Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
March 5, 2009
POLITICS: Taking Budget Gimmickry To A New Level

Governmental accounting is always a shady business, for a variety of reasons: the Ponzi-scheme financing of entitlements, the brazen use of "off-budget" expenditures (meaning, literally, money you spend and don't count in the budget), the politicized budget forecasts (Crank's First Rule of Government Financial Forecasts: they are always, always wrong), the assumption that reducing the growth of a program is a "budget cut," the tendency to project years into the unforseeable future and cite those figures as if they are single-year up-front expenses/savings, etc. Certainly Republicans have not been innocent of this sort of trickery over the years; it's inherent in the nature of politics and government. Things that would (and do) get people in the private sector fired, bankrupted or indicted continue year in and year out in Washington.

But even by DC standards, it is unusual to see something so laughably dishonest as the Obama Administration claiming a $1.6 trillion "spending cut" or budget "savings" by not repeating the surge in Iraq - a strategy that was explicitly designed to be temporary, and hah already begun drawing down on account of being successful (something one can never say of, for example, anti-poverty programs) - each of the next ten years. Ace, among others, notes the lost budgetary opportunity for the Bush Administration - hey, we could have claimed trillions in annual savings by not fighting the Nazis and the Soviets each of the last eight years!

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:07 AM | Politics 2009 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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