Beware of budget gimmicks in push for massive spending deals

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators negotiating two colossal bills that would deliver more than $4 trillion for infrastructure, health care, environment and other initiatives keep insisting both bills will be fully paid for. But will they really? Democrats and Republicans have long relied on budget gimmicks to help finance their priorities. This budget gimmickry lets lawmakers claim they’re being fiscally responsible while inflicting little pain on voters and contributors with tax increases or spending cuts. Though there are some legitimate savings in the two emerging bills, it looks like lawmakers are getting ready to use smoke and mirrors again.