Rearranging deck chairs, or fiddling and Rome; pick your hackneyed cliché, but the $38 billion budget “deal” has us trampling dollars to save pennies. The federal budget in 2011 includes $3.82 trillion for spending and a deficit of $1.65 trillion. Quick math finds the ballyhooed reduction to be little more than a rounding error.
It gets worse. Associated Press reported on April 13 that the Congressional Budget Office estimate shows the deal would pare just $352 million from the deficit through Sept. 30, or less than 1% of the $38 billion promised. Lehman never saw write-downs so large.
“The CBO study confirms that the measure trims $38 billion in new spending authority, but says many of the cuts come in slow-spending accounts like water and sewer grants that don’t have an immediate deficit impact,” the wire service reports.
Make no mistake; it was never about money. Despite calls for civility and sanity, and the rise of new organizations like No Labels and the American Centrist Party, it’s all about the ideology. Nowhere was this better illustrated than by a comment from PIMCO's founder Bill Gross, (above), that we’re “out-Greeking the Greeks” at the same time George Soros said the United States could easily handle more debt to get the economy going. It’s about a worldview, and an opinion of government’s role in it.