The Corner

Boehner Pushes Back

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.”

Also this:

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.

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster has been news editor of National Review Online since 2009, and was a web site editor until 2012. His work has appeared in The American Spectator, The American ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More