The Corner

Cuts Are Cuts

I sense a tempest in a teapot brewing over the continuing resolution for 2011, specifically the notion of “real” versus “fake” cuts. I confess I’m mystified.

A $1 cut in the appropriations process (of which there are now 28 billion versus FY 2010 enacted) does not cut outlays by $1. It cuts the authority to engage in outlays by $1 (which down the line presumably means fewer outlays).

A $1 “rescission” (roughly $8.5 billion from prior mandatory appropriations) does exactly the same thing. It cuts the authority to engage in outlays by $1 (which down the line presumably means fewer outlays). So rescissions are just as real as cuts to appropriations levels.

Weirdly enough, reforms to mandatory programs (changes to the Pell Grant alone come to $35 billion in cuts in ten years) immediately cut outlays and the reductions grow in perpetuity (since the program was running in perpetuity). Of course, most of the long-term mandatory program changes do not score in this FY 2011 appropriations exercise (quirky Budget Act), so only $500 million of the Pell Grant savings are reflected in the $1.049 trillion figure.

Appropriations, rescissions, mandatory changes: cuts are cuts.

Most Popular

Science & Tech

Trump Derangement Syndrome at The Lancet

Remember when we were told that the administration of Donald J. Trump posed a pernicious threat to science and medicine? In an attempt to sharpshoot Trump’s most famous scientific claim, one of the world’s leading medical journals just blew off its own foot. What other possible explanation can there be for ... Read More
Science & Tech

Trump Derangement Syndrome at The Lancet

Remember when we were told that the administration of Donald J. Trump posed a pernicious threat to science and medicine? In an attempt to sharpshoot Trump’s most famous scientific claim, one of the world’s leading medical journals just blew off its own foot. What other possible explanation can there be for ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Protest Loophole

Did you know there is a giant loophole to the legally enforceable social-distancing guidelines of the COVID-19 pandemic? New York City mayor Bill de Blasio was reminded by a reporter earlier this week that retail stores and houses of worship had been closed for months. All public gatherings were limited by law ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Protest Loophole

Did you know there is a giant loophole to the legally enforceable social-distancing guidelines of the COVID-19 pandemic? New York City mayor Bill de Blasio was reminded by a reporter earlier this week that retail stores and houses of worship had been closed for months. All public gatherings were limited by law ... Read More
U.S.

The ‘Institutional Racism’ Canard

About twice as many white people as black people are killed by police. In fact, in about 75 percent of police shootings, the decedent is not black. Of course, that is not what you would grasp from consuming media. Take the website statista.com, specifically its breathless focus on “Hate crime in the United ... Read More
U.S.

The ‘Institutional Racism’ Canard

About twice as many white people as black people are killed by police. In fact, in about 75 percent of police shootings, the decedent is not black. Of course, that is not what you would grasp from consuming media. Take the website statista.com, specifically its breathless focus on “Hate crime in the United ... Read More
Media

The Hysterical Debate over Federal Troops 

A  vigorous argument has erupted over the proper way to restore order in the face of riots, arson, and looting following the death of George Floyd. Should local police be supplemented by the National Guard, or by the Army, or would that make things worse? Tom Cotton led the charge for the “Send In the ... Read More
Media

The Hysterical Debate over Federal Troops 

A  vigorous argument has erupted over the proper way to restore order in the face of riots, arson, and looting following the death of George Floyd. Should local police be supplemented by the National Guard, or by the Army, or would that make things worse? Tom Cotton led the charge for the “Send In the ... Read More