Saturday, July 30, 2011

Boehner & Reid's Nearly Identical Bills

From the other side of the Looking Glass:
Excluding spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Boehner bill would reduce overall spending by $917 billion over 10 years, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. Similarly, Reid's bill would cut spending by $927 billion. 
That's a difference of only $10 billion in spending cuts between the Boehner bill and the Reid bill--over ten years. About $1 billion a year. Pitiful.
Breaking those estimates down further, Boehner's bill would cut discretionary spending by $756 billion and save $156 billion in interest costs on the debt. The comparable numbers for Reid's bill are $752 billion and $153 billion.
That's a difference of a mere $4 billion in cuts in discretionary spending cuts and $3 billion in cuts in interest costs on the debt over 10 long years.

Another dose of harsh reality:
A couple of caveats here. First, the appropriations themselves have not been decided upon. So though the two bills cap annual spending in similar ways, they do not spell out what programs will have to be cut as a result.
In other words: business as usual.

Expect lots more hollow political posturing, followed by previously unseen levels of conciliatory "compromising" over already-agreed upon terms.
And because this legislation won't bind a future Congress, a future Congress could undo the caps and spend more money, undoing the savings. 
Expect more spending and undoing of savings, even though the savings aren't really savings at all, just reductions of increases in spending.
This explains why Boehner's having such a hard time whipping conservative support for the plan. Among the members who refused to raise the debt limit without also enacting the radical Cut, Cap, and Balance plan, this one seems positively profligate.
The people of this country better make certain that Republicans hold both the House and the Senate come 2013.

And we must ensure that we have collectively stoked a fire hot enough to thoroughly toast the feet of the entire Congress.

Looks like we need more freshman lawmakers elected by Tea Party constituencies and fewer "old friends and colleagues" from both sides of the aisle.



  1. I read at Hot Air that Reid's plan will absolve the Senate of doing a budget for two more years, and they will "deem" a budget in some way. I can't verify that, and also that Reid calls for $2.7 T in spending. If that's the case, maybe it's because he extended the spending out past the 2012 elections. I don't hear anyone talking about pushing this beyond election. That seemed to drop off the radar.

    I tried to call my Senator today (Coburn) who I understand will likely vote for Reid's plan. I couldn't get through to his office. I'll be trying tomorrow as well.


  2. @Maggie - "Deeming" budgets. Sigh. The dems have been doing that for the last 2 years, only not legally. How convenient for this administration if Congress handed them a fiscal carte blanche. Don't the Castro brothers have one of those?

    My understanding is that the 2.7 trillion figure is the amount that the debt ceiling will be raised.

    Reid wants to raise it in one step to get the process over with and out of O's hair. Boehner wants to do it in several steps and with conditions that will hang the debt crisis around O's neck as he heads into the election.

    Me-I'd like to see the Golfer-in-Chief rattling around with his fiscal mess like Marley's ghost clinking through Scrooge's front door.

    It's certain, though, that my senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, who is Chuck You Schumer's hand-picked sock puppet, will not agree.

  3. What keeps driving me nuts about all this is such things as refusal to pass a budget BEFORE we got to this point, and failure to follow the laws and traditions (traditions are common law) of our government. My question is always: who enforces this? Who can take the authority to require that they act? All over this country we have school districts that are overseen by judges in the matter of desegregaton - isn't there a component of the judicial branch that can arbitrate a budget when the Democrats refuse?