Posted by: SWL | April 14, 2011

Congressional Deal Done . . . But Not What We Thought

About three hours ago the Senate voted to approve the bill, already passed by the House, to fund our government through the rest of fiscal year 2011. I must commend Congress for not waiting until midnight on the last day!

But I am disappointed – although not too surprised – by information from the Congressional Budget Office that, as far as CBO can calculate, this legislation has only $352 million in direct cuts. The remaining money is made up of
* one-time cuts – as opposed to elimination of programs, so these things may be funded in future years.
* extra funding that agencies were already going to return to the treasury (cancelled projects, etc.)
* cutting four of the president’s many czars – but three of the positions were already vacant!
* $10 million in earmarks (Deciding which ones was probably what took so much negotiating time last week.)

On April 11, Senator Rand Paul (KY) said the government borrowed $50 billion during the eight days of negotiating over this bill. We are still in deep financial trouble. Now that this little show is over, I hope Congress will devote serious time to studying budget issues, as opposed to wasting time slamming their opponents in the media. We must make substantial – and real – cuts to government spending for the fiscal 2012 budget.

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