The Speaker’s blog has a post entitled “MYTH VS. FACT: The Bipartisan Agreement to Cut Spending to Support Job Creation.”
This seems like a good point:
MYTH: “Most of the cuts in the agreement aren’t real cuts. Many are cuts that were already scheduled to happen, and were proposed in the president’s budget.”
The spending cuts in the legislation are real cuts that help to clear a path for Chairman Paul Ryan’s landmark Path to Prosperity budget. The agreement includes a gross spending cut of nearly $45 billion — a net spending cut of nearly $40 billion, as a result of the $5 billion increase for the Defense Department that Speaker Boehner fought for and won. Democrats accurately note that some of the spending cuts in the agreement were proposed in the president’s budget, but disingenuously fail to note that many of those cuts were used in the president’s budget to offset additional or new spending elsewhere. In the context of the agreement, those cuts are now real cuts – chopping billions of dollars off the baseline, rather than being used to offset other Washington spending sought by the administration. As Chairman Ryan said Tuesday, the agreement “[secures] tens of billions of dollars in spending cuts, forcing the President and his party’s leaders to retreat from their reckless spending spree. The historic spending cut turns the page from Washington’s pervasive culture of spending, sending a welcome signal to job creators and cleaning up the unprecedented budget mess left by the last Congress.”
MYTH: “The provisions eliminating President Obama’s ‘czars’ for health care, climate change and other topics are meaningless. The administration has already vacated these posts or scheduled them for elimination.”
The agreement means these posts won’t be coming back — good news for Americans discomforted by the Obama Administration’s agenda of government takeovers and bailouts. And perhaps more importantly, the provisions establish a precedent that Congress can deny the president funding for such positions — effectively challenging their constitutionality.
The post also makes the point that the deal is attended by a remarkable shift in the rhetoric of both the Obama administration and Democrats on the Hill, who just months ago were sticking to Keynesian arguments against cutting any spending during a recession. If nothing else, the deal indicates that Republicans have set the terms for the debt-limit, budget, and long-term deficit reduction debates.
This all being said, a lot of the other answers to the “myths” about the deal are non-answers. Fundamentally, the post doesn’t address the fact that the top line relies on accounting gimmicks. You can read the whole thing for yourself here.