As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Bravely Bold Budget Cutters

The Republicans decided to step up to the plate and deliver their own ideas on the federal budget, offering $375 billion in potential cuts over five years. Wow, that's a serious effort at belt-tightening! Except, it's not.

Well, according to this document, $317 billion comes from every budget coward's favorite gimmick: an across-the-board spending cap that (a) they know perfectly well will never happen and (b) allows them to avoid mentioning any actual specific cuts. Another $45 billion comes from devoting returned TARP funds to deficit reduction — something that's going to happen over the next five years anyway. That leaves $13 billion in actual targeted cuts. For the arithmetic challenged among you, that's $2.6 billion per year out of a budget of about $3.5 trillion.

That's a reduction of 0.07%.

And those cuts that exist, of course, hit the most vulnerable members of society and valuable programs, including a program that hires crossing guards and builds safe bike paths for schoolchildren. But set that aside for just a second, and consider that Obama's $17 billion in cuts were met with derision in the media as an unserious proposal.

The GOP countered with $13 billion.

Will the media call them on it?

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