American Sauce: the government shutdown deal
April 11th, 2011
03:11 PM ET
4 years ago

American Sauce: the government shutdown deal

Capitol Hill (CNN) - As we shake off the political hangover from Friday, American Sauce brings you what we know about this shutdown-averting-(barely) budget deal. In three sensible parts:

1. The Money Details We Know
2. The Policy Details We Know
3. Why This Was All a Relatively Dumb Debate

Listen to our podcast here. Or keep reading and comment below.

The Money Details

- Total Spending Cuts: $38.5 billion in cuts for the entire year. (The fiscal year: Oct. 2010-Sept. 2011.)

- What That Includes: The $38.5 billion includes the previous $4 billion, $6 billion and this week's $2 billion in spending cuts from short-term continuing resolutions or temporary-fix spending bills.

- So Friday's Deal: was for an additional $28.5 billion in cuts. It was $2 billion in the temporary spending bill in effect this week and $26.5 billion in cuts for the rest of the fiscal year.

The Policy Details

- Planned Parenthood: The group's federal funding will not be cut in this week's budget bills. But Senate Democrats have agreed to hold a separate vote on whether to defund the organization. To pass, the move must get 60 votes.

- DC Abortion Funding: The deal would block Washington, D.C. from using local tax money to subsidize abortions for low-income women. Under the Constitution, the District of Columbia is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress. Its local government exists only to the degree Congress establishes and authorizes its power.

- DC Vouchers: The budget deal also extends a significant school voucher program underway in Washington which encourages private charter schools.

- NPR/Public Broadcasting: Funding will remain intact for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for at least the rest of this fiscal year.

Why This Was Relatively Dumb

- Barely Touched the Deficit: The $38.5 billion in spending cuts decreases this year's deficit by just 2.3 percent to 2.75 percent (depending on the exact deficit estimate you use – it is forecast to be around $1.5 trillion).

- In Relative Terms: Just for this year, these cuts are as if a person were $1500 in the red and cut back $38 in spending to try and deal with the problem.

- The Cuts May Be Temporary: The $38.5 billion in spending cuts is for the fiscal year ending in September and may not do anything to bring down future deficits.

- It Avoided The Big Issues: Huge quantities of political energy went into last week's debate over current spending. But none of it tackled the bigger issues of entitlements and debt accumulation. (House Republicans take a whack at that later this week when they vote on the Ryan budget plan for next year. The President presents more details on his plan to cut the debt Wednesday.)

- Why This Was *Not* Such a Dumb Debate: This was, at least, a start to addressing Congress' spending and unbalanced-budget addiction.

- For More, read this story from CNN Money's Jeanne Sahadi (whom we talk with in the podcast).

Listen to the podcast here

Follow on Twitter: @LisaDCNN

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Filed under: American Sauce • Government Shutdown
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. A Real American

    As long as the rich "job creators" get to keep their tax cuts, all is well, right?

    April 11, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. Former Republican, now an Independent

    If the republicans really had any new ideas on how to cut spending, it wouldn't include social security, which is self-funded outside of normal income taxes. The problem is, the SS money is invested in US Government Securities until needed. The republican house wants to lump this in with their everyday spending rather than cut their obligations to big oil and big business. These are not new ideas, and it is robbing working Americans of a program they have already paid for. SS can be permanently fixed in one move, remove the income cap!

    April 11, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. alan. saint louis

    Lmao at hypocrite rethuglicans it funny how they want to play fiscal responsible card only to cut programs for the everyday American worker. Where was that card when they filibuster every bill including the 911 first responded bill until the tax cuts and lope holes for the elites wealthiest was passed. And giving up 100s of billion of tax revenue in doing so. Can someone explain that logic to me ???? And now the rethuglicans are happily willing to shut down the government if the budget don't slash money for us common folks. That small figure they want to cut could have been paid for by over ten fold if they did not extend the cuts and pope holes for the wealthiest.

    April 11, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    I do not like school vouchers. I have always felt that they represent the systematic destruction of our public education system.

    At some point, as more and more public schools close, education will become something that is available to only an exclusive elite. The next step will take one of two forms.

    At some point, as more and more vouchers are issued to offset the number of closed public schools, someone is going to complain about public funds being used to pay for education at private institutions, which will result in the cancelling of any public funds for education. Or, at some point, as more vouchers are issued, it will turn into a type of corporate welfare similar to what we see now with Medicare prescription drugs. A middle man will be introduced to syphon of funds.

    No matter how I look at it, I foresee the end of our public education system as we know within 30-50 years.

    April 11, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I wonder if the Taliban had as much difficulty eliminating women's rights as the republicans are having in their attempt to shut government down.

    April 11, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |