« The Will 2 Believe | Main | Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Carter, Jimmy Carter »

Still Feeling No Pain

(cross-posted at tpmcafe.com. Usually there are more comments there.)

From today's Congress Daily:

The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina is making GOP leaders think twice about moving ahead with a $34.7 billion [reconciliation] package of entitlement spending cuts outlined by the FY06 budget resolution, according to congressional aides and lobbyists. Democrats are hammering Republicans over he prospect of cuts in social programs while hundreds of thousands remain homeless....

More likely to proceed as planned is a $70 billion tax-cut reconciliation package -- due Sept. 23 -- as GOP leaders aim to salvage some of their campaign promises despite Katrina's wreckage.

In other words, the Republican game of separating tax cuts from their consequences in spending cuts will go on unabated.

But for those who need a quick refresher in congressional budget arcana (and that is, everyone), reconciliation is a special procedure used to bring taxes and spending in line with a budget plan. Strict time limits and limits on amendments apply to a reconciliation bill, so it cannot be filibustered, debate is tightly constrained and many amendments are not allowed. (For example, on any other bill, a senator could force a vote on an amendment to raise the minimum wage; not on reconcilation.) It is the only opportunity for the raw exercise of power by a party in narrow control of both houses and the White House. But reconcliation packages used to be infrequent, usually one once every three or four years. And until this year, they have always consisted of a single package of spending and tax changes. Never before this year have the spending and tax portions of a budget reconciliation been presented as two separate reconciliation packages. Doing so allows tax cuts to be treated in isolation from the spending cuts that they will make necessary, now or in the future.

In July, in The American Prospect, I predicted that the separation would allow Republicans to claim cheap credit for voting against Medicaid cuts, while still voting against the tax cuts that make those cuts necessary. And I predicted that the spending cuts might even disappear. I argued that the lesson Bush would take from the failure on Social Security was never, ever again to let connect the cuts or pain of the policies to their benefits. Keep it separate, always -- it's what worked for four years, and they only dropped the ball with Social Security.

And, of course Democrats and public interest lobbyists fall for it every time, saluting the defeat or shelving of Medicaid cuts as if something important had been accomplished, and the Washington Post editorial pages hands out medals for courage to the Republicans who speak up for Medicaid. But nothing has been accomplished. Another $70 billion in tax cuts is another $70 billion in Medicaid cuts and FEMA cuts and education cuts, period. Unless we have a massive increase in revenues, from 17% or so of gross domestic product to significantly above the postwar peak of 21.4% of GDP, we're going to face serious Medicaid and Medicare cuts anyway, because of demographics and health inflation. (Or, totally revamp the health system.) More tax cuts make those inevitable cuts even deeper and more painful.

And while we're on the budget issues, Stan Collender of the National Journal, in a subscriber-only column, predicts, "Hurricane Katrina will end up increasing the federal budget deficit by about $100 billion in fiscal 2006." He's basing that on assumptions of another $30-$40 billion in emergency assistance, the beginning of the rebuilding, aid that will be demanded by industries affected by the disaster, increased energy costs to the federal government, the cost of replacing oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and possible tax forgiveness to those directly affected. Collender knows what he's talking about, so this is probably as good an estimate as you can get right now. So that's $70 billion more in tax cuts in the face of a deficit that will substantially exceed $400 billion. Absolutely shameful.

Posted by Mark Schmitt on September 7, 2005 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341ce8a553ef00d8345abe4e69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Still Feeling No Pain:

» Senate Holds Hearing on Gas Price Gouging from Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator
Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, said Tuesday that they suspect price gouging as gasoline c [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 7, 2005 3:19:49 AM

» Rightful Claim To Jerusalem from to the land of
this land as their own, would be the Arab people now called Palestinians. The region was first inhabited [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 5, 2006 2:42:50 PM

» Cell Phones from mobilebum.info
News and ... Sep News of Safety phones, new cell phone phones Cell time ... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 8, 2006 7:48:08 PM

» The Interactive NGC Catalog Online from Official Catalog
The Interactive NGC Catalog Online. This is the interactive NGC (and IC, and Messier) catalog at SEDS, based on the famous NGC 2000.0 by RW Sinnott of Sky ... [Read More]

Tracked on Apr 30, 2006 6:41:52 PM

» Thousands Protest Kyrgyz President (AP) from supporters gathered
presidents corrupt one-year rule, but dispersed peacefully after the leader addressed the crowd. [Read More]

Tracked on May 1, 2006 3:52:13 AM

» Computers Predict Bird Flu Pandemic's Course from Predict Bird
News Created: 4/27/2006 1:58:00 AM Last Editorial Review: 4/27/2006 1:57:37 [Read More]

Tracked on May 1, 2006 6:48:10 AM

» Finding Information on the Internet from Net Search
The University of California Berkeley recommends search strategies, explains search tools, and gives guidance on evaluating and citing web pages... [Read More]

Tracked on May 3, 2006 7:45:56 AM

» Find search engines across the world with Search Engine from World Search
Gain quick, efficient access to search engines from countries around the world with Search Engine Colossus - International Directory of Search Engines. [Read More]

Tracked on May 8, 2006 1:07:43 AM

» Job Search from Directory with Free People Search
Perform a quick job search using Job Bank USA's powerful job search engine. ... Thank you for using Job Bank USA's employment search services and job search ... [Read More]

