Thursday, April 14, 2011

Republican's budget rhetoric and reality

People with a memory for such things might recall that in their "Pledge to America," Republicans promised (underline added)
With common-sense exceptions for seniors, veterans, and our troops, we will roll back government spending to prestimulus, pre-bailout levels, saving us at least $100 billion in the first year alone and putting us on a path to begin paying down the debt, balancing the budget, and ending the spending spree in Washington that threatens our children’s future.
To this end, Republicans passed pointless, go-nowhere legislation. They then fulminated and threatened to shut the government down if they didn't get their way. With a shut down looming, their leader, Rep. John Boehner bargained tenaciously for spending cuts.

Today, those negotiated "spending cuts" were approved by a large majority of House Republicans (and with substantial support--81 votes--from Democrats).

The effect on this year's budget?

Total spending this year will be $3.3 billion higher than last year.

The Washington Post reports
The Congressional Budget Office estimate shows that compared with current spending rates the spending bill due for a House vote Thursday would cut federal outlays from non-war accounts by just $352 million through Sept. 30. About $8 billion in immediate cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid are offset by nearly equal increases in defense spending.

When war funding is factored in the legislation would actually increase total federal outlays by $3.3 billion relative to current levels.
So, far from reducing this year's budget, the Republican House just approved a $3.3 billion spending increase for FY 2011.

To quote Sarah Palin's question to the National Tea Party Convention, "how's that hopey changey thing working out for ya?"