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View Diary: Paul Ryan had a bad night (52 comments)

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  •  Federal budgeting does not allow you (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JerryNA, nextstep, VClib, Womantrust

    to just pick which assumptions you want.  

    There are specific laws about baseline budgeting. The GAO definition is "an estimate of spending, revenue, the deficit or surplus, and the public debt expected during a fiscal year under current laws and current policy. The baseline is a benchmark for measuring the budgetary effects of proposed changes in revenues and spending. It assumes that receipts and mandatory spending will continue or expire in the future as required by law and that the future funding for discretionary programs will equal the most recently enacted appropriation, adjusted for inflation."

    The CBO prepares the budgeting baseline each year based on current law and policy.  

    If you prepare a budget with a baseline that is not based on current laws and current policy -- and you don't make that abundantly clear -- that's dishonest.  

    •  "current laws and current policy"... (0+ / 0-)

      is a moving target at this point. Once we  get through the next two or three economic hostage situations, we'll have a better idea of what the baseline will be.

      The CBO projections are controlled and limited as you have indicated. The future is not. Fortune telling has always been a high risk endeavor.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:56:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not true for budgeting. (1+ / 0-)
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        "current laws and current policy" is a moving target at this point.
        There are laws, and rules, about baseline budgeting.  I linked to a discussion of that.  If you are going to do a federal budget, and you deviate from the law in your federal budget, you need to make that clear or you are being dishonest.  

        You can make any assumption you want, but it's clear that, unless you specify otherwise, people are going to assume that your baseline is what the law says your baseline must be.  So, if you don't use the baseline that the law requires in baseline budgeting, and you don't tell people that when you put your budget out there, you are being dishonest.

        When Senator Murray said her budget "cut $1.85 trillion" she needed to qualify it by saying, "assuming that we have turned off the sequester and put $1 trillion back in the budget."  By not making that qualification, by remaining silent about any changes to the baseline, she was giving conveying that the $1.85 trillion in cuts was off the baseline set forth in law and used by the CBO.    That was not honest.  

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