Thomas Duda
Yesterday's Washington Post had a fascinating article about the only-in-Washington logic behind a recent agreement to keep the federal government spending operating. The article, "Budget deal: CBO analysis shows initial spending cuts less than expected," explains that the "advertised" $38 billion cut in federal spending agreed to by Congress only translates to a $352 million reduction in spending for this fiscal year.

To explain the disparity between advertised and actual savings, the reporter turned to none other than Brian Riedl, lead budget analyst for the Heritage Foundation and upcoming Show-Me Institute speaker. Riedl explained:
“It’s kind of like a parent saying, ‘If you go buy something, I’ll pay the credit card for you.’ And then the kid never goes out and buys it.”

As much as $18 billion of the $38 billion budget cut comes from rescinding previously approved funding allocations for completed projects that came in under budget. In other words, it's money that was and will never be spent.

For more insight into Washington's fiscal mess and the games that Congress is playing with the American people, consider attending the seventh installment of the economic policy speaker series cosponsored by the Show-Me Institute, Saint Louis University's John Cook School of Business, and the Sinquefield Charitable Foundation. On Tuesday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m., Brian Riedl will present a talk, "What Washington Won't Tell You About the Next Economic Crisis." The event is free and open to the public, and you can register online.

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