The Corner

Budget Cuts Priced to Clear!

The news that the $61 billion 38.5 billion 14 billion historic 2011 budget cut actually cuts $352 million from the 2011 budget is in its way kind of impressive. As Congressman Huelskamp pointed out, that’s about what the government of the United States borrows in two hours. The joke re the original $38.5 billion deal was that, in the time it took to negotiate it, we added as much again in new debt (we’re borrowing about $4 billion a day). We didn’t know the half of it: Never mind negotiating, in the time it takes to type up the bill, we’ve borrowed as much as it “saves.” By the time this thing’s through, the cost of the Secret Service detail lugging the Obamaprompter to whichever grade school he announces the final definitive historic budget “cuts” at will be three times as much as any actual savings.

And yes, yes, I’ve heard all the insiders wearily explaining the fascinating differences between “spending,” “spending authority,” “spending authority rescission,” “spending authority rescission re-appropriation,” etc., but I wonder if Republicans are aware that the more they talk like that the more they sound like Nancy Pelosi for post-moderns: We have to pass the gargantuan bill so you can find out how little’s in it.

At some point, you have to close a cabinet department just to show you’re serious. Instead, the governing class is sending the message that the political institutions of the United States are so diseased they do not permit meaningful course correction.

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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