No one expects serious budget reporting from the Washington Post, so we might as well have some fun with the ridiculous items it gives us under this pretext. It had a major article about the Senate approval of a bipartisan plan which it tells readers, "increases military and domestic spending by $320 billion over two years compared to existing law. It increases overall discretionary spending from $1.32 trillion in fiscal 2019 to $1.37 trillion in 2020 and $1.375 trillion in 2021."

So the gist of the story, as told in the first sentence, was that the deal "boosts spending," this is really only true relative to a baseline under which spending would be cut. The increases in law are actually slightly less than projected inflation over this period and considerably less than GDP growth, meaning that spending will decline as a share of GDP.

It would have been helpful to point this fact out to readers. The piece instead implies that this is an example of profligate spending.

To support this view, we get the quote from Florida Senator Rick Scott:

"I’m worried about the staggering debt we’re leaving for our children and grandchildren. ... Too often in Washington, compromise means both sides get everything they want so that no one has to make a tough choice. I can’t support that."

If Rick Scott were actually concerned about the burdens that the government is imposing on our children and grandchildren he should be looking at the costs of patent and copyright rents that result from these government-granted monopolies. These rents are running close to $400 billion a year in the case of prescription drugs alone. If we sum all the patent and copyright rents in the economy, it could exceed $1 trillion a year.

Granting patent and copyright monopolies is an alternative way for the government to pay for services as opposed to direct spending. Anyone who is seriously concerned about burdens created for our children would have to consider the cost of these monopolies. Otherwise, they are just looking to score cheap political points and richly deserve public ridicule.