Spending Cuts? What Spending Cuts?

This chart shows you everything you need to understand about the budget deal. The top line (fuchsia, I’m told) is the “discretionary baseline,” which is an estimate of how fast spending would increase to keep pace with factors such as inflation. The next line shows how fast discretionary spending will grow under the budget agreement.

The good news is that discretionary spending does not grow as fast with the budget agreement. The bad news is that it still grows. In other words, the supposed “budget cuts” are based on Washington math, where a spending increase is called a spending cut simply because outlays didn’t rise even faster.

But the really bad news is that the burden of discretionary spending – over the entire 10-year period – will be more than twice as large as it was in 2000. In other words, the budget deal basically leaves unchallenged the entire Bush-Obama spending binge.

But, as the old saying goes, a journey of 14.3 trillion miles begins with a first step.

Cutting the debt without serious spending cuts is like throwing pingpong balls into an aircraft hangar until it’s full. You assume it will work until you realize two things: the hangar is getting bigger after each ball, and someone opened the doors on the other side.

Good luck with that!