Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a partial estimate of the long-term savings produced by the spending cuts package enacted last month. Since it looks only at a limited set of data, the report provides an uneven snapshot of the cuts, but one thing is clear: congressional Republicans were able to save American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in the long term.
In the short-term, the cuts to budget authority are significant and immediate. The effect on outlays (based on how quickly the administration spends money) meanwhile is slowed due to increased and accelerated spending for our men and women in uniform. As the CBO puts it, “part of the reason …is that some defense funding was shifted from slower-spending to faster-spending activities.”
Counting only non-security discretionary spending – the focus of the Pledge to America – spending cuts are significantly deeper and faster.
Examining the long-term savings, the new CBO numbers provide only a limited picture because it 1) does not include savings Republicans had won in all of the earlier Continuing Resolutions (CRs), or 2) savings from interest on the debt, and 3) didn’t continue some savings from rescissions over the full ten years.
Even still, this partial accounting shows a reduction in budget authority of $183 billion over the next decade. When taking into consideration interest savings, cuts from all the previous CRs, and all of the rescission savings, Republicans have previously projected these cuts alone will reduce the deficit $315 billion over the next decade.
Despite Washington Democrats, who wanted a ‘spending freeze’ and no cuts at all, CBO continues to confirm that congressional Republicans were able to cut spending $78 billion below the President’s budget request and $38 billion below the previously-enacted spending level for fiscal year 2011. All of this is money that could and would have been spent by Washington bureaucrats if left on the table.
But these cuts are just the beginning. The $6 trillion in cuts in the House-passed FY 2012 budget demonstrates that Republicans are intent on continuing to rein in the massive deficits that are providing uncertainty for job creators in America.