A new budget estimate released Wednesday shows that the spending bill negotiated between President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner would produce less than 1 percent of the $38 billion in claimed savings by the end of this budget year.
The Congressional Budget Office estimate shows that compared with current spending rates the spending bill due for a House vote Thursday would pare just $352 million from the deficit through Sept. 30. About $8 billion in cuts to domestic programs and foreign aid are offset by nearly equal increases in defense spending.
The CBO study confirms that the measure trims $38 billion in new spending authority, but many of the cuts come in slow-spending accounts like water-and-sewer grants that don’t have an immediate deficit impact.
Three immediate reactions to this:
1. If the House Republicans really cared about the cutting the deficit, they wouldn’t be advocating passage of this proposal. But they’re not serious about cutting the deficit.
2. We already knew it, but this really underscores the fact that the teapartiers got sold down the river. I don’t have any fantasies about them abandoning the GOP in 2012, but I suspect it will be much harder for the GOP to raise money from low-dollar donors and to fill out their cadres of volunteers.
3. The notion that John Boehner out-maneuvered Barack Obama and Harry Reid was dubious before. It’s laughable now.