I laugh and cry and clinch my fists when I read articles like this: the WaPo discusses how a $37B spending cut passed in 2011 actually resulted in only about $20B in actual cuts. Nearly half of the cuts were absorbed, cancelled, or otherwise rendered useless due to creative bookkeeping. Apparently, starving the beast doesn’t work. We need a new policy. Something like, kick the beast until it’s dead.
Companies get investigated by the SEC for these kinds of creative bookkeeping shenanigans. CEOs have to fly (or drive! now that’s a waste of time and money) to Washington to testify before grandstanding legislators. And when those same legislators engage in the same behavior? Nothing. They’re hailed as champions of austerity.
Here’s a great passage from the article:
But the bill also turned out to be an epic kind of Washington illusion. It was stuffed with gimmicks that made the cuts seem far bigger — and the politicians far bolder — than they actually were.
In the real world, in fact, many of their “cuts” cut nothing at all. The Transportation Department got credit for “cutting” a $280 million tunnel that had been canceled six months earlier. It also “cut” a $375,000 road project that had been created by a legislative typo, on a road that did not exist.
At the Census Bureau, officials got credit for a whopping $6 billion cut, simply for obeying the calendar. They promised not to hold the expensive 2010 census again in 2011.
In the latest round(s) of budget and spending talks we need every politician with the guts to ONLY go for cuts. The Dems won’t go for it. So what. Shut the government down. Kick the beast. Shut it down if the Dems want “new revenues”. No. We don’t need new revenues, we need less spending.
!@#$%$#!%!$!@%!@#$*&!@#$*&9! is about all I have left to say about that.