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From what I have read on this site (and HuffPost) from the last two days, the left is furious about the spending freeze.  

Cruising other sites I have noted that the right is also furious about the spending freeze.  I thought it was interesting that both sides hate it so I thought I would be productive at work and do a little research...

The Left Opinion

From what I gather, it appears that liberals oppose this spending freeze primarily because it will be an effective budget "cut" (due to the effect of inflation) in the future.  

Before I continue, let me state that from what I understand this proposed freeze will only affect discretionary spending, not defense, medicare, etc.

The Right Opinion

Now, lets take this from conservative standpoint.  They aren't opposed to the freeze exactly.  In fact at first glance, a conservative would tend to approve of the President's intent to save money.

However, for some reason (probably because conservatives tend to dislike democratic politicians, just like liberals tend to dislike republican politicians), they dig deeper and view it as a political ploy to sway ignorent independents and even conservatives.

The Facts

Since discretionary spending increased by roughly 24% in FY 09 (I'm not blaming either president, they both contributed to the increase), a freeze on further increases is not really reducing discretionary spending in the future as many liberals claim.

So, if one can assume an average 3% inflation, it will take 8 years to counteract the increase from FY 09 and reduce their budget back to FY09 levels.

Now, if you look at it short term (i.e. after the freeze is put into effect), it appears that budgets decrease by 3% (average) per year due to inflation.  However, if you take the 09 numbers into account, they still got a huge boost in spending and if they plan for the effects of inflation, they will still come out far far ahead of the curve especially since the freeze is only going to be in effect for 3 years.

And once you take into account the Presidents FY2010 budget which also had a large (approx 20% increase in discretionary spending).  So again, even if you take into account the freeze, discretionary spending has increased by a lot in the last 2 years.

Bottom line, discretionary spending has increased far far more than a freeze would affect (roughly 9%) over the 3 years it would be active.  As I see it, liberals should be happy about this freeze.  Especially

This diary was primarily inspired by Roves comments that were evalutated by politifact.  Obviously his comments don't really apply since he was trying to blame President Obama for the inccreases, I just used that article for their numbers and facts about the freeze.  

Politifact Entry

If any of my assumptions are wrong, please let me know below.

Originally posted to EasyCheese on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 09:59 AM PST.



37%9 votes
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| 24 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  It isn't even a freeze (5+ / 0-)

    Some departments will see increases.  This is basically an attempt to cut wasteful spending.  The term "freeze" is an inflammatory way to describe it.

  •  the real problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mcronan, SyntaxFeline

    is that the announcement was made using a politically inflammatory term and was lopsided in not addressing realignment of military spending, both in what we choose to pay for and the overall amount budgeted.  It also didn't mention the proposed taxation side of things.

    Everyone ignored the concomittant positive spending initiatives and tax help for the middle class.  Everyone assumed programs would be cut that were actually part of the list of things that would be off limits or increased.  Everyone ignored the timing of the plans, which were consistent with the timing of deficit reduction made last spring when the FY'10 budget was announced.  People ignored the significant realignment of priorities in the FY'10 budget.

    Its also possible more things were mentioned in the background briefings, and didn't make it through the press filters because they would not paint the correct picture to fit the agenda of MSM reporting.

    •  As I've said elswhere, Pres Clinton did (0+ / 0-)

      te same thing but handled it much better as far as PR.

      He put Gore in charge of shrinking the government - weed out waste, duplication, etc. He did not call it a freeze.

      As far as I can see, it amounted to the same thing.

      Progressives will win when the country becomes Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 11:56:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's essentially a gimmick that used (4+ / 0-)

    right wing framing to sell it.

    Thus, the right wing framing was bound to piss off the liberals.

    And the gimmick part - even through the RWer's are usually dim-witted enough to fool - was so ham-handed that even they saw through it.

    So, basically it's a lose-lose proposition.

    •  Yes, it's sort of like picking fly shit out of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy, Brooke In Seattle

      pepper when the gigantic hourse turds of Military spending are sitting right on the dinner table.

      Military spending was increased by over %500 billion a year since 911, mostly to fund the two wars without even a blink about budget neutrality.  Now they this part of the budget seems institutioinalized, and off limits, while we go after the National Parks budget that was already strangled by 8 years of Bush reductions.

      Also, the numbers one way to address the deficit is by letting the Bush tax cuts on the very wealthy expire.  

      Instead we seem to be adopting the GOP plan.  Let's cut taxes until everything is deficit spending and then vilify all deficit spending as if that's the problem.

      Been the GOP main stategy for eliminating social spending since Ronald Reagan.  How sad to see Democrats pick up this flag as a gimmick, instead of address the real major levers of taxes, and military spending.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed Jan 27, 2010 at 10:49:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The health care bill was very "freeze"-like (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roadbed Guy, AguyinMI

    It not only couldn't add to the deficit but it had to cut into it.  

    So it's not like Obama just started giving credence to the Reagan mentality of "less spending" this week, here in the United States of Amnesia.  

    I was one liberal who thought the health care bill should just address the needs of the American people, regardless of cost.  But as this debate raged on for months and months, it was pretty much a given-- public option or no public option, excise tax or no excise-- that the bill was going to be fiscally conservative.

  •  I don't presume to speak for the "Left" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Virginia mom

    but I oppose it (as do many Progressives) because it comes at a time when almost every economist says the last thing that we should be worrying about is inflation by doing budget cuts.  In fact, many economists thought the stimulus was too small not too large.

    •  But thats exactly my point (0+ / 0-)

      Its not a budget cut.  In fact, we are spending way more these last two years.  All it would do is limit increases AFTER these increases.

      And if the stimulus was too small, then why is everyone saying they only spent 250 billion of it?

  •  I work for a small housing agency (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, Virginia mom

    that has been progressively and significantly cut for a decade, any '09 increase did not come anywhere near redressing the a quarter of the damage done.  What about inflation over the duration of the Freeze?  Norquist has his cold hands around the throats of the poor and middle class  

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