A Voodoo Baseline Won’t Reduce the Deficit

As Congress continues the struggle to tame federal deficit spending, some argue that tax hikes and defense cuts are necessary and inevitable. For example, a recent brief from the Concord Coalition on the prospects for the House Majority’s coming budget resolution for fiscal year 2012 makes the case that conservatives will be hard pressed to reduce the deficit without raising taxes or cutting national defense.

The Concord Coalition looks at various deficit-cutting strategies that conservatives in the House might embrace and compares the results to those of the President’s own budget proposal. But the President’s budget is scored according to the assumptions the White House chooses to make. Heritage budget expert Brian Riedl points out that the budget “hides multiple new policies and assumptions within the baseline itself.”



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