StanCollender'sCapitalGainsandGames Washington, Wall Street and Everything in Between

Penny-Wise/Pound-Foolish Budget-Cutting

21 Sep 2011
Posted by Bruce Bartlett

Press reports say that Congress is about to enact a nominal spending cut of 10 percent in the U.S. Government Accountability Office budget. The mind-boggling stupidity of this action is frankly beyond comprehension. Anyone who knows anything about the budget knows that the GAO is the primary source for detailed analyses of government programs. If Congress really wants to cut the budget without just taking a meat-ax to every program regardless of the consequences it needs the GAO desperately. It is the strongest ally any budget cutter could possibly have. GAO analysts know the ins and outs of government programs better than anyone in Washington. Its database is filled with decades full of reports recommending savings that would have saved trillions of wasted dollars over the years if they had been followed. Instead of slashing GAO's budget, Congress ought to be increasing it.

"The mind-boggling stupidity of this action is ..."

... exactly what should be expected from an institution controlled by today's GOP.

(And from right-leaning Democrats like Ben Nelson, who crave the label of "moderate" without caring one whit whether the policies they're pursuing are recognizable as moderation).

Insufficient demand

Just heard your CNBC interview on Yahoo!Finance. Insufficient demand IS the problem and the private sector is obviously not being crowded out of the labor market. As you say, we need to increase demand via government spending. At the same time, we need to introduce an excise tax on consumer purchases of durable goods. I would start it at 2% and raise it steadily to 15-20%. That would provide the revenue increases needed without resorting to raising income taxes. It would also help close the trade gap. Cutting government spending will only decrease demand and increase unemployment, which appears to be exactly what the master manipulators want. What we do not need is to destroy our nation's government or encourage the rich to abandon us for greener pastures.

Has to do with GAO's report

Has to do with GAO's report on for-profit colleges. The colleges didn't like it, hired a metric ton of lobbyists, and are now attacking GAO.

The GAO is a major source of

The GAO is a major source of relevant factual data; ergo...

Ah, but Bruce! You assume

Ah, but Bruce! You assume that people will ever take the time to read the reports that the pointy-heads put together.


read them. 

They don't really want to cut

They don't really want to cut the waste fraud and abuse. The wfa is there because corporate America lobbies for it.

If your goal, as is theGOPs,

If your goal, as is theGOPs, is to make sure government doesn't work, what better method than to deprive it of information?

That's the point. Get rid of

That's the point. Get rid of anyone who can provide facts. Facts are pesky things that just get in the way of the desired ENDs. Truthyness that supports ideology is all that's required.

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