Friday, April 15, 2011

Budgeting Apples and Oranges

By Robert Romano
A battle has broken out between the tea party movement and House Republicans over just what the now-enacted continuing resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2011 will achieve in real savings. Activists have been responding to AP reports that the resolution cutting $38.5 billion would only result in $352 million in actual cuts to outlays in 2011.

How can this be?
The difference is between the not-commonly-understood “budgeting authority” for 2011 versus outlays that will actually occur in 2011.

Here’s the facts: the 2011 CR addresses the non-emergency budgeting authority for 2011. It authorizes $1.049 trillion of spending versus the total $1.364 trillion discretionary portion of the budget that will actually be spent this year. Why the difference?

Because discretionary outlays for 2011 serve as a function of the 2011 non-emergency budgeting authority plus the war supplemental plus budgeting authorities enacted by previous Congresses. All that was on the table with the continuing resolution was the non-emergency portion, and a small portion of mandatory spending.

Get full story here.

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