Government Spending

For All The Talk About the Debt Ceiling & Trimming Bazillions Off Deficits in the Year 2525 (If Man is Still Alive), What's the @#$%!? Budget Gonna Be for 2012?


Many of us at Hit & Run will be weighing in with various takes on the looming debt-ceiling deadline (which is patently fake, btw) and other government-spending issues, but here's a question for the right here and now: What's the budget gonna be for the next fiscal year, which starts in October?

The short answer? Nobody knows. The long answer? Nobody cares. At least not in the federal goverment. Especially the Democrats on the Senate Budget Committee which, at long last and months overdue, are getting around (supposedly) to releasing a budget proposal. Here's the long-range plan coming from Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), which isn't exactly inspiring:

One version of Conrad's budget that was in circulation this spring would cut the deficit by about $4 trillion over a decade. It would do so by raising taxes by about $2 trillion and cutting spending by $1.5 trillion. The additional savings of about $600 billion would come from reduced interest payments.

Several moderate Democrats offered only muted praise for Conrad's plan and stopped well short of supporting it.

More here.

Since the Senate Dems haven't put it out there yet, who knows what they will propose to spend in 2012.

This much we do know: President Obama has proposed spending $3.7 trillion; Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) wants to shell out $3.6 trillion; Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) wants to spend $3.7 trillion; and the Republican Study wants to spend $3.6 trillion.

Why oh why don't Dems and Reps agree to spend $3.65 trillion in 2012 and start the appropriations dance? Then they can get on with all the phantom savings and deficit reduction that will come from impossibly-high revenues (Obama's budget anticipates average revenues over the next decade at more than four percentage points above the average of the past 60 years; Paul Ryan believes they will be on average 2 percentage points higher. Good luck fellas!) and historically dubious spending cuts in the out years of whatever timeline is offered?

Why not? Because that would actually bind them to something real. And what fun is that when you're playing with Monopoly money?

Take it away, Zager & Evans!

NEXT: Forbes' E.D. Kain on Declaration of Independents

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  1. If they pass a budget, Obama loses his streak of longest serving President without signing a budget. I really can’t get any more serious without getting heart palpitations.

  2. patently fake, btw

    Domestic terrorism!

    The SPLC shall hear of this.

  3. We won’t have Sheila Bair to kick us around anymore, apparently.

  4. Who needs a budget? We’ve got plenty of checks!

  5. One version of Conrad’s budget that was in circulation this spring would cut the deficit by about $4 trillion over a decade.

    Okay, this sentence is the purest bullshit imaginable. What is the current deficit? ~$1.5 trillion

    Cutting it by ~$4 trillion would mean a ~$2.5 trillion surplus.

    That is just some of the most disingenuous crap I’ve seen in a while. All they’re doing is making the deficit incrementally smaller.

    A more accurate statement would be something like it would reduce the deficit to ~$1.1 trillion in ten years, which is fucking pathetic and totally unacceptable, since that would give us a total debt of ~$30 trillion. I wonder why the WaPo doesn’t report it that way? Oh wait, never mind.

    1. Whoops, scratch that last part. The math stands though.

  6. We are so screwed.

  7. Looking forward to Chef Welch’s cooking this afternoon. I do hope it is a serving of David Brooks breaded and fried.…

    Some call his latest tirade a cherry bomb, more like an ass bomb.

    I highly recommended it for its unintended hilarity — hint, he is ah not so good wit da numbers.

  8. Since the Senate Dems haven’t put it out there yet, who knows what they will propose to spend in 2012.

    They’re not going to propose anything whatsoever; they have no intention of putting forth any formal budget proposals on paper. Which by the way is an abdication of their constitutional responsibility. Obama and the democrats are the true hostage-takers in the current system.

  9. How is Conrad going to reduce interest payments? Is going to tell bondholders we’re just not going to pay you as much as we promised? Try to sell future bonds at rates lower than we are now?

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