LOL UR Mendacious Arithmetic

Yesterday, the Republican controlled House passed a bill to eliminate public financing of electoral campaigns.

In light of Citizens United and President Obama's decision to turn down public funding in his 2008 campaign, this certainly strikes me as an opportune time to revisit the federal government's role in campaign spending. Unfortunately, if this bill was to become law (it won't in the immediate future), it would signal a further step towards cementing the United States' position as a corporatocracy.

That said, permit me to talk about math.

One of the prime arguments the Republicans are making about this legislation (indeed, about virtually all legislation) is that the US needs to reduce government spending to get our budget deficit under control.


Yesterday, on the same day Mitch McConnell took up the flag in the Senate, saying:
"In a time of exploding deficits and record debt the last thing the American people want right now is to provide what amounts to welfare for politicians."

the Congressional Budget Office announced that it expects the federal budget deficit to reach $1.48 trillion this year. CBO estimates that the decision to extend the Bush tax cuts (which Republicans pushed for) is responsible for $390 billion of that deficit. Indeed, the interest payment on the tax cut extension will be around $50 billion per year.

Eliminating public campaign financing would save the federal government about $62 million a year.

To recap:

2011 deficit: $1,480 billion
2011 cost of the Bush tax cuts: $390 billion
2011 cost of interest on the Bush tax cuts: $50 billion
Potential savings of eliminating public financing: $0.062 billion

I call bullshit.

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