Fiscal cliff a big fat fiscal joke

From Washington’s Phantom Austerity by Reason’s Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch:

“The very sequestration “cuts” that Washington is freaking out about will not, it can’t be stressed enough, lead to a net reduction in the size of government. Even the estimated $110 billion in trims currently slated for 2013 can and probably will be easily offset by war spending, post-Sandy relief, and whatever other goodies Congress hoses through the massive spending-cap loophole.”

Hurricane Sandy relief funding will likely be in the $60 billion range. That means we’re looking at more than half the savings disappearing right there. That leaves $50 billion in cuts to a $3.8 trillion budget; or about 1.3% in cuts before any manipulation of war spending is used to offset the temporary slowdown in the growth of the defense budget. That will put us back to where we were back in… 2012… plus a $150 billion cushion for good measure…. How Austere!

Read Matt’s full article here.