When is a spending increase a spending cut?
In the bizzaro world of Congress of course…
Two weeks ago Congress considered the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (T-HUD) Act. The bill appropriated $52 billion in discretionary spending, an increase of $1.2 billion above what was appropriated last year.
However, the Appropriations Committee claims they actually reduced spending because part of the increase was intended to offset decreasing Federal Housing Administration receipts (which are usually used as an offset against spending). Got that? I guess it never occurred to the appropriators that one way to respond to reduced revenues is to actually cut spending.
In other budgetary news, last week the House considered the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill. The bill spends $490.9 billion on “defenses”–a $4.1 billion increase above last year’s levels. However, this is not enough of an increase for our “fiscally conservative” Congress as the bill also included $79.4 in “Overseas Contingency Operations” (OCO) funding. Campaign for Liberty is working with a coalition to end OCO funding and continues to work to end all budget gimmicks and reduce spending as part of our push for Real Cuts, Right Now.