2these cuts will “promote job creation” reflects a serious misunderstanding of basicmacroeconomics under current economic conditions (see the box on page 3).
Cuts of this magnitude would have sharp effects on basic services
. For example, a 21 percent cut in K-12education funding would take more than $8 billion out of this area in fiscal year 2011, on top of the deep education cuts that many state and local governments across the country are being forced to make.
Rep. Boehner presents his proposal as freezing non-security discretionary funding at the fiscalyear 2008 level, and he claims such funding has increased 85 percent since that year. Both of these claims, however, are off the mark.
The funding level that Rep. Boehner proposes for non-security discretionary funding in 2011 actually is about $8 billion below the level of funding provided for such programs in 2008
, and his claim of an 85 percent increase is wildly inflated; the actual increase is less thanone-fourth as large as he claims.
The Tax Cut Extension
While Rep. Boehner presents the tax-cut extension component of his plan as being the same asa proposal advanced earlier this week by former OMB director Peter Orszag, there is a crucialdifference that results in the Boehner proposal being in some respects the
of the Orszag proposal. Orszag called for extending the “middle-class” tax cuts for two years and, if politically necessary, extending all of the Bush tax cuts for that period —
and then terminating all of them
. Orszag envisions a commitment by key policymakers that, in extending the tax cuts now,they will allow the tax cuts to terminate after 2012.
In contrast, Rep. Boehner has made clear he still wants all of the tax cuts made permanent. Hisnew proposal is a rather transparent effort to extend the tax cuts into the next Congress whenthose who seek to make them permanent will have more votes, and then to require votes onmaking the Bush tax cuts permanent with the 2012 election approaching. Orszag seeks to avertseveral trillion dollars in tax-cut costs after 2012; Boehner essentially stands the Orszag proposal on its head as a way to improve the chances of getting the opposite result.
The Boehner proposal would continue tax cuts that average well over $100,000 a year forpeople making over $1 million — tax cuts that are double the entire income of the typical American household. He would do so even as his proposal would withdraw funds from basicprograms and services that most Americans of ordinary means rely on, and despite the fact thatCBO has rated the tax-cut extension dead last in effectiveness among an array of options forboosting the current weak economy.
Analysis of the Proposed Cut in Non-Security Discretionary Funding
Rep. Boehner has proposed limiting
discretionary funding for fiscal year 2011 (which beginsOctober 1) to $1.029 trillion (the limit apparently would not apply to funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan), while setting the overall funding level for programs funded by the defense,homeland security, and military construction and veterans appropriations bills at the same level thatPresident Obama’s 2011 budget requests for those programs. According to CBO, the President