Let’s Talk Real Spending Cuts

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House Republicans put up a site, recently, asking for input into programs to cut. While all the programs are worth cutting, the actual cuts are pretty insignificant. I don’t care how you spin it, cutting 0.017 percent of the budget is not significant. Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute suggests ten cuts that shave a whopping ten percent off the budget.

Many politicians and congressional staffers will look at this list and consider the cuts too radical. But those folks should take a closer look at current budget projections, which show federal debt exploding to 100 percent of GDP within a decade and heading to the moon after that. Rising debt all but guarantees that there will be radical changes to the budget in coming years. So we can start making changes in an orderly way right now, or we can make then later when it’s harder to dig out from an even bigger pile of debt.

Besides, the 10 cuts proposed below are not radical. Canada doesn’t have a federal Department of Education, so why do we need one? New Zealand doesn’t hand out farm subsidies, so why should we? Britain’s new conservative-liberal government is cutting public-sector salaries, so why can’t we?

I only have one nit to pick with the list. Air traffic control is almost, by definition, an interstate activity which falls squarely in the lap of the Federal government. Otherwise, it looks good to me.

The Federal government, and most state and local governments for that matter, throw too much money into subsidizing all sorts of things. Many of the programs listed here are major cash sinks and can easily be cut. There will, of course, be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth as those who have been leeching off those programs find out their out of a job.

The other problem with this list? It doesn’t go far enough. Programs like the National Endowment for the Arts should be on this list as should every single corporate subsidy and bailout. Even that’s not enough but it’s a much better start than the pittance the Republicans are proposing with the YouCut farce.

Congressional Republicans need to learn that cutting spending is good but they need to make sure their not just trimming the nails instead of the fat.

Originally posted at PerlStalker’s Ramblings.