Thursday, June 24, 2004

When An Increase is Really a Cut

All the peripheries of my intellect, the term "baseline budget" occasionally popped into view. I never paid it much heed except in the sense that is contributed to ever-increasing government spending.

I just read an article from Club for Growth bogeyman, Stephen Moore. Normally, I don't pay much heed to what he says. Not because I am for higher taxes and consider him garlic to my tax vampirism as Socialists do, but because he is a vocal advocate for lower taxes.

"What?" you say. "You're against tax increases yet ignore someone who lives and breathes tax cuts in all shapes and forms?" Yes. I do so because Mr. Moore is that four-letter word. He is an "advocate" and those types of people always distort.

Now back to baseline budgeting. With it, next year's budget automatically increases by inflation and anticipated increases in program participation i.e. a new $100 million program to teach disadvantaged kids their colors is passed at the behest of Senator Do-More-Harm-Than-Good. As a result of demographic "studies", the crack interns in this Senators office have also supplied statistics that show that the rate at which disadvantaged kids are not learning their colors is growing at 5% per year. So that 5% and the rate of inflation conspire to guarantee than next year's program is not $100 million dollars but $108 million.

This time you ask, "So?” Sew the holes in your underwear! The rotten do-more-harm-than-gooders are going use that $108 million as the baseline budget to determine whether the programs is being cut. So if Senator Do-A-Little-Less-Harm suggests that next year's program only be $105 million (still an increase from the previous year's budget), the Senators who do more harm cry, "You're stampeding over poor kids' right to learn their colors by cutting this program!"

Next thing you know, the p.r.whores back pedal because, God dammit if they're going to be seen trampling on kids' rights, poor kids at that, to learn their colors on the government dime!

Sadly, this occurs all the time. Remember when the Republicans tried to slow the growth of Medicare back in 1995? It is the exact same thing.

Just something to keep in mind once politicians get around to reforming the entitlement spending. Remember baseline budgetting and tell your local politician to stop being a politiican and be honest!

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