GOP: WASHINGTON, March 13–At today’s Budget Committee mark-up, Senators had an opportunity to ask technical questions of Sen. Murray’s staff director and deputy staff director, who were primarily responsible for crafting the resolution.
Under intense questioning from Sen. Sessions, the staffers admitted that despite claims that “The Senate budget, therefore, includes $1.85 trillion in total deficit reduction, $960 billion of which consists of a full and balanced replacement of the cuts from sequestration,” it is not possible to apply tax increases and spending cuts simultaneously to both deficit reduction *and* replacing the sequester.
In other words, turning off the sequester amounts to an immediate spending increase of $1.2 trillion. Although Senate Democrats claim around $1.9 trillion in deficit reduction, they are double-counting more than half of that money. Their actual deficit reduction is closer to $700 billion, and even this figure is inflated by the use of a war savings gimmick. Honestly accounted, real deficit reduction is only around $300 billion–virtually no change from our disastrous debt course.