Real Spending Cuts Versus Phony Spending Cuts: Liberal Delusions
Bill Quick

4 Trillion in debt added under Obama’s term | Questions and Observations

“tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that were not paid for.”

While there is some truth to what he points too, the last is nonsense unless you believe the government has first claim to your earnings. Those aren’t tax cuts, they’re tax rates. They’ve been in place for almost 10 years for the first and eight for the second. Tax rates are changed all the time, but until recently they’ve never been referred too as “tax cuts … that were not paid for”.

Exactly. Many of us have been trying to get this across, but it’s difficult in the face of the non-stop hack propaganda on the issue emanating from the MSM.

The idea that “tax cuts need to be paid for” implies that there is some level at which government spending must remain forever. Completely ignored is the notion that tax cuts may influence spending by forcing it lower, which I guess is understandable on the left, because, for them, spending can and must only go in one direction – up. Spending cuts never enter their ideological equations. What Obama wants to do now is raise the long established tax rate in order to pay for out-of-control spending that, as a good leftist, he believes should never, ever go down. For him, it is barely tolerable to cut the rate of increase in spending, but never to actually cut spending year over year.

This seems hard for a lot of people to grasp. so let me put it in the simplest possible terms. If you spend $100 this year, and plan to increase that by ten percent every year thereafter, you will be planning to spend $110 next year. If you cut that spending for next year to $105 from the planned $110, that is not an actual spending cut. You will still spend $105 next year, an increase in spending of $5 over this year’s spending.

A real spending cut would have you spend $100 this year, and $95 next year, which would be a spending cut of $5.

None of the proposals so far put forward by either the GOP or the Democrats have involved actual overall cuts to federal spending. Not even close. The simplest way to verify this is to look at the budgets for each year. Did overall spending go up each year? Then there were no cuts.

Another way to apply a reality check is to look at the national debt: Did it go down from one year to the next? If not, there was no real cut in spending. Interestingly enough, regarding the supposed “budget surpluses” of the Clinton years, the national debt went up in every single year of Clinton’s presidency.

Bill Quick

About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.

Comments

Real Spending Cuts Versus Phony Spending Cuts: Liberal Delusions — 5 Comments

  1. Another way to apply a reality check is to look at the national debt: Did it go down from one year to the next? If not, there was no real cut in spending.

    Not strictly correct. An increase in the debt means that we spent more than we took in. That tells us nothing about whether we spent more than we did the prior year. Perhaps spending went down but was still more than revenue.

  2. The government is not the only folks who look at budgets this way. How many of us have worked for companies where, come fourth quarter, you start spending like mad because…

    If you don’t spend all your budget you’ll get less money next year.

    Crazy? Yeah. But I’ll wager that any ‘middle-manager’ in large corporate America can tell the story.

  3. Not strictly correct. An increase in the debt means that we spent more than we took in. That tells us nothing about whether we spent more than we did the prior year. Perhaps spending went down

    Indicative, though. Unless you can find me a significant number of examples where spending actually went down. You could start here, for instance. I can’t find a single instance of a decrease in federal spending over the past fifty years.

    UPDATE: Nor a decrease in the total national debt over the same period.

  4. They’re correlated, but not logically connected. (Sort of like spending and my age — both have been monotonically increasing for decades, but that doesn’t mean that cutting spending will make me younger. Although sometimes it seems both are equally likely…)

    You can have spending go up with the debt going down, iif revenue still exceeds spending.

    You can have spending go up with the debt going up, if spending exceeds revenue.

    You can have spending go down with the debt going up, if spending still exceeds revenue.

    You can have spending go down with the debt going down, if revenue exceeds spending.

    Never cutting spending and an ever-increasing debt are both consequences of the same underlying lack of fiscal responsibility, and I expect that if we ever see the debt decreasing it will go hand-in-hand with reduced spending — but logically there’s a double dissociation between the two.