“Spending Programs” Will Fall Outside a Spending Freeze

Filed under:Language Barrier,Politics — posted by Anwyn on January 26, 2010 @ 5:39 pm

Imagine that.

“You guys … are not only not talking about a second stimulus, you’re talking about trying to cut … the budget,” Maddow said. “I have to tell you, it sounds completely, completely insane.”

[“Top economic adviser to the president” Jared] Bernstein vowed “there`s going to be no stupid Hooverism around here, to use your, I think, very apt term.”

“Spending programs, in order to generate the kind of job growth that we need to offset this — the impact of what was the deepest recession since the Great Depression — generally will fall outside of this freeze,” he said.

But Michael Linden, associate director for tax and budget policy at the Center for American Progress, argued a week ago that this kind of a freeze would make only a dent in the country’s structural problems.

“The federal government spent a bit more than $625 billion on non-defense discretionary programs in 2009. The Congressional Budget Office projects that, in five years, the federal government will spend about $660 billion on the same programs,” he wrote.

“Freezing non-defense discretionary spending at current levels would therefore only produce a total savings of $35 billion in 2015. That year, the budget deficit is expected to be around $760 billion. Saving $35 billion would solve less than 5 percent of the problem. There may be some savings to be found in non-defense discretionary programs, but a spending freeze would accomplish extremely little in the way of measurable deficit reduction.”

Food stamp programs? Education programs? College loan programs? Even … spit … health care “reform” programs? No. Spending programs. Spending programs that will in no way be affected by a “spending freeze.”

Well, hell. Gotta admire a person who calls it what it is in defiance of his own political interest, right? Go ahead, keep stating your real goal out loud till everybody understands that spending was the real goal all along. Kthxbai.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace