Over half of Reid's 'savings' come from the end of war in Iraq, Afghanistan

Caucus Blog, NY Times:

The Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday that a deficit reduction plan offered by the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, would reduce budget deficits by $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years.

The report was politically helpful to Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat, as he tried to round up support for his plan, which would increase the federal debt limit by $2.7 trillion — enough to get beyond the elections in November 2012.

In its report, the budget office found that more than half of the savings in Mr. Reid’s plan were attributable to caps he would impose on new spending related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. These caps would directly save $1.04 trillion over 10 years and would also reduce debt service costs by perhaps $250 billion, the budget office said.

If these savings are subtracted from the total, Mr. Reid’s plan would save roughly $900 billion over 10 years, the budget office said. That figure is not too different from the agency’s estimate of savings under the Republican plan offered in the House by Speaker John A. Boehner — $850 billion over 10 years.

I think we can call those the "fog of war" savings since they are clearly BS. If the war continues there will be no savings, and if we pull out there would not have been any expenditures anyway. They are just thrown in to make it look like the cuts match the amount of the extension. Call it the Reid politics of fraud.

Boehner's budget does not use that gimmick and he is looking for additional savings in a second tranche a few months from now. Democrats do not want to remind voters again of their extravagant spending which has made the cuts necessary. I am surprised the Times writers actually take the "fog of war" portion seriously.


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