Senior Advisor for Federal Fiscal Policy
As we noted earlier, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a report today explaining why a statutory spending limit like the one Senators Corker and McCaskill have proposed would ultimately lead to draconian cuts in crucial programs like Social Security and Medicare and also could have highly damaging effects in future economic downturns.
It is striking that when she unveiled the proposal, Senator McCaskill criticized as “ridiculous” the recent House Republican Study Committee plan to cut nondefense discretionary funding over ten years by about $2.5 trillion.
I fully agree that the RSC proposal — which would slash overall funding for the part of the budget that includes K-12 education, the FBI, cancer research, health care for wounded veterans, and many other programs by 42 percent below today’s level, adjusted just for inflation — makes no sense. But by the same standard, it is hard to conclude that the McCaskill-Corker proposal, which would mandate about $4.5 trillion in spending reductions over ten years in all programs —discretionary programs plus entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare — is any more responsible.