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From The Heritage Foundation…

BUDGET DEAL
Analysis of the 2015 Bipartisan Budget Deal:

The federal budget is on a dangerous trajectory and immediate corrective action is required. The U.S. national debt is at $18.1 trillion. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), if the government remains on its currently planned course, it will spend $7 trillion more over the next 10 years than it will receive in taxes, piling on even more debt.

Heritage released a proposal in September to address the debt ceiling and fund the government without breaking the bipartisan spending limits established by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011.[1] The proposal recognizes that Congress faces the duty to appropriate funds for government operations and address the statutory debt limit. The proposal recommends that Congress:

  • Put the budget on a path to balance by cutting government spending before considering any increase in the debt limit;
  • Establish spending caps that include mandatory spending; and
  • Move toward a balanced budget requirement in the Constitution to enforce fiscal sustainability.

Rather than taking meaningful steps to address the growing debt, the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 is a colossal step in the opposite direction. This deal does nothing to reduce the size or scope of government over any period of time.

The BBA would suspend the debt limit until March 16, 2017, allowing for unlimited borrowing by the Treasury for the next 17 months.

The BBA would increase the discretionary spending caps established by the BCA by $50 billion in FY 2016 and $30 billion in FY 2017 split evenly between defense and non-defense programs, but only $24.511 billion (30 percent) of the new spending is offset over the BCA budget window of FY 2016 to 2021. Of the $75.683 billion in offsets to pay for the new spending, $35.136 billion (44 percent) occur in FY 2025.

The BBA would increase spending on Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding by $15.536 billion above the President’s FY 2016 request. However, only $7.848 billion (50 percent) would go to defense, with the rest going to non-defense programs. The OCO designation, once used to provide resources to the military in times of war, has been converted by the bill into a general slush fund.

As this paper was being finalized for publication, it was reported that at least one provision might be modified by an amendment. The fiscal impact is unclear, but it is likely that the amendment will increase the size and scope of government.   CONTINUE READING HERE…

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