Speaker Boehner claims the continuing resolution (CR) due to be voted on by Congress today cuts almost $40 Billion dollars out of the budget, but a report issued by the CBO yesterday that the bill actually increases outlays by $ 3 billion. People read the CBO report and went crazy. “The Deal is a Sham!” ” Call your Rep. and Urge them to vote no!” Folks, its time to switch to decaf.
The difference in the numbers are the difference between outlay and spending authority. Look at it this way. Say you are a carpenter and have been given $100,000 to redo someones kitchen. After one week’s worth of work you have allocated $75,000 to specific items but you haven’t purchased anything as of yet. The home owner comes to you and says you can only spend $70,000. You have cut the budget (or spending authority) by $30,000 but cut outlays by only $5,oo0.
This CR voted on today cuts $37.7 billion out of the spending authority, the money the President had been given to spend. This is what the CBO says about the spending authority cut
In contrast, H.R. 1473 would provide net new budget authority of $1,049.8 billion, producing a difference of $37.7 billion. That difference reflects reductions in budget authority for BOTH regularly appropriated discretionary programs and some mandatory programs.
The fact is the only way one can assume that the $37.7 billion in cuts are bogus, is to assume that the Obama administration would have saved the money, as opposed to spending up to the level permitted by the spending authority. Judging by the spending history of the Obama administration, the chances of him saving money are slim and none.
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In short, the most recent attacks on H.R. 1473 are amateur agitations. Given that the CR will provide hundreds of billions in savings for taxpayers in the long-term and sets the stage for trillions in savings in next year’s budget fight, this latest drama in the FY 2011 budget fight exposes who is really serious about diminishing the size of government, and who is looking to simply pick a fight. Taxpayers should be leery of those who prefer to be the latter.