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The real choice today is between bigger or smaller unintelligent government.
Finally some rational and honest commentary, thanks Mr. Will.
Good article. Can't believe it was run in this paper.
t appears that “sequestration”, the plan to cut 2.5% from the federal budget might actually go into effect. Of course the bureaucracy is doing everything possible to prevent that eventuality, mostly by using the age-old tactic of scaring the public.
The best current example might be President Obama’s agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack. Mr. Vilