Do you wonder why Congress cannot balance the budget? The answer is that our political system is now so corrupt it is almost illegal to do so. Here is how Rush Limbaugh once described the situation on his show.
CALLER: Okay. So it seems like those one-time things like TARP and bailouts and I don’t know what all, somehow got added into the annual spending, and I don’t understand that.
RUSH: Well, it’s a great question. It really is. You know, I shouldn’t say the answer is complicated because it makes sound intimidating. It really isn’t. But the reason why those one-time expenditures seemed to build on themselves is because of the budget process that’s known as “baseline budgeting,” which was begun in the 1970s, I believe. The simplest way to explain the baseline budget is the federal budget is not like your household budget.
In your household budget, if you do one (let’s hypothetically say that you do), you look at what you spent last year, you look at this current year, and you estimate as close as you can what your income is going to be. You then budget what your spending is going to be, and every year you do that starting from zero. That’s not how the federal government does it. There is a thing in the federal government called “the Current Services Baseline,” and that is the starting point every year, not zero.
There is not one government department or agency that looks at what it was given to spend every year, and then what it did spend, and is then budgeted accordingly. So let’s say that agriculture was budgeted X. I’m just gonna make up some numbers here. Let’s say the agriculture department was budgeted $100 billion and they spent $70 billion. You would think, “Okay, next year they’ll be budgeted $70 billion.”
No. Because of baseline budgeting, the more they spend, the more they will be allowed to spend or budgeted to spend the next year. The Current Services Baseline essentially — and I’m gonna cut through a bunch of legalese to explain this to you. The Current Services Baseline requires, mandates, whatever, that every line item in the federal budget be increased by anywhere from three to 10% every year, no matter what is spent on that line item.
Think Limbaugh was joking? Check it out.
- Baseline Budgeting (cagw.org)
- THERE ARE NO CUTS! – The fallacy of baseline budgeting (thehill.com)
- Baseline Budgeting (conservapedia.com)
- How Baseline Budgeting is Bankrupting My Generation (townhall.com)
So what happens when the news media and the Democrats tell us that President Trump or some budget hawks are cutting the budget? Well, we need to know whether those honorable so and so’s are talking about a cut in comparison to last year’s budget or the “baselined” budget increase. That is, what the political class and the news media usually calls a budget cut is outright lie.
You care about the country? You care about the prosperity of your children and grandchildren? You care about honest government and a balanced budget. Then write your congressmen. We have Republican majorities in the House and Senate. We have a Republican in the White House. What is their excuse for not getting rid of the deceit perpetuated with baselined budgeting?
You can find your representative in the House at house.gov.
You can find your senators at senate.gov.