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Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Federal budget

Yearly increases mean no cuts

The Congressional Budget Office has released new projections for what spending will be if the dreaded sequester goes into full effect this Friday. Here they are (with 2012 spending included for reference):
2012 spending: $3.53 trillion
2013 projected: $3.55 trillion
2014 projected: $3.6 trillion
2015 projected: $3.8 trillion
2016 projected: $4.0 trillion
Anybody see any actual budget cuts there? Anybody? No, thanks to the miracle of "baseline budgeting," and the artificially high baseline that was established with the 2009 stimulus, (You thought that was just a one-time thing, didn't you? Surprise!), we will continue to spend more every year than we spent the year before, even with the sequester in place. Only in the looking-glass world of Washington D.C. can you get away with calling a reduction in the rate of increase a "draconian budget cut" (to quote CNN's Wolf Blitzer).
So -- if we're not actually reducing spending, why is it that we're going to see all the horrible reductions in services that the Democrats keep talking about? This is why even NBC's Chuck Todd is referring to this as "Chicken Little all over again."

Sid Herron
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