When Is A Cut Actually An Increase?

When you’re the government. Only in that world can this kind of sophistry make sense.

The $995 billion Sequester Cut Is Actually a $110 Billion Spending Increase – Forbes: The Congressional Budget Office gives its baseline budget projections for fiscal years 2013 to 2023 in its February 5, 2013 Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023. Table 1-5 shows how the CBO incorporates the $55 billion per year in sequestered defense cuts and the $37 million per year in sequestered non-defense cuts into its projections of  discretionary spending.

The sequester “cuts” are subtracted after  increasing  appropriations subject to the sequester at the rate of  inflation and adding back in more than a trillion dollars (over ten years) of spending exempted from the sequester.

The sequester has been advertised as “cutting” discretionary spending over a ten year period by $995 billion. After inflation adjustments and exempting more than a trillion dollars of defense and non defense discretionary spending from the sequester, the CBO projects  (in its Table 1.1) discretionary spending to increase by $110 billion over the decade. There is no actual $995 billion cut after the CBO applies its magic adjustments. Rather there is a $110 billion increase.