» Politics and other things

The Baseline Budgeting Scam

(13 posts)
  • Started 3 years ago by fairandbalanced
  • Latest reply from NoParty

  1. Only in Washington can an increase in spending be called a "cut":

    "Most Americans recognize a failure to honestly address the spending and debt crisis when they see it. If they knew just how the baseline budgeting scam works, they'd be even more disgusted by this sham "debt control" deal, which will increase the federal debt by at least $7 trillion (that's $7,000 billion) in the next 10 years. And that's assuming some pretty rosy projections for economic growth.

    Baseline budgeting proponents began with a seemingly reasonable suggestion: "Instead of starting each budgeting process from scratch [zero-based budgeting], why don't we use the previous budget as our starting point and make adjustments from there?" Then they added, "Of course, we'll need to adjust the previous budget numbers to account for inflation, population growth, increased demand for services, and a big fat dollop of 'What the heck, we can get away with it!' to create the baseline for next year." And they've been getting away with it for years.

    The result of this process is that the starting point for each new federal budget — the baseline, which by bipartisan ruling class consensus represents "no spending increase" — is about 7-8% higher than the previous year's spending. Fiscal year 2011 spending is going to be about $3,800 billion. So, under baseline budgeting, if FY 2012 spending increases only to $4,066 billion, that's no increase at all! "Look how fiscally responsible we are! We held spending to the current level!"
    Of course, a 7% annual increase means the budget will double in 10 years to about $7,600 billion. But the baseline budgeters call that a 10-year spending freeze!

    So let's put this "historic" Congressional compromise into perspective. They've agreed to $900 billion in "cuts" over 10 years, and their bipartisan committee is supposed to come up with $1,500 billion more in "cuts" this fall. If they really do (and Obama, Reid, et al, are already clamoring for the $1,500 billion to be mostly "revenue enhancements," i.e., tax increases), then the 2022 budget will be "cut" from its $7,600 billion baseline to a mere $5,200 billion.

    That's a 37% increase over 2011. They call that a massive cut. The establishment, ruling class Republicans are congratulating themselves for this monumental achievement. They're telling the Tea Party that they've won, that they've "changed the terms of the debate" and "turned things around." "

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 12:52 PM #
  2. Andrew

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    Posts: 5,240

    So a couple get married and start having kids, eventually having ten. Is it wrong that their annual food budget goes up over the years? Or should it stay the same - otherwise it's an "increase" and they're just wasting money? That is, should their annual food spending be the same when they have six mouths to feed as when they had only two?

    That's what you're saying.

    The US population is not only increasing every year, but a large portion of it is aging. More and more retirees will be tapping into Medicare and Social Security. Why on earth would we expect that we would be able to keep spending constant as the needs increase?

    If the US Military fights in two wars and tens of thousands of American soldiers are wounded, should we criticize a rise in spending on veterans' benefits as "growth in spending?"

    So of course government spending must increase every year - TO KEEP UP WITH GROWING DEMAND FOR SERVICES. When you cut the growth in spending in a program like the Veteran's Administration, you ARE cutting spending, because you are cutting services per recipient.

    Sorry, it's not just some liberal conspiracy to jack up government spending. Nice try.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 01:35 PM #
  3. It's dishonest and deceptive to include an increase as part of the budget, without making it clear why and for what.

    We are not growing at the pace of the projected increases. It's a way to guarantee that the government will grow larger in relation to the private sector.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 01:42 PM #
  4. Andrew

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    What do you mean, "We are not growing at the pace of the projected increases?" Have you seen how much health care costs have been rising every year? If you want to keep up with that, your budgets have to increase just to maintain benefits. Of course, it would be wrong for the US government to interfere in any way in the private health care industry to try to contain those costs...

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 01:46 PM #
  5. Notalent

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    Posts: 2,412

    What is wrong is when they squeal and cry over draconian cuts when infact it is an 8% increase over last year instead of a 10% increase.

    Nobody is getting a cut...

    Just a reduction in the projected increase.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 01:55 PM #
  6. Andrew

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    Posts: 5,240

    Notalent: What is wrong is when they squeal and cry over draconian cuts when infact it is an 8% increase over last year instead of a 10% increase.

    Nobody is getting a cut...

    Just a reduction in the projected increase.

    So if the number of US veterans needing care increases by 10% per year but the increase in the VA's budget that was needed to keep up with the increased need is CUT (the INCREASE in funding is cut), then the veterans won't see any cut in their benefits?

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 02:06 PM #
  7. Notalent

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    Posts: 2,412

    Yes Andrew the whole point is to audit every department budget and determin the actual need rather than a broad stroke baseline percentage increase for the entire Federal budget.

    Some could be frozen at the last years level, some may need increases and some could be actually decreased.

    I dont think anyone is suggesting taking money away from sick veterans.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 03:06 PM #
  8. duxrule

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    Posts: 4,915

    "I dont think anyone is suggesting taking money away from sick veterans."

    Wanna bet?

    Under debt deal, veterans programs face cuts, tech plans likely safe

    By Bob Brewin 08/03/2011

    Military pay raises, funding for veterans health care and the Post-9/11 GI Bill could be sacrificed to new fiscal realities as the result of the deal signed by President Obama on Tuesday to raise the federal debt ceiling, according to the Military Officers Association and veterans groups. The law requires the federal budget be cut $2.1 trillion over 10 years.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 03:31 PM #
  9. missing_kskd

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    In a growth economy, which ours is, like it or not, holding things at steady levels is what devalues them.

    Wages, for example, have remained flat, or declining for a long time. Guess what? The world has moved on, costs have changed, and your buying power per hour worked is now much less than it once was, even though the actual number of dollars you make is the same, or even more.

    If those increases don't match the general growth, it's a cut, because everything is moving.

    This isn't a zero sum game people. New wealth is being created all the time, and that wealth is represented by the dollars out there, and where there is more wealth, there is more dollars.

    One problem we have is we don't produce much, or put another way, we don't produce what it takes to match our consumption. So, we owe and that's the deficit.

    Wars are a big ass source of consumption, BTW.

    What really matters on this deficit is our wealth production and income to the treasury relative to the growth of the debt, and the ongoing growth of people, their needs, the economy in general.

    They are tricking you into simple zero sum game thinking, when the reality is far different from that.

    And those same tricks are what has pinched your wage, with your costs and risks rising, leaving people bitching about their taxes because they don't have enough money, despite those taxes being quite low right now.

    What you should be bitching about is the attack on labor, and the devaluing of your time, forcing you to labor for less buying power per hour worked, while the nation grows debt, and grows in it's needs just through population, if nothing else, leaving you not enough.

    Blaming taxes is all fun 'n games, great excuse for flat wages not paying well enough, but it's a fools game.

    How many of you doubled your wage in the last 10 years? If you didn't, you are behind, devalued relative to all that has happened, just by way of one simple example.

    Think you even pay enough taxes to make that up? Think again.

    Posted on August 5, 2011 - 07:00 PM #
  10. Interesting tags in this topic..If Andrew wants to debate this guy then let him.

    What this place doesn't need is the topic police trying to regulate what gets discussed. Ya don't the like topic? Then go read a book..

    Posted on August 6, 2011 - 09:55 PM #
  11. Skybill9

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    Posts: 10,000

    "...but a large portion of it is aging..."

    100% (of the living population) is aging!

    Posted on August 9, 2011 - 06:55 PM #
  12. NoParty

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    Posts: 11,870

    Posted on August 9, 2011 - 07:22 PM #

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