Over the last few decades, Congressmen have fallen into this scheme of telling us all that their budget deals will “save money over a ten-year period.” Don’t fall for this. It is an outright lie.
No, I am not being hyperbolic, here. The claim that any budget deal will save any money at all over five or ten-year time spans is simply an outright lie and every congressman knows it. When you hear a Congressman, Republican or Democrat, tell you this, they simply aren’t telling the truth.
In fact, it isn’t really even built into the system for one Congress to pass a budget that holds ten future Congresses to its strictures. This is why the Constitution insists that a new budget be passed every year. One Congress can only budget for itself, not any future Congresses.
We have a perfect example of this with the very budget in the news today, the Ryan/Murray budget.
In 2011 Congress agreed to a budget scheme that contained discretionary spending limits. As Sean Davis recently reported, these limits were agreed to by over 70 percent of House Republicans and signed into law by President Obama.
But, wait. Now Ryan/Murray comes along and dispenses with all those limits and hikes spending without any mind at all to the “law” enacted in 2011.
How did this happen? Because any congressional budget agreement made in 2011 has no permanent restrictions on a Congress in 20123.
As Davis points out, we should not fall for this lie that the Ryan/Murray budget will save money “over ten years.” Why? “For starters, because the people swearing to uphold new caps ten years from now are the same ones eviscerating the caps they agreed to barely two years ago,” Davis writes.
So, with this new deal, Democrats have pulled the wool over Ryan’s naive eyes–unless you believe he knew full well and is complicit with the lies–and eliminated the sequestration rules that mandated spending caps. Now, miraculously, the Democrats get huge hikes in spending with higher “caps.”
And, guess what? Next year they will raise those caps too and get even higher spending “limits”–which effectively aren’t limits at all.
So, if you hear a Congressman tell you that, “sure, we aren’t getting any spending cuts today, but the good new is this bill features massive cuts over ten years,” what he is really saying is “sure we aren’t getting any cut today, but the good news is that we’ll get even higher spending over ten years!”
If Congress is telling you that savings will occur “over ten years” they are lying to you. Period.