Cut baseline budgeting as part of fiscal cliff negotiations?

Let’s do some rudimentary math. The last farm bill, which was enacted in 2008, authorized $604 billion in spending. The current House bill proposed by Lucas (HR 6083) authorizes $957 billion in spending extrapolated over 10 years. Yet, this 58% increase is considered a cut in ‘Washington speak’ because the phony CBO baseline, which locks in Obama’s food stamp spending, projects $992 billion in spending. Hence, passage of the farm bill, which locks in the record food stamp spending and creates new farm welfare programs, will be scored as a spending cut – to the extent that it can be used for the spending cut side of the ‘grand bargain.’
Getting rid of baseline budgeting would at least show some seriousness in dealing with Washington's spending problem.  It looks like neither party is that serious.


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