3 Things You Need to Know About the Congressional Budget Deal
Posted By Romina Boccia On December 11, 2013 @ 6:30 am In Capitol Hill,Economics,Front Page | No Comments
Many had high hopes that the first budget conference in four years would make a substantial down payment  toward fixing the U.S. spending and debt crisis. The new “Bipartisan Budget Act ” thoroughly disappoints. While we dig through the details for a more complete assessment, here are three key facts on the sour deal:
1. It busts through supposed spending “caps.” The way Congress operates, it’s ridiculous for Members to set spending caps. They just keep busting right through them. The deal announced yesterday raises discretionary spending above the bipartisan spending agreement forged in 2011 as part of the Budget Control Act. Spending for defense and non-defense domestic programs would be raised by $45 billion in 2014 and by $18 billion in 2015.
Once again, Congress has fallen into its old and destructive habit  of trading more spending in one area for more spending in another. This is a bad “compromise” that keeps increasing spending, when just a little more effort to eliminate bad government programs  and reduce wasteful spending  could have savedtaxpayers money instead.
2. It taxes and spends. The agreement says that the increased spending is fully offset elsewhere in the budget, using a mix of spending cuts and non-tax revenue. Make no mistake, raising revenue to spend more is simply taxing and spending. If anything, automatic spending cuts could be exchanged for targeted spending cuts. Trading spending cuts for more revenue, however, grows the burden of government. After all, Washington suffers from a spending problem, not a revenue one .
3. It spends now and delays savings till later. The budget deal would spend $63 billion more over the next two years—but take 10 years to make up for this splurge. This is a common Washington gimmick. To the conferees’ credit, the deal suggests one-third in additional deficit reduction—the details of which remain to be evaluated.
The budget conferees failed to make substantive reforms to the real drivers of spending and debt: the entitlement programs. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) forged a deal that would increase spending immediately, while delaying deficit reduction till later and trading spending cuts for more revenue. Far from simply being another missed opportunity, this deal keeps the nation on its fiscal collision course.
Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad .
- Today at 11 a.m., tune in for Conversations with Conservatives  and hear what Members of Congress think about the new budget deal.
- This liberal and this conservative  think the budget plan is a raw deal for Americans.
- Heritage Action writes the opposing view in USA Today on why the budget deal is a step backward .
- What could possibly be worse than Obamacare? When it comes to disastrous implementation, this program ranks pretty high .
- Guess which country is passing Saudi Arabia  in oil production?
- What does “social justice” really mean when it comes to good public policy ?
- How low can he go? New poll indicates rising disapproval for the President  on health care.
- Does it matter that President Obama shook hands with Cuban dictator  Raul Castro?
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URLs in this post:
 a substantial down payment: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/11/principles-for-the-budget-conference
 Bipartisan Budget Act: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/12/10/ryan-murray-announce-budget-deal-conservatives-voice-disappointment/
 old and destructive habit: http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2013/11/the-sure-path-to-american-decline
 eliminate bad government programs: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/08/tight-budget-congress-can-save-42-billion-by-eliminating-bad-government-programs
 Washington suffers from a spending problem, not a revenue one: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/10/31/tax-revenue-rose-five-times-faster-than-spending-fell-in-2013/
 Heritage Libertad: http://www.libertad.org/
 Conversations with Conservatives: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/12/10/watch-conversations-conservatives-budget-deal-obamacare/
 This liberal and this conservative: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/12/10/liberal-conservative-think-ryan-murray-budget-plan-raw-deal-americans/
 why the budget deal is a step backward: http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/12/10/budget-deal-heritage-action-for-america-editorials-debates/3975653/
 this program ranks pretty high: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/12/10/afts-weingarten-common-core-implementation-will-worse-obamacare/
 which country is passing Saudi Arabia: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/12/10/we-are-drilling-baby-u-s-passing-saudi-arabia-in-oil-production/
 when it comes to good public policy: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/12/10/pope-francis-americas-obligations-poor/
 rising disapproval for the President: http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/192669-poll-obama-hits-new-low-on-healthcare
 President Obama shook hands with Cuban dictator: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/12/10/president-obama-shakes-hands-cuban-dictator/