The Phony Budget Cuts In “Cut, Cap, And Balance”
Not surprisingly, it turns out that the House GOP’s “Cut, Cap, And Balance” plan, in addition to being little more than a political stunt, isn’t really serious about cutting spending:
Under the bill, discretionary budget authority would be capped at about $1 trillion for FY 2012, and discretionary outlays would be capped at $1.22 trillion. There is an exception for operations related to the global war on terrorism of $126 billion.
Also, Social Security, Medicare, Veterans Affairs, and interest payments on the debt would be excluded from direct spending limits.
These last several items, of course, happen to constitute the vast majority of Federal spending. Exempting them is a sign that the authors of the bill are not serious about cutting spending at all.
Peter Suderman comments:
Lots of conservatives back the plan, and balanced budget requirements typically poll well across the political spectrum. But a spending cap that quietly exempts Medicare, Social Security, military health care (which has also been beset by exploding costs in recent years) seems awful convenient, and unlikely to be all that effective in the long run.
To say the least. This is not a serious plan. Fortunately, it’s not going anywhere.