The Administration is taking important steps in improving the budget situation:
Looks like the White House wants to attack the deficit one small change at a time.
We at CRFB believe in the Wizard of Oz theory of deficit reduction. Passing the right package of spending cuts and tax increases requires a brain – so that we stabilize our debt in the most economically efficient way; a heart – so that we are focused on the real human consequences of our decisions; and most importantly, courage (“the nerve”).
The extenders bill the House is considering would cost $190 billion between 2010-2020. Only $56 billion of that would be offset.
Emergency designations and PAYGO loopholes aside, we think more (like all) of the bill should be paid for, a belief that seems hard to argue against when staring at a mountain of $8.5 trillion in debt. (If you want to visualize that mountain, picture $100 bills stacked 5,695 miles high.)
So far the offsets in the House bill include:
As Congress debates hundreds of billion of dollars of new deficit-spending this week, they may also begin considering two proposals which can actually help to restrain spending -- discretionary spending caps and advanced rescission authority.
Last week we wrote about the introduction of YouCut, a project designed to allow people to vote on spending cuts they would like to see Congress enact. The YouCut site reports that 280,000 took this spending challenge and voted. The first winning cut -- of the New Non-Reformed Welfare Program -- would achieve $2.5 billion in savings.
Yesterday, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) launched a new project - YouCut. YouCut allows people to vote online or from their cell phones on spending cuts, from a list of several options -- to be updated weekly, that they would like to see the House act on. House Republicans will then offer an up-or-down vote on the winning spending cut from the previous week.
Here are the highlights from this weekend’s editorials on fiscal and budget policy:
Super Saver Cashes In – Those who couldn’t resist the irony of betting it all on a horse named Super Saver were rewarded handsomely on Saturday as the colt crossed the finish line first at the Kentucky Derby. Maybe the folks on Capitol Hill will see the victory as a sign that fiscal responsibility can be a winning strategy.
The Center for American Progress recently discussed what it would take to meet the President's fiscal goal of a primary balance in 2015, or finding about $250 billion in savings. After illustrating what it would look like to meet this goal completely through either spending cuts or tax increases, CAP argues that we will ultimately need a mix of both spending cuts and tax increases if we are to avoid large, painful cuts or economically harmful tax changes. CRFB certainly agrees.