Sessions Challenges War Savings Gimmick

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today regarding reports that some lawmakers may attempt to use the war savings gimmick to ‘pay for’ increased spending and borrowing:

“There are a series of items that Congress must address before the year ends that, together, could add hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit. These items include the AMT, the pension holiday, an extension of unemployment insurance, and the tax extenders package. One of these items is also the so-called ‘doc fix’—an important fix to ensure that our nation’s doctors will be adequately reimbursed for the Medicare services they perform. Some have suggested that this important item, along with these other measures, can be ‘paid for’ through war savings. But this is just one more fraudulent Washington gimmick. Proponents of this idea say that we can increase spending by more than half a trillion dollars and call it a spending cut by comparing it to a knowingly inflated projection. This would be like a homeowner, deeply in debt, saying he saved money building a $10,000 swimming pool because a year ago he learned that his property tax was going down.

Only in Washington can you increase spending from what it would otherwise be and call it a cut. We need to make real reductions in currently planned spending. It’s time for the president to make good on his broken promise that we would ‘live within our means.’ Using the war gimmick would mean increasing the total amount being spent over ten years but still calling it a savings. It’s exactly this kind of bogus accounting that has caused Americans to lose faith in Washington.”

NOTE: To view a Budget Committee document about the war funding gimmick, please click here.