More on the Supercommittee Follies

In a post last Saturday, I linked to an article by Veronique de Rugy in which she exposed what an utter sham the deficit reduction “supercommittee” is.  In short, even with sequestration spending rises each and every year for the next 10 years. Last night de Rugy penned a follow-up article, this one in the National Review.  An excerpt follows:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We shouldn’t fear the spending cuts under sequestration. This chart once again puts the Budget Control Act’s sequester into perspective by illustrating its effect on public debt, using data from the CBO’s projections of debt held by the public over fiscal years 2012 to 2021.

As you can see, the automatic sequester cuts do very little to the overall trend in the growth of debt. Under current law, according to CBO projections, public debt will reach nearly $14.54 trillion by 2021. Under sequestration, it is projected to reach $14.38 trillion, a rather minute difference of $153 billion.


But here is what makes me particularly grumpy: The American people can’t even count on this tiny debt reduction, because it is unlikely that Congress and the president will let the sequester cuts be implemented — in other words, you can pretty much forget about the red bars. Of course, even the blue bars are rosy projections of our debt levels, since they assume that the spending cuts in the health-care bill will happen and that Congress will let the spending caps in the BCA work, among other optimistic expectations.

Again, there are no spending cuts, with or without sequestration. The Democrats, of course, continue to insist on raising taxes on productive Americans to “complement” these non-existent spending cuts.  Even if there were actual spending cuts, taxes are not the problem.  Indeed, tax revenues are projected to rise slightly above their historical average as a percent of GDP.  The problem is spending, and raising taxes would only exacerbate that problem by giving Washington even more of our money to waste.  The following Heritage Foundation chart is worth a thousand words (h/t Ed Morrissey):

Hmmmm.  Which side of the budget equation appears to be out of whack: spending or revenue?  The answer for most of us, of course, is obvious.  Unfortunately, there’s no indication the political class is endowed with adequate powers of observation.

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