It turns out the six-month spending bill Congress passed in April increased discretionary outlays through the remainder of the fiscal year by a bit over $3 billion. In other words, total direct spending will be higher by the end of September than if Congress had just set spending on autopilot for the remainder of the fiscal year back in April.At the time the deal was struck, Democrats breathlessly bragged that they had "proved Department of Defense waste should not be spared." Greg Sargent quoted an unnamed Democratic source:
We won the argument that waste at the Pentagon should not be immune from spending cuts. The final agreement eliminates nearly $3 billion in unnecessary Pentagon spending. . .Ironically, however, the $3 billion increase in overall spending for the remainder of this year is the result of a $7.5 billion increase in defense spending. From TPM:
"Total discretionary outlays in 2011 will be $3.2 billion higher as a result of the legislation, CBO estimates--an increase of $7.5 billion for defense programs, partially offset by a net reduction of $4.4 billion in other spending," reads a just-released report from the Congressional Budget Office . . .Is this addition by subtraction or subtraction by addition? Here's an appropriate exchange from an episode of The Office:
Michael: Yes, Dwight Schrute has left this company. More personnel turnover.
Andy: The cost of doing business.
Michael: Yes, well. It is a big loss. Dwight was the top salesman...
Andy: Was the top salesman...
Michael: I said 'was'.
Andy: [chuckles] Addition by subtraction.
Michael: What does that even mean? That is impossible.
Andy: Mmmm. Yeah you're right.
Michael: But, there is some good news. Oscar is back. Addition by addition.