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Budget Deal Gimmicks

Recorded on July 31, 2011

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.

Political leaders in Washington may have a deal on borrowing about two-and-a-half trillion dollars. The borrowing is a sure thing. The spending cuts are mostly gimmicks.

Sadly, the most likely cuts would come from defense, lowering America's posture as the world's guardian of freedom.

The notion of reducing payments to doctors and hospitals under Medicare has been a political football for about 15 years. Congress has always backed off and not made those cuts when the due date arrived.

The only real number is what happens right now. Immediate spending reductions may be less than ten billion dollars—the rest of the claimed trillion-dollar cuts are just fluffy promises to make tough decisions later. But it's a misnomer to say any of it actually reduces spending—in typical Washington fashion, so-called cuts mean that spending will still go up, just not quite as rapidly as they were planning.

From The Heritage Foundation, I'm Ernest Istook.