Published on 03-17-2013 11:38 AM
Federal spending once again dominated the debate in Washington last week, as House Republicans and Senate Democrats began work on their ten-year budget plans. Contrary to claims, neither party’s budget reduces spending. While the Republican plan increases spending a little less than the Democrat plan, it would still spend $5 trillion in 2023, an almost two trillion dollar increase over this year’s budget.
Of course, these projections of future budgets are meaningless, as a current Congress cannot bind a future one. Therefore, the projected spending for next year is the only part of the budget with any significance. So is there a great gulf between the two parties’ budgets for next year? No. For fiscal year 2014, the Democrat budget proposes spending $3.7 trillion, while the “radical” Republican budget spends $3.5 trillion!
While the two parties bicker over minor differences in spending, the stock market, which many in Washington predicted would crash unless the parties reached a “grand bargain” on taxes and spending, seems unaffected by the various manufactured budget crises. Unfortunately, the market’s indifference to Washington spending games is based on the fallacy that the deficit does not matter as long as the Federal Reserve is willing to monetize the federal debt.