Look at what a great lousy job the Drive-Bys have done in educating the American people on the subject of the debt ceiling. For instance, how many of you realize that we have more than doubled the debt ceiling in just five years
? In 2006 the debt ceiling was $8.2 trillion. Now with what's gonna end up happening here, the debt ceiling will be raised to $16.7 trillion. It's at 14.3 now. You would think that would qualify as news. And, of course, we're still not spending enough money for Obama. We're really being played for a bunch of saps, folks...
Your baseline is the amount of money you have to start with. That is not how it works in Washington
. Baseline budgeting is based on the presumption that every item in the budget will automatically increase between three and 10% depending on what the item is, every year, regardless what happened in the previous year. This is why, for example, at the end of the year the agriculture department starts advertising for food stamp applicants because they want their budget to increase. So they don't look at the reality, and say, "You know what, we don't need this much money in this department. We have more money than we need. We don't have as many people needing food stamps as we have food stamps." They don't look at it and then cut back and tell the government, "You know what, you can cut us here." They will go out and give away food stamps in order to make sure they get that three to 10% increase. But that three to 10% increase every year becomes the starting point for every budget negotiation.
...the best way I have ever found to illustrate this is to put yourself in the situation where you're going to go buy a new car. You've looked at your budget, and you have decided that you can afford the monthly payment on a $40,000 car. So you go to the showrooms or you go to the Internet or you go wherever you look to buy a car, and you find a car you really love for $70,000 that the dealer tells you is on sale, that you can get it for 60.
So you and the family discuss it, and if you're like Washington, what you do is you tell yourself, "You know what? Let's get that $70,000 car that only costs 60, and we will save ourselves $10,000." But you haven't. You have spent $20,000 more than you originally allocated. You originally said you're gonna buy a $40,000 car, then you find one you really like for 70, on sale for 60, you plop down the 60, which is 20 more than you wanted to spend, and tell yourself you saved ten. That's how it works. That's baseline budgeting. That is how a cut or a saving is actually an increase.
Now, the best, most accurate illustration of where we are with the current baseline in the United States federal budget, I was sent a note from a legislative director of a member of the House of Representatives. I'm not gonna mention the name nor am I gonna mention the state. But trust me, it is a real person and of course it's a real state and it's a real legislative director. And here's the note: "One final thought to illustrate the absurdity of our baseline, and I'll leave you alone. If Speaker Boehner --" now, listen to me very carefully, folks "-- if Speaker Boehner were to propose that we simply freeze all government spending immediately, including mandatory and discretionary, meaning including the entitlements, if we just freeze everything and spend no more this year than we spent last year, the Congressional Budget Office would score that as a nine and a half trillion-dollar cut
That's how out of whack the baseline is: A $9.5 trillion cut.
RUSH: By the way, folks, in 1987 Congress amended the definition of the "baseline" so that discretionary appropriations would be adjusted to keep pace with inflation. So they've just kept adding to the baseline. When you do that -- amend the definition of the "baseline" so that discretionary appropriation would be adjusted to keep pace with inflation -- before the automatic increase every year, before the scheduled automatic increase? Do you get to do that with your income? Nobody does! No business does. No private household does. But our federal government does.
Baseline Budgeting Makes Real Cuts Impossible in Washington