I stumbled upon these two gems in close succession. Regardless of how you feel about the competing budget “plans,” the debate is absurd.
Paul Ryan puts it beautifully in this clip:
Lets pass a bill to cover the moon with yogurt that will cost $5 trillion today. And then lets pass a bill the next day to cancel that bill. We could save $5 trillion.
He [Ron Paul] puts it more seriously in this post:
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.
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.
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.