What gets the axe?

Saturday, September 24, 2005
Fiscal conservatives like Glenn Reynolds are all excited at the notion of trimming fat, busting pork, etc from the budget..

What gets cut?

What if I said embryonic stem cell research and cost of living increase for social security or medicaid for that matter?

No doubt there are bridges that lead to no where and pet projects which are out right comical to most of us but these things are not going to cut tens of billions from the budget.

Farm subsidies are an easy call because so few people farm anymore.

Fine, but make it plain to people that they might seem the same volatility in food prices that they have seen in energy.

We forget, we are the government and it is not welfare if it helps us or our families or if we believe in it.

Like say NASA.

I am opting for an across the board cut for the sake of fairness.

What say you?


Knucklehead said...

I would get on board for an across the board cut. We have a federal budget of something on the order of $2T. That's 2,000 billions. A 1% cut yields $20B. I can't imagine it would be a fatal hardship for anything funded by the US treasury to muddle through with a mere 99% of planned funds. Make that 2% and now we're talking $40B and muddling through with a miserly 98% of planned funding.

I'd also suggest cutting "pork" that can be identified as purely, or nearly so, local. If it is important enough to the locals they can finance it themselves. Bike paths and pedestrian overpasses and the like spring to mind. I don't doubt there's another $B or three to find there.

Anybody got an ideas re: a tax increase, or new tax, they'd be willing to pay? Just to blat out an example, would a penny per gallon increase in the fed tax on gasoline be a ruinous burden on anyone? I have no idea how much that would raise. I just toss it out as an example.

Rick Ballard said...

Shouldn't the underlying assumption that $200B is the correct price tag be questioned first? I'm always in favor of dragging the congresscritter's trotters from the trough but it is somewhat easier to shy them away before they get their snouts in the feed than it is to force them to disgorge what's in their mouths.

Let's face it, $200B was the price W was prepared to pay to buy back the political error he made in the first two days after Katrina. It has no basis in reality as it pertains to needs because needs have not as yet been determined. I think W is a fine President but he couldn't get me pay for his political errors if he asked me face to face.

The Stafford Act requires the Feds to fork over 75% of the money spent to repair damaged infrastructure in covered areas. The first thing that has to be done is assessment - not appropriations.

I'm all for budget cuts and I could support a 5% cut without a blink. Beyond 5% I would prefer to see targeted cuts. The easiest path would probably be a spending increase freeze - particulary the start up of new programs.

MeaninglessHotAir said...

I've always favored an across-the-board cut to cut the budget. Senators, Presidents, and Representatives can get out front and center and take a 1% or 2% pay cut to show how it's done. Followed by all the Federal employees and contractors.

Glenn is showing his immaturity in his current campaign. Of course one man's pork is always another man's necessary program. But he imagines in his arrogance that he and the bloggers will be able to quickly identify the true waste. I.e., the other people's project. Politics consists of compromise based on my getting some of what I want and you getting some of what you want. When a huge unexpected disaster rolls through, all bets are off. We have to all tighten the belt a bit.