Stupid Debt-Ceiling Tricks

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from The Wall Street Journal,

In the wake of the Covid spending excess, Democrats (aided by some Republicans) sought to disguise their spending by categorizing some of their discretionary outlays as “mandatory” or “emergency” funding. These dollars go to the same accounts and fund the same projects as any other discretionary spending, but because of their categorization they aren’t counted in the discretionary category.

One example: Some $70 billion of the 2021 infrastructure bill was classified as “emergency” spending in fiscal 2023. Add fake mandatory and emergency spending for the semiconductor bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, veterans’ affairs and more. Republican negotiators estimate Congress piled up $111 billion in annual discretionary spending over the declared fiscal 2023 total of $744 billion. That will balloon to $141 billion in disguised spending in fiscal 2024—for a total of $898 billion in domestic discretionary dollars.

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