1/16/14 Spending Spree
In August 2011, Congress and the President agreed to raise the national debt ceiling in return for later spending cuts. Should they not agree on the cuts then an across the board spending cut the — sequester — would kick-in.
That’s what occurred last year.
A few weeks ago, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin and Washington state Democrat Senator Patty Murray authored a budget deal.
The Ryan-Murray budget blows through the spending limits Congress promised during those August 2011 negotiations. The plan is to increase spending and debt in the next seven years with a promise of making cuts in years 8, 9 & 10. Of course, those cuts will never happen.
One of the gimmicks Ryan and Murray used in their budget was to cut military retirement pay in order to offset increased spending. This was to make it appear their numbers balanced.
But this is what will actually happen. There will be bipartisan agreement to cancel those military pension cuts. Republicans and Democrats, alike, will even campaign on having restored military pay.
Ryan and Murray will have increased spending with no spending offsets — which was the plan all along.
It’s a Capitol Hill trick used over and over.
Meanwhile, Congress will increase jobless benefits for the 7th straight year with a promise to pay for them with spending cuts. In the year 2024. For real.