Sequestration budget cuts won’t be cuts at all

| November 25 2011
Christopher Cook

Houston, we have a problem. The problem is a beast called mandatory spending. Mandatory spending is spending on entitlements (welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare) and interest on the debt. All of our talk so far about cutting spending is just playing on the margins. Or if you prefer—rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

America can fix this, but we’re going to have to start addressing the real problem.

From the irreplaceable Dan Mitchell:

They tell as that a sequester would mean “savage” and “draconian” budget cuts. The only “responsible” approach, we are told, is to go along with a tax increase.

This is hogwash. The automatic spending cuts are only “cuts” using Washington’s dishonest budget math. Here’s a chart showing how much spending will grow over the next 10 years, and the relatively tiny reduction in budgetary growth that will be caused if there is a sequester.

We’ve actually been down this path before. There was a small sequester back in the mid-1980s, shortly after the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law was enacted. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but the sequestration helped restrain the growth of spending and helped bring about a record amount of deficit reduction in 1987.

That huge blue bar that keeps getting bigger is driven by entitlements. Defense and other discretionary programs could be eliminated entirely, and the budget would still grow due to mandatory spending.

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  1. [...] the previous post, we show the chart that Dan Mitchell provides that shows that sequestration won’t result in [...]

  2. [...] As it turns out, not only will they not accept cuts, they largely won’t even go along with nominal trimming of the rate of increase. We posted about this on Friday. [...]