Monday, September 23, 2013

Re: Budget Baseline

I am outraged by this...

On Sep 23, 2013, at 8:16 AM, "larry.r.trout@ wrote:

'A budget baseline was first created by the Congressional Budget Act of 1974. This law was replaced with the Deficit Control Act of 1985 which Congress last amended in 1997. Under the original Deficit Control Act the baseline budget was set at the previous year's spending with no adjustment for inflation unless Congress legislated something different (such as they might with a multiyear transportation bill). Later the Act was amended to add an inflation adjustment to the baseline. Finally, in 1997 an additional 3% annual increase in addition to the inflation adjustment was built into the baseline. That means that under the current law the baseline budget increases at 6-7 percent per year automatically.


This automatic increase of 6-7 percent lets Democrats complain that Republicans want to cut spending if they propose a budget with anything less than a 6-7 percent increase in spending. As long as spending proposals are measured against a rapidly growing baseline, it will be an uphill struggle to contain federal spending.


The current baseline budget essentially is designed to enable politicians to deceive the public by labeling smaller spending increases than those contained in the baseline budget as "cuts." Therefore, having a baseline budget that is as large as possible is crucial to politicians who want government spending to grow continually.


In a family's household budget we do not call a smaller-than-planned increase in spending a "cut." Simply slowing the growth in government spending should not be called a cut. Spending increases or cuts need to be defined relative to the previous year's actual spending levels, not an imaginary budget baseline that was built expressly to favor large annual increases in government spending.'


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