The epic revision in the just revised Boehner plan is to cut a grand total of ... $91.7 billion per year for 10 years (back-end loaded of course: 2012 will see just $22 billion in cuts - can't have any real cuts too early or else). The spin is that this is sufficient because the $917 billion in cuts is more than the proposed $900 billion debt ceiling hike, so all shall be well. Of course that is only part one of the two-part debt ceiling hike process. The next step is a $1.8 trillion cut to "protect programs like Medicare and Social Security from bankruptcy." The problem is that Boehner continues along the path of a two-step debt hike, a formulation that Obama will never agree to, since it effectively guarantees him no-reelection chance, as the last thing the people will want is the same bickering as we are experiencing every day again some time in 2012, when the current $900 billion in incremental debt capacity runs out. And actually, with the US debt already $300 billion below trendline and with the government's two pension funds already plundered by a like amount (which means they have a net IOU position), it means that the Boehner plan really buys only $600 billion of dry powder. At a burn rate of $150 billion a month, this means the first step of the Boehner plan buys precisely 4 months before the debt ceiling has to be raised again! Oh yes, this plan also guarantees at least a one notch downgrade to the US debt, with more notches coming up before the end of the year when this whole farce is repeated.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released its analysis of the revised Budget Control Act of 2011 today, and CBO’s analysis confirms that the spending cuts are greater than the debt hike – affirming that the House GOP bill meets the critical test House Republicans have said they will insist upon for any bill to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. Specifically, the CBO analysis confirms the Republican plan will:
- Cut and cap spending by $917 billion over 10 years – that’s more than the $900 billion debt hike;
- Cut $22 billion in spending for FY2012 and hold spending below FY2010 levels until FY2016;
- Continue reducing discretionary spending each year compared to President Obama’s budget (by $96 billion in 2012, $118 billion in 2013, $115 billion in 2014, $117 billion in 2015, and so on); and
- Require Congress to draft proposals that produce reductions of at least $1.8 trillion that help protect programs like Medicare and Social Security from bankruptcy.
Republicans adjusted their spending cut bill after a lower-than-expected score from CBO. This updated analysis confirms what others are saying: the Republican plan “changes the trajectory of spending” and “would keep the debt cutting process going.” Unlike Senator Reid’s gimmick-filled plan, the Republican proposal includes real spending cuts and reforms that will restrain future spending – and the spending cuts are larger than the debt limit increase.
This bill is far from perfect, but it’s a positive step forward that denies President the $2.4 trillion blank check that lets him continue his spending binge through the next election. Learn more about it here.
And here Paul Ryan explains how this grand plan will cut a whopping $22 billion in all of 2012.
The Budget Control Act has been updated to make certain that House Republicans fulfill their pledge to cut spending more than we increase the debt limit. Congressional Budget Office numbers confirm that the updated legislation adheres to this pledge: no new taxes; no blank check for the President; spending cuts greater than the size of the debt limit increase.
The bill has been revised to increase outlay savings, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Budget Control Act caps budget authority each of the fiscal years from 2012 to 2021. Budget authority – the authority Congress provides to agencies to spend each year – is set at a fixed level for the next decade under the Budget Control Act. Budget authority eventually results in the actual spending of money, which are recorded as outlays. Outlays are recorded when agencies spend out the money they’ve been provided through budget authority.
The updated legislation makes no changes to the annual budget authority caps, but removes a limitation on outlay calculations that was included in the first version of the bill. This adjustment allows the Congressional Budget Office to provide a more accurate measure of the likely rate of spending. In their new analysis of the Budget Control Act, the CBO estimates that the bill will reduce the deficit by $22 billion in FY 2012, and by $917 billion between 2012 and 2021. Under the bill, the President is given authority to increase the debt, under certain conditions, by up to $900 billion. Based on CBO estimates, the spending savings exceed the amount of this debt increase.
The revised bill will also include a point of order against consideration of a measure that would violate the discretionary spending caps put in place by the bill, which in the Senate would require a three-fifths vote in the Senate to waive. In addition, three provisions from the original bill are modified to address technical timing issues with respect to resolutions of disapproval.
For a review of discretionary spending next year under the Budget Control Act, showing real cuts relative to FY2011, and spending cuts far closer to the House-passed budget as opposed to the President’s request to increase government spending:
And from the revised CBO score (link here), here is the only table that matters: