Friday, November 13, 2009

No Brainer

From the inbox:

Where Are the Real Deficit Hawks?

By David Sirota
Creators Syndicate, 11/13/09

Let's say you're a congressperson or tea party leader looking to champion deficit reduction -- a cause 38 percent of Americans tell pollsters they support. And let's say you're deciding whether to back two pieces of imminent legislation.

According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the first bill's spending provisions cost $100 billion annually and its tax and budget-cutting provisions recoup $111 billion annually, thus reducing total federal expenditures by $11 billion each year. The second bill proposes $636 billion in annual spending and recoups nothing. Over 10 years, the first bill would spend $1 trillion and recover $1.11 trillion -- a fantastic return on taxpayer investment. Meanwhile, the second bill puts us on a path to spend $6.3 trillion in the same time.

Save $110 billion, or spend $6.3 trillion? If you're explicitly claiming the mantle of fiscal prudence, this should be a no-brainer: You support the first bill and oppose the second one.

Yet, in recent months, the opposite happened.

To read the full newspaper column, go to:


  1. The lack of context makes it truly a no-brainer. It becomes a bit more understandable when considering the bills in question. The deficit reducing bill is health care which is not something the government is required to address and besides, all those budget hawks don't believe the CBO score - so much for a no-brainer. The second bill is a defense authorization which they view as mandatory - sgain, the no-brainer label evaporates.

    If I were casting the votes I'd oppose the health care bill for the same reasons - I'm not sure yet whether I would support the defense spending bill because I'm not familiar yet with what exactly it contains this time around. Based on previous years I'd say the odds are pretty high that there would be plenty to oppose in that bill as well.

    Half a story is nice, but it doesn't help people make rational decisions.

  2. Sirota's argument -- as I read it -- seems to be those Democrats opposing health care legislation on the grounds of "fiscal responsibility" will all vote for the defense bill, which isn't exactly "fiscally responsible."

    I think the author's argument stands.

    And as for the federal government having "no requirement" in with the health care bill, well... they also have "no requirement" to provide us with an Air Force or a Jury of Peers. Both are still a good idea.