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The biggest victory for taxpayers during the Obama years was the Budget Control Act in 2011, which imposed sequester-enforced caps on discretionary spending.
Indeed, that legislation was then followed by a sequester in early 2013, which was a stinging defeat for Obama (he tried to forestall the sequester with hysterical predictions of doom).
Politicians - Restraint - Caps - Ability - Votes
But politicians don’t like fiscal restraint. Spending caps limit their ability to buy votes with other people’s money. So they evaded the spending caps in late 2013. Then they did the same thing in late 2015.
And now it’s happened again. The budget caps have been busted again as part of a new agreement. To be blunt, the swamp has triumphed over taxpayers. The politicians who promised to clean up the mess in Washington have decided that the cesspool is actually a hot tub.
Critics - Deal - Ink - Problem - Mistake
Most critics of the deal are focusing on how it means more red ink. But that’s a secondary problem. The real mistake is that government is getting bigger, and that means private sector activity is being displaced.
Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happening to overall discretionary spending, captured in a chart from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.
Blue - Bars - Chart - World - Budget
The blue bars in the above chart show what happened in the real world (technically, they show annual “budget authority,” which is sort of like the money that gets deposited in a checking account and “outlays” are when checks are written). The green line shows the spending-on-autopilot forecast from early 2011. The red line shows the discretionary spending allowed by the Budget Control Act. And the yellow line shows what spending should have been if the sequester was left unchanged.
The bottom line is that the spending levels for 2018 and 2019 mean that the victory of the Budget Control Act has been almost entirely undone.
Now let’s look...
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Measuring his life out one teaspoon at a time.