What is Baseline Budgeting?
In short The Congressional Budget Office defines the baseline as a benchmark for measuring the budgetary effects of proposed changes in federal
revenue or spending, with the assumption that current budgetary policies or current services are continued without change. The baseline includes
automatic adjustments for inflation and anticipated increases in program participation. Baseline, or current services, budgeting, therefore builds
automatic, future spending increases into Congress's budgetary forecasts. Source for the definition
In other words, you budget in projected growth. So the standard baseline in our time is about 7%. So every year you assume 7% increase in spending,
but it is not called an increase. It is treated as flat.
Why Is This Important?
Let's say you have a "baseline" of seven percent growth per year. The budget for next year by default will add, using a round number, 4 trillion
dollars in spending. Then you come out with a budget plan that cuts "spending" by 1 trillion dollars for the next 3 years. Well, if you are using
baseline budgeting you are actually raising spending by 9 trillion dollars over the next three years. You haven't cut anything. You have just lowered
your growth projections. Current spending is not only untouched, but actually grows.
Where Is This Used?
The current budgets being proposed by both parties are using this tactic. They aren't doing anything to actually reduce real spending levels. All
they are doing is reducing the amount of growing spending. And since that growth is already budgeted in, they can technically call it "cutting
What Do We Do?
ATS, please stop dividing according to party lines. As SkepticOverlord already has pointed out. Both Parties are controled by special interest and big
loby groups. There is no Republican\Democrat. They are all the same. They are not for the people. Maybe a handful, but they are too few to make a
difference. We have to reject anything that is not inline with benefitting this country, whether is comes from a Republican or Democrat.
Be wise, Deny Ignorance.