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    Washington Hits a Foul Ball Down the Baseline

    America Needs Honesty to Step-up to the Plate.


    With the Super Committee’s November 23rd deadline quickly approaching, people should be questioning why our debt is expected to grow rapidly in the face of a $1.5 trillion cut in spending. One answer: baseline budgeting.


    The CBO baseline projection for year 2021 estimates that our nation’s debt is to hit $18 trillion—77% of GDP. Spending is estimated to increase by $12 trillion and interest rates are also expected to increase, causing payments on interest to skyrocket.


    “CBO's baseline projections are not intended to be a forecast of future budgetary outcomes; rather, they serve as a neutral benchmark that legislators and others can use to assess the potential effects of policy decisions. Consequently, they incorporate the assumption that current laws governing taxes and spending will remain unchanged,” explains their website. Actually, the CBO baseline projections are used by Congress to justify their excessive spending while still portraying to the citizens that they are cutting the budget.


    If Washington comes up with a plan that increases spending by $10 trillion, they would boast about a whopping spending cut of $2 trillion.


    Nice try. Wrap your head around this analogy:


    Due to excessive consumption, Uncle Sam’s physician estimates that he will gain around 100 pounds in the next year. However, Uncle Sam decides to slightly cut back on the saturated fats, gaining only 70 pounds. Uncle Sam is ecstatic about his 30-pound drop in weight. Make sense? No, not quite.


    This message is extremely misleading. Now try this one:


     If Congress kept its current budget for the next ten years, without adding or cutting a dime, the CBO would say that Washington cut $12 trillion in the budget.


    This is SIMPLY not true. America needs a budget that is trustworthy and straightforward.


    “What voters would best understand is ‘zero-based budgeting,’ or what we might call family budgeting.  Under this approach, if spending next year is just the same as this year, then that involves no spending cuts.  If spending goes up by $1 for whatever reason, that is a spending increase of $1.  Only if spending actually goes down would there be a spending cut,” says Peter Ferrara of Forbes.


    This is the most honest solution—it is clear, simple, and sends the right message to the citizens. In order to shrink the debt and deficit we need ACTUAL cuts in the budget, not just cuts in future expenditures.