Thursday, January 20, 2011

$2.5 trillion in spending cuts

It would be a start, I suppose, and you've got to start somewhere.
A number of the House GOP’s leading conservative members on Thursday will announce legislation that would cut $2.5 trillion over 10 years, which will be by far the most ambitious and far-reaching proposal by the new majority to cut federal government spending.


[P]rogram eliminations and reductions would account for only $330 billion of the $2.5 trillion in cuts. The bulk of the cuts would come from returning non-defense discretionary spending – which is currently $670 billion out of a $3.8 trillion budget for the 2011 fiscal year – to the 2006 level of $496.7 billion, through 2021.
My initial reaction to this was, "it's great that someone's finally taking our problems seriously!" But as I read through the piece, it actually depressed me. I don't know if the Republicans will support it in the house, it's unlikely - extremely unlikely - to pass a Democrat controlled Senate, and these cuts would clearly be vilified, and the officials supporting them excoriated, as heartless, draconian, cruel, etc., etc., etc.

And yet, they wouldn't even begin to address the real issues facing the country. Yes, the Government is too big. Yes, it's spending too much money. Yes, there are thousands of unnecessary programs (and probably more that are actually counter-productive.) Yes, non-defense discretionary spending is way too high. Yes, yes, yes - I don't disagree with any of it.

But the real problem is the unfunded entitlements. Social Security. Medicare. Government pension funds at all levels. This proposal, which would bring out all of the vitriol that the left and the media (I repeat myself) could muster, would not even begin to address the real problems.

Seriously. I was encouraged when I started this post. Right now, I'm wondering what the crash is going to look like when it comes, and how to prepare to survive it. And what the world is going to look like after the US government defaults...

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