Skip to comments.BASELINE BUDGETING (This is the "reason" spending always Has to go up)
Posted on 07/27/2011 4:12:38 PM PDT by radioone
"Baseline budgeting" is one of those Washington terms that sounds very dry and boring. In reality, baseline budgeting is one of the most sinister ways that politicians claim to cut spending when they are actually increasing spending. The Congressional Budget Office defines the baseline as a benchmark for measuring the budgetary effects of proposed changes in federal revenue or spending, with the assumption that current budgetary policies or current services are continued without change. The baseline includes automatic adjustments for inflation and anticipated increases in program participation. Baseline, or current services, budgeting, therefore builds automatic, future spending increases into Congress's budgetary forecasts.
Baseline budgeting tilts the budget process in favor of increased spending and taxes. For example, if an agency's budget is projected to grow by $100 million, but only grows by $75 million, according to baseline budgeting, that agency sustained a $25 million cut. That is analogous to a person who expects to gain 100 pounds only gaining 75 pounds, and taking credit for losing 25 pounds. The federal government is the only place this absurd logic is employed.
Politicians often like to have it both ways. Baseline budgeting gives politicians an opportunity to deceive taxpayers by allowing them to claim that they are holding the line on spending while providing more services.
Baseline budgeting seems like a technicality and should not be such a hotbed of contention, but every round of budget negotiations involves baseline budgeting with both sides of the aisle complaining that the other side is using the process to mask spending increases. Baseline budgeting is an issue that truly separates the deficit hawks from the budget chickens.
Eliminating the inflated budget baseline will force Congress to justify and account for increased spending instead of hiding behind automatic increases. Through commonsense accounting, taxpayers would learn that spending in Washington is not under control.
Don’t worry. If we just pass Boehner’s plan the media will give us the credit, independents will love us for being so pragmatic and in 2013 we will have the House,Senate and Whitehouse.
Then we will definitely stop the spending and get rid of all those rules. Trust us. Definitely.
What’s that you say? You trusted us in 2000? Well this time we really, really mean it. Honest.
What it means is that if an agency doesn’t spend EVERy penny allocated to it it may not get as much next year so spend spend spend.
“What it means is that if an agency doesnt spend EVERy penny allocated to it it may not get as much next year so spend spend spend.”
A good example of this in some article written a few days ago was when an Agency budgets $10 million one year for a new computer system. The next year they get that $10 million again(even though they won’t buy another computer system) under baseline budgeting, PLUS whatever additional funds under the “assumed” guise of inflation, etc, etc. Nobody ever goes back and says, “hey, you guys don’t need that $10 million again”. But, since Congress only works a couple days a week, what do we expect????
Someone needs to send this to Sarah. I would love to hear her educating the electorate on the true workings of the government. A plank in her platform could be incentives for agencies to spend less, rather than being compelled to spend the same or more.
Here’s my question, who can change it? Is it strictly a CBO decision? Can congress change it?
Congress can indeed change it. There was even a bill [can’t remember who did it] to change from baseline budgeting to normal. Of course it only had oxygen in the House.
But this needs to keep coming up. Hell, put it in Mack’s One Percent Solution and pass THAT puppy.
Yes, Mack’s plan is a good one. Pair it with some of Ryan’s entitlement reform, and we’ll be headed in the right direction.
i emailed and called my critter - and i hear it talked about more each day.
hope boehner passes it too
Whoever runs for president should have this in their platform. It is a winner. Although the issue is complex, it is a logical fix.
If our candidate is honest in 2012 and says, our federal government has run off the tracks for the past few decades, and I am here to get it on track again, they will have a resonating message. Yes, Obama is a disaster, but the problems were not born in 2009, and they also were not born in 2001 when Bush arrived. Both spend too much, however, if Bush was going 73 in a 65mph highway, Obama put the pedal down and is going 110mph. The GOP needs to run against the last 40 years of poor federal decision making.
The parasite has outgrown the host. This represents trouble for both.
Does baseline budgeting apply only to social programs, or does it apply to the DoD too?