As Americans struggle to balance their checkbooks in the real world, lawmakers in Washington continue to apply postmodern accounting tricks to mask their out-of-control spending habits. New legislation introduced by Sens. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.), top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, and Olympia Snowe (R., Maine) would help to tamp down some of these shenanigans.
For example, President Obama’s latest deficit plan claims to “save” $1.1 trillion, or about one-third of the entire package, by not continuing to fund the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns at surge troop levels — which is to say, by not spending money that would never have been spent in the first place. His controversial health-care bill “pays for” a new long-term care insurance program (the CLASS Act) by collecting ten years worth’ of premiums to fund just five years worth’ of benefits.
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