Another $95 Billion of Budgeting Through Footnotes

Last week, we wrote about $85 billion worth of stimulus tax cuts which the Obama administration assumed as permanant in their baseline so that they wouldn't have to pay for them. As Lori Montgomery of the Washington Post explained:

Technically, the stimulus amended a series of sweeping tax cuts enacted in 2001 during the Bush administration. Obama has repeatedly said he does not expect Congress to cover the enormous cost of maintaining the Bush tax cuts past their 2010 expiration date. And because the [EITC and child tax credit expansions passed as] stimulus provisions are now part of the Bush tax cuts, Congress shouldn't have to pay for them, either, White House budget documents say.

But that isn't the end of the story -- the administration has also assumed a $95 billion Pell Grants expansion into the baseline. As part of their proposal to make Pell Grants into a mandatory spending program, President Obama's "current policy baseline" assumes the grants will remain as large as they were set by the 2009 stimulus package.

In total, the administration is trying to assume $180 billion worth of temporary policies as permanant -- without paying for them.

That's not a budget we can believe in.

 2010
20112012201320142010-20142010-2019
Child Tax Credit  $9$9$9$27$74
Earned Income Tax Credit  $2$2$2$5$12
Pell Grants$1$7$11$11$11$41$95
Total$1$7$22$22$22$73$181