I find that all sorts of momentous things were happening around the world while I was out of commission on the blogging front: another Greek bailout, political upheaval in Turkey, and a madman shooting up Norway, to name a few.
Closer to home, we had Congress approve a deal to raise the debt ceiling by a piddly $2 trillion and make “deep cuts” in federal spending over the next ten years. How deep, you ask? Well, just take a look at this chart that shows what discretionary spending (the target of all the cuts) is projected to be over the next ten years now that the deal has passed:
See how huge those cuts are? Yes sir, it looks like the public sector is well on its way to shriveling up and blowing away.
What? You say that the budget increases every year? Well of course it does! If you are one of those ignorant rubes who thinks that when you cut a budget it gets smaller, you obviously are not enlightened enough to understand how our wise overlords in Washington work.
You see, in D.C. a “cut” is actually a smaller increase than what the bureaucracy originally had hoped for (7% according to the current baseline assumptions). If you think this is fuzzy math or in any way dishonest to represent budget figures like this, you are clearly an extremist who has no business airing your views in any public forum. It is divinely mandated that the federal government must always grow more rapidly than the economy as a whole, and don’t you dare suggest otherwise.
You are so right. Austerity never had it so good!