Tracked on May 8, 2006 1:23:34 PM

» Каталог Google - World > Russian from Каталог интернет-ресурсов
Справка по Каталог Искать в Блоги Поиск в Интернете ... Russian > Компьютеры > Интернет > В сети > Блоги, На главную страницу Каталога: [русский] [English] ... [Read More]

Tracked on May 20, 2006 1:42:16 PM

» Welcome to Ukrainian Gift Shop from Gifts Shop
Ukrainian Gift Shop is the world's largest source of Pysanky, Ukrainian Easter eggs, and Pysanky supplies... [Read More]

Tracked on May 24, 2006 4:36:58 AM

» Search in Directory: ice hair products from Directory Map
Directory of hundreds of search engines, organised by country and topic. [Read More]

Tracked on May 25, 2006 10:22:11 AM

» netCustomer CEO to Present at SIIA Software Strategy Summit 2006; Strategic Planning, The Executive Offshore Decision from and options for
netCustomer CEO, Punita Pandey will participate in a panel session on Tuesday, May 16, 2006. She [Read More]

Tracked on May 26, 2006 4:02:50 PM

» Die Schweizer Suchmaschine from dir.pogovorim.com
Suchmaschine fr die Schweiz mit regionaler Volltextsuche (im domain und in weiteren Sites mit... [Read More]

Tracked on May 28, 2006 3:12:38 AM

» Hollywood Creative Directory from Directory Map
Contact information for the film, television and new media industries. [Read More]

Tracked on May 28, 2006 8:01:45 AM

» Italian Charms from ItalianCharms -- Search results
Italian charms has stainless links from companies by Zoppini, Boxing, ReFlorence, Puzzle, Ryry, Talexia & Unodomani... [Read More]

Tracked on May 28, 2006 4:30:39 PM

» Firefox 1.5 has been released from of Firefox has
window and more robust popup blocking. Standards support is also improved, with support for Scalable [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 5, 2006 6:33:36 AM

» Officials' Imprints Apparent All Over from by the punitively
and the high number of officiating crews gone blind. The suspension of Jason Terry in Game 6 allowed the Spurs to step back from the precipice of [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 6, 2006 3:33:18 AM

» Moore: Mavs Must Move Forward to Escape Past from of THE DALLAS
The Mavericks have made strides to become a more balanced team and to put their offensive past behind them. That's [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 8, 2006 9:19:05 PM

» Dell To Supply Google-Branded Servers from it had reached
Inc. with customized computer servers the search engine company will sell to corporate customers. [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 10, 2006 11:58:19 AM

» QA: Choosing Vitamins For Your Kids, Teens from nswers to Your
nswers to Your Questions About Dietary Supplements [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 11, 2006 1:13:45 AM

» Bin Laden Keeps Lower Profile Than Zarqawi from Laden keeps lower
Laden keeps lower profile than Zarqawi, protected by tribes and remote location [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 15, 2006 10:34:34 PM

» Northwest Pilots Pay Up from and baggage handlers.
judge ratified a concessionary contract between Northwest Airlines and pilots, ground workers and baggage handlers. The deal requests $358 million [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 18, 2006 12:28:28 PM

» Protect Your Chest and Breasts from he Bustline Is
he Bustline Is Delicate and Easily Damaged [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 2, 2006 10:56:03 AM

» arizona cosmetic dentistry from Medicine Words
Medicine Dictionaries and Word References Emergency Medical Technology ... [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 25, 2006 3:14:47 PM

» site map: diamond circle oval pendants from myjewelrystore
Select your jewelry...14K White Gold .43ct Diamond & Sapphire Ring G-H SI3 [Read More]

Tracked on Jul 27, 2006 12:40:35 PM

» burberry from Burberry Perfume
Buy Burberry perfumes and aftershaves from the best UK shops online. Click on one of the products listed below to compare prices to find the best price to ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 5, 2006 2:16:56 AM

» Wiki: Search Results from MostDor
Search Results · WelcomeVisitors . . . . . . WhatIsWiki WhatIsWiki . . . . . . WhatIsWiki. 2 pages found out of 22 pages searched. ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 5, 2006 7:27:07 AM

» U.S. Fire Deaths Down in 2005 from the U.S. last
killed 3,675 people in the U.S. last year, not counting firefighters, says the National Fire Protection [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 9, 2006 5:01:55 PM

» Bvlgari from Bvlgari Watches
Great Saving On Bvlgari Watches Bulgari Watch Bvlgari Assioma, Bulgari Zero1, Bulgari Watch Tubagas, Bvlgari Diagono Aluminium, ... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 9, 2006 11:13:00 PM

» Chocolate May Help Aging Blood Vessels from Hypertension
are a class of antioxidants found in plant-based foods and beverages that have been increasingly linked to heart benefits. [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 10, 2006 8:49:40 PM

» Popular phrase from Map Directory
A search engine directory map... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 12, 2006 12:36:41 PM

» Ru-Энциклопедия from Words 2005-2006
Most Popular Words from Internet... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 15, 2006 9:56:23 AM

» Энциклопедия рунета from Internet Search
Выберите интересующий Вас раздел: 0-9 B C D E F G H I L M O R S T V W А Б В Г Д Е Ж З И К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я TOP 20... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 15, 2006 10:34:20 PM

Comments

What nobody understood when Bush said he would have balanced the budget, except for the "trifecta", was that he meant a trifecta of American cities devasted during his presidency.

I, for one, am not going to bet against him bagging his third.

Posted by: Larry Yudelson | Sep 7, 2005 2:52:30 PM

Post a comment