The "Pledge to Increase the Deficit"

by Jonathan Chait | September 27, 2010

The Center for American Progress has a new report showing that the "Pledge to America" would increase the deficit relative to President Obama's budget. Get used to seeing this graph:

Even that is a generous grade for the Republican budget, as it assumes that the huge cuts to domestic discretionary spending will be carried out. Cutting domestic discretionary spending is a classic budget dodge. It's a giant catch-all category of programs that have long resisted cutting either because they're popular, vital, protected by powerful interest groups, or all three. A promise to cut domestic discretionary spending is a way to grasp anti-spending credibility without naming an actual program you plan to cut. (If opponents say, "Do you want to cut veterans' spending? Highways? The Coast Guard?," inevitably the response is no, we'll cut something else.)

The funny thing is that, even if the Pledge were to carry out 100% of its phantom cuts, it would still increase the deficit relative to President Obama's budget.

Source URL: http://www.newrepublic.com//blog/jonathan-chait/77981/the-pledge-increase-the-deficit