Democrats are unhappy about alleged cuts to social programs. Republicans are unhappy about alleged cuts to military spending. With everyone seemingly unhappy, including President Obama, is the deficit bill a good compromise?

Before deciding, please consider a few choice comments regarding budget cuts from Debt and spending deal picks up momentum in Senate

  • Sen. John McCain conceded as much, saying he’d have to “swallow hard” to vote for it because of cuts in defense spending. But the Arizona Republican said lawmakers had little choice in the face of the specter of default.
  • Fellow Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he was a no vote. “Simply stated, it locks us into more debt, bigger government and most devastating of all, a weakened defense infrastructure at a time when we face growing threats.”
  • Rep. Elliot Engel, a liberal Democrat from New York, said he was leaning no because the plan could lead to cuts to Medicare and other benefit programs.
  • “This deal trades people’s livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it,” said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.

Whip Count Quotes

Here are some more quotes from WHIP COUNT: House leaders in both parties seek votes to pass debt-limit deal

  • Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) – Head of the Congressional Black Caucus called it a “sugar-coated Satan sandwich.”
  • Donna Edwards (D-Md.) – On Sunday, she tweeted, “Nada from million/billionaires; corp tax loopholes aplenty; only sacrifice from the poor/middle class? Shared sacrifice, balance? Really?”
  • Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) – Co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus has ripped deal, saying on July 31 that it was crafted for “right-wing radicals.”

Cuts? Where the Hell are the Cuts?

Republicans and democrats alike are screaming about cuts. I would like to know where those cuts are.

When a Cut is Not a Cut

Ron Paul has the answer in When a Cut is Not a Cut

One might think that the recent drama over the debt ceiling involves one side wanting to increase or maintain spending with the other side wanting to drastically cut spending, but that is far from the truth. In spite of the rhetoric being thrown around, the real debate is over how much government spending will increase.

No plan under serious consideration cuts spending in the way you and I think about it. Instead, the “cuts” being discussed are illusory, and are not cuts from current amounts being spent, but cuts in projected spending increases. This is akin to a family “saving” $100,000 in expenses by deciding not to buy a Lamborghini, and instead getting a fully loaded Mercedes, when really their budget dictates that they need to stick with their perfectly serviceable Honda. But this is the type of math Washington uses to mask the incriminating truth about their unrepentant plundering of the American people.

In reality, bringing our fiscal house into order is not that complicated or excruciatingly painful at all. If we simply kept spending at current levels, by their definition of “cuts” that would save nearly $400 billion in the next few years, versus the $25 billion the Budget Control Act claims to “cut”. It would only take us 5 years to “cut” $1 trillion, in Washington math, just by holding the line on spending. That is hardly austere or catastrophic.

A balanced budget is similarly simple and within reach if Washington had just a tiny amount of fiscal common sense. Our revenues currently stand at approximately $2.2 trillion a year and are likely to remain stagnant as the recession continues. Our outlays are $3.7 trillion and projected to grow every year. Yet we only have to go back to 2004 for federal outlays of $2.2 trillion, and the government was far from small that year. If we simply returned to that year’s spending levels, which would hardly be austere, we would have a balanced budget right now. If we held the line on spending, and the economy actually did grow as estimated, the budget would balance on its own by 2015 with no cuts whatsoever.

We pay 35 percent more for our military today than we did 10 years ago, for the exact same capabilities. The same could be said for the rest of the government. Why has our budget doubled in 10 years? This country doesn’t have double the population, or double the land area, or double anything that would require the federal government to grow by such an obscene amount.

In Washington terms, a simple freeze in spending would be a much bigger “cut” than any plan being discussed. If politicians simply cannot bear to implement actual cuts to actual spending, just freezing the budget would give the economy the best chance to catch its breath, recover and grow.

Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham are complaining about cuts to military. Bear in mind the US spends more on defense than the rest of the world put together.

The US has troops in 140 countries. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are “supposed” to end, yet various Republicans bitch about “non-cuts” to military spending.

“Sugar-Coated Satan Sandwich?”

The quote of the day goes to Emanuel Cleaver, Head of the Congressional Black Caucus who called the deal a “sugar-coated Satan sandwich.”

Cleaver is exactly correct, but 180 degrees wrong as to why. This deal does not cut a damn thing. It is an illusion.

Republican hypocrites screaming about “excessive cuts” are a pathetic sight to behold.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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