Democrats propose to bust the budget

  • 9 April 2019
  • NormanL

House Democrats have put together their spending wish list. They won't call it a budget, harkening back to the Obama years. But that's almost beside the point. Democrats want to spend even more money than their GOP predecessors ever dreamed:

In lieu of a budget resolution, the House Budget Committee has put forward a bill to increase discretionary spending caps by $358 billion over the next two years. Not only would this increase be twice as expensive as eliminating the discretionary sequester and bring base discretionary spending to record levels (on an inflation-adjusted basis), but it would expand deficits by roughly $2 trillion over the next decade.

After a 16 percent spending increase over the past two years, current law calls for a 10 percent drop in discretionary spending between 2019 and 2020. The Investing for the People Act of 2019 would instead increase spending by another 7 percent over the next two years, at a cost of $177 billion in 2020 and $181 billion in 2021 (this excludes adjustments for Census funding and IRS enforcement). This plan would lift discretionary spending to record levels on an inflation-adjusted basis, roughly in line with the 2010 level that both parties considered too high.

Because current law caps expire after 2021, this spending deal would actually increase projected deficits by far more than the $358 billion sticker price. Under current scoring convention, uncapped spending is assumed to continue growing with inflation. This cap deal would thus increase spending by roughly $2 trillion over the next decade.

Of course this means the deficits will reach new highs as well:

As a result of this new spending, deficits will reach $1 trillion next year and $1.6 trillion by 2029. Debt as a share of GDP would rise from 78 percent of GDP this year to 99 percent by 2029, compared to 93 percent under current law. Note that these estimates exclude the effects of adjustments for the Census, the IRS, and Overseas Contingency Operations.

This isn't just bad policy, it borders on the intentionally destructive.