The continuing resolution (CR) released by House Republicans last Friday is a start to getting the government’s financial mess in order, conservative advocates say, but shouldn’t be viewed as the be-all end-all.
Rick Manning, a spokesman for Americans for Limited Government, a nonprofit that fights against big government, told The Daily Caller that the $100 billion the Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee claim is being cut from this year’s CR immediately is really only $59 billion through the end of the 2011 fiscal year. Over a calendar year from now, though, Manning said those cuts would amount to more than $100 billion.
“A $1.5 trillion deficit is a really, really, really big number. That is an enormous number. Before Pelosi and Reid got in, you had 27 weeks of unemployment insurance,” Manning said. “Now, you get 125 or some insane number like that. They’ve essentially added two years that people can get unemployment. That’s a huge expenditure. While it sounds like a good thing and it’s very generous and it’s trying to help people who are unemployed, the fact is it’s bankrupting our country.”
Mattie Carrao at Americans for Tax Reform told TheDC the GOP’s new CR is a better proposal than the budget President Barack Obama released on Monday, mostly because it cuts actual spending rather than just rolling spending over until the next year.
“This is the first CR we’ve seen that, actually, is not just cutting by ‘Washington standards’ where we’re spending less than we intended to spend, but we’re cutting from a level where we’re spending at now,” Carrao said in a phone interview. “It is a great step in the right direction and we are supportive of any effort to cut spending. It’s always good to see Republicans fielding the call for smaller government by writing legislation to that end.”
By cutting spending by “Washington standards,” Carrao means that politicians will regularly frame spending less than they wanted to, but adding more to the deficit, as a “spending cut.”
“When you get a CR that spends less than what had been projected to be spent, this is seen as a spending cut by Washington standards when, in reality, you’re still spending more money than you were the year before,” Carrao said. “But, here in Washington, we’re the only city that sees that as a cut. So, it’s nice to see that House Republicans are stepping away from this conventional wisdom.”
Manning said the Obama administration is much less focused on fixing the deficit and would rather pay down the deficit by inflating the currency.
“What Obama’s real plan here is, the Obama-Bernanke plan, is to basically inflate us out of the deficit by making the dollar worth less,” Manning said. “They’re trying to make it so we’re paying back today’s debt with radically less-valuable dollars down the road.”
Carrao said Obama’s new budget for 2012 is the same budget, virtually, he’s released every year since taking office, with a new spin on it: a rhetoric on cutting spending that hasn’t really been cut.
‘The budget just released by President Obama is, by and large, the same budget we’ve seen over the past couple of years,” Carrao said. “It’s a gigantic spending package that issues no positive reform on the mandatory forefront, on the tax forefront or on the spending forefront. This president, who came into office pledging not to raise taxes for anyone making under $250,000 a year, pledging to cut spending for every new dollar of spending he authorized and pledging to get the fiscal house in order, has done none of these things he previously promised for the past two years.”
Manning said the administration can spin spending many different ways, and regularly will do so by saying the money is going to people who need it, but when the government can’t afford it, the government can’t afford it.
“There’s nothing wrong with trying to help people,” Manning said. “But, you can’t destroy the country while you’re trying to do it. That’s what they’re doing.”