Bad Timing and Budget Gimmicks

Source: EconLog
by Veronique de Rugy

“Democrats used an early expiration budget gimmick to make their new entitlements look less expensive, in hope here to fool the reluctant Senators who have made the mistake of setting a cost limit rather than say ‘no’ to new programs. The Republicans use this trick for budget related issues too, but more recently to pass large tax cuts in 2017 when they had some of the provisions expire in 5 years as opposed to making them permanent. The use of budget gimmicks isn’t either new or limited to early expiration. In fact, early expiration is one of many timing gimmicks that rest on the manipulation of the budget year …. Then you have the emergency gimmick, a favorite of the Bush administration, which labelled the cost of the war in Iraq as ’emergency’ spending for each year so it wouldn’t count under the budget caps.” (10/08/21)