Spending Cuts: Better Ideas Needed from the GOP

At the Next Right, Tad DeHaven looks at why The GOP Is Clearly Not Serious about Cutting Down Spending.

The spending cuts the country needs must be substantial, serious, and
put forward in the spirit of recognizing that the federal government’s
role in our lives must be downsized.  Half-measures are not enough, and
from the Republican House leadership, wholly insufficient for winning
back the support of limited-government voters who have come to
associate the GOP with runaway spending and debt.

I have to agree, we need a more thorogh overhaul of the federal budget. Defense spending should not be off limits. You can go over it with a slightly more lax standard but it’s ripe for wasteful spending cuts. Is there any specific reason why every part of the federal budget needs to grow by so much every year? Matthew Yglesias also makes a good point about needing more targeting in the cuts.

If we’re just going to reduce outlays in an arbitrary, across-the-board
way, why should defense and Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid
be left off the table? Well, presumably they don’t want to cut the
defense budget because they think it’s important. But isn’t the FBI
important? Prisons? If Medicare’s important, isn’t the CDC important?
What would be helped by slashing Pell Grants?

This is right, we do need to look at each program and decide what to cut (there’s plenty), but I also think the debt is a sufficient worry that we do need an across the board stop on the spending increases. And yes, even to the bike path funds Matt is so committed to while the nation watches its bond rating drop. There’s plenty of projects that aren’t needed, and plenty that aren’t performing well enough to justify their funds. And that’s just being conservative. If we want to get aggressive here, there’s entire departments that can be eliminated (housing? education?).

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