We Must End Baseline Budgeting

It makes total, perfect sense. But people who think that their job requirement number one is spending money are somehow going to limit their ability to do so? It is achievable I think on the baseline budgeting side. We have to get to the point where a cut is actually a cut. Remember this statistic: Because of baseline budgeting: The Republicans could propose, as a fix, a budget freeze. Just not spend anything additional for two years. Go ahead and factor in inflation, and you increase the budget by the inflation rate every year, but no more, not a dime more.

If they did that, because of the baseline, the CBO would score that as a $9 trillion “cut” over ten years. You say, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Wait a minute! Nothing’s been cut.” That’s right. But the baseline suggests the budget’s gonna grow by $9 trillion over ten years or whatever it is. It’s built in. And if the money isn’t spent, it gets scored as a cut. That’s the law. The law would demand the CBO score that as a cut. As long as that system exists, we can’t win. We can’t win a budget battle. Because as long as the word “cut” doesn’t mean cut… This is how the school lunch program can grow by 3.5% and yet a major issue evolves: “Republicans want to starve kids!”

“Wait a minute. The school lunch budget’s growing by 3.5%.”

“No, no. It was supposed to grow by 7%. You’re gutting the program!”



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