Obama had a huge majority in the House of Representatives in October 2010 when this budget was due. Why did he fail under such perfect circumstances? Maybe because this is so much more fun.
4/13/11, "CBO: Budget deal cuts this fiscal year’s deficit by just $352 million, not $38 billion touted," AP
"A new budget estimate released Wednesday shows that the spending bill negotiated between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner would produce less than 1 percent of the $38 billion in promised savings by the end of this budget year.
The Congressional Budget Office estimate shows that compared with current spending rates the spending bill due for a House vote Thursday would cut federal outlays from non-war accounts by just $352 million through Sept. 30. About $8 billion in immediate cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid are offset by nearly equal increases in defense spending.
When war funding is factored in the legislation would actually increase total federal outlays by $3.3 billion relative to current levels.
To a fair degree, the lack of immediate budget-cutting punch is because the budget year is more than half over and that cuts in new spending authority typically are slow to register on deficit tallies. And Republicans promise that when fully implemented and repeated year after year, the cuts in the measure would reduce the deficit by $315 billion over the coming decade.
Still, the analysis is an early lesson about Washington budgeting for junior lawmakers elected last year on promises to swiftly attack the deficit.
At issue is a concept in budgeting that is often difficult to grasp. Appropriations bills like the pending measure give agencies the authority to spend taxpayers’ money. But such authority typically takes months or years to actually leave the federal Treasury, so cuts made in the middle of the budget year often have little immediate impact.
- The budget deficit is projected at $1.6 trillion this year.
The House began preliminary debate on the spending bill Wednesday with it easily advancing over a procedural hurdle by a 241-179 vote. The measure is slated for House and Senate votes Thursday. A stopgap spending measure expires Friday at midnight.
The CBO study confirms that the measure trims $38 billion in new spending authority relative to current levels, but many of the cuts come in slow-spending accounts like water-and-sewer grants
- that don’t have an immediate deficit impact.
A separate CBO analysis provided to lawmakers but not released publicly says that $5.7 billion in savings claimed by cutting bonuses to states enrolling more children and reducing the amount of money available to subsidize health care cooperatives authorized under the new health care law won’t produce a dime of actual savings. CBO believes they are simply cuts to spending authority that is unlikely to be used anyway.
But those cuts to mandatory benefit programs, while producing no deficit savings, can be claimed under budget rules to pay for spending increases elsewhere in the legislation. All told, $17.8 billion in such savings is claimed but just a tiny portion of it would actually reduce the deficit."...
via Weasel Zippers