James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

More Washington budget gimmickry

November 27, 2009

Karl Rove makes a good point:

The administration says it is now instructing agencies to either freeze spending or propose 5% cuts in their budgets for next year. This won’t add up to much unless agencies use the budgets they had before the stimulus inflated their spending as their baseline in calculating their cuts.

For example, if the Education Department uses its current stimulus-inflated budget of $141 billion instead of the $60 billion budget it had before Mr. Obama moved into the White House, freezing its budget will do nothing to fix the fiscal mess the president has created.

Me: Indeed, one thing to watch out for is how these elevated, stimulus-related spending levels become incorporated into budget baselines.

Comments

So Karl Rove is now a deficit expert. What about using the 2000 budget for defense, Medicare without Part D, the tax rates before the cuts for the wealthy as a baseline etc. Explain to your readers why we should not consider you a mere and as exclusively a polemicist at this point.

Posted by Chi Democrat | Report as abusive
 

You’re right, Chi. You don’t like Rove, so there’s no reason to consider his point. And you should mock James for quoting him.

 

There are some that have credibility on the deficit (Bartlett, Rubin etc.) there are others that do not. Those who cite folks like Rove and claim to be anything other than polemic deserve derision. Do you perceive Karl Rove as a legitimate expert? Can you rebut the substance of my comment which directly rebuts Rove’s alleged insight?

Posted by Chi Democrat | Report as abusive
 

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