etc., etc.

    Of course, the shutdown plan is entirely a creation of the Executive Branch, and a competent (or even vertebrate) Republican Party could have gutted and hung Obama out to dry on that one.

    But, no. Katie Couric and Brian Williams making frownie faces is all it takes to crush them.

    BTW, this was all perfectly predictable, and in fact predicted, back when this Congress was sworn in, when the very first thing the Repubs did was say that no way, no how, would they ever shut down the government. Way to give up your negotiating position before the meeting even starts. Retards.

    1. In my mind I like to believe this is true, but it’s been pointed out before that a whole shitload of rural team-redders want their government checks…

      I’m honestly curious how many solidly red-state Republicans were receiving angry letters from their base about an impending shutdown.

      Just something to think about.

      P.S. If my thought is true, the progressives have finally won as I predicted they would in the nineties.

      1. I believe you’re completely correct. I have a lot of family in rural southern Illinois and western Kentucky, and they will, in the same conversation, berate democrats and all liberals for wanting “big gummint”, while bitching about not getting enough in WIC, CHIP, aid to families or whatever the hell welfare is called this week, subsidies to offset energy prices, etc. Amazingly they have no sense of cognitive dissonance about this at all.

        They want fewer laws and regulations, but more financial support, and do not view the latter as gov’t intervention; indeed, they see supporting poor citizens as a core purpose of gov’t. I’d almost describe a lot of the farm-state team redders as more populist than truly conservative.

        1. berate democrats and all liberals for wanting “big gummint”, while bitching about not getting enough in WIC, CHIP, aid to families or whatever the hell welfare is called this week,

          Compartmentalization.

          Welfare for illegals and darkies: bad*

          Welfare for me: Keepin’ ‘Murrica strong.

          *none of this is to suggest that your relatives are racists. Just throwin’ in some hyperbole.

          1. Your analysis is most likely correct. And don’t worry, my family is racist, though not violently so. My grandmother told me when we moved away to “the city” (Dallas) that she would not come to my wedding if I married a black woman, nor would my wife be welcome in her home.

            I pulled a fast one on them and married a Chinese woman, whom they seem to accept just fine. Go figure.

  11. “Why this shouldn’t have been a perfectly good talking point for the Repubs, I have no idea.”

    Exactly.

    If the Republicans had been willing to shut the government down over funding to Planned Parenthood, we wouldn’t have heard the end of it until 2015.

    So why weren’t the Republicans on every damn news station denouncing the President for holding America’s future hostage just so Planned Parenthood wouldn’t have to seek private donations?

    Because John Boehner is the Republicans’ quarterback–and their quarterback sucks!

    1. These young whippersnappers have no MOXIE! No MOXIE, I tell ya!

      Boner’s lucky he didn’t play in my day – he wouldn’t have lasted through two-a-days!

      GET OFF MY LAWN, YA RUFFIANS!

    2. A chain smoking version of Akili Smith?

      1. Ryan Leaf? Art Schliscter?

    3. They should have shut down the f’ing gov’t over a lot more than PP.

      Dept of Ed
      Dept of Energy
      Dept of Commerce
      etc…

    4. That says more about the sentiments re: abortion in the American electorate than the effectiveness of leadership in the Republican party. Look how fast they blinked when they left out “forcible” rape from that abortion bill a month or two ago. Republicans aren’t willing to play up the planned parenthood thing because the abortion issue doesn’t rile people up much outside of the base.

      Furthermore, since the “default” federal position on planned parenthood has been to fund it for many decades now, any change to that would be considered “extreme” and taking a stance on the issue. The Dems could just claim (as harry reid did) that they were just being neutral on the issue – maintaining the status quo in the “role of government in abortion” debate by simply maintaining the funding. The Republicans could holler all they want about Obama “holding America’s future hostage”, but they were the ones wanting to change the status quo on an incredibly controversial issue – there’s just no way it would play out with the electorate.

  12. Call and write your congresscritter to bitch them out.. or if you are stuck with Dems, Boehner will do fine. If nothing else, its great to hear the gasping shock in the staffers voice as you unload on them.

  13. What!? They reduced the cuts from a paltry 2.5% to a measly 1% of the deficit?

    JETSON!

  14. Any bets on how many days before the cuts disappear entirely?

    They’re already gone.

    1. Ow…now my balls hurt. Thanks a lot, Rich!

  15. Hey guys, be fair — the Republicans delivered on almost 15% of their campaign promise! This is awesome! The GOP is the natural home for libertarians all over America!

  16. Jeff Jacoby wrote about Herbert Hoover economics .

    “Watching the debate in Washington,” write Douglas Cohn and Eleanor Clift in a recent column, “it’s like Herbert Hoover versus John Maynard Keynes, and sadly Hoover is winning.” Hoover, they explain, “was curiously passive” in the face of the Great Depression and “he responded with a renewed focus on balancing the budget.”

    Populist Jim Hightower blasts Republicans for enabling Hoover to make “what looks to be a full comeback to power,” complete with a return to Hoover’s economic prescription: “Insist on reducing the size and spending of governments. . . . ‘The deficit is the devil,’ cry the New Hooverites, as they wildly slash spending and try to kill federal programs.”

    New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof asserts that “one of the most basic principles of economics is that when an economy is anemic, governments should use deficit spending as a fiscal stimulus.” A lawmaker who “believes that the response to a weak economy is to slash spending,” he says, “is embracing the approach that Herbert Hoover discredited 80 years ago.” Last month, Kristof’s colleague Paul Krugman scorned House Speaker John Boehner “for declaring that since families were suffering, the government should tighten its own belt.” That, Krugman snorted, is “Herbert Hoover economics.”

  17. Wait. As I understood it it wasn’t 38 billion less than last year, it was 38 billion less than what Obama ASKED for this year.

  18. The only thing more frustrating than the fact that this happened is that no one is shocked by it.

    http://www.intellectualtakeout…..-explosion

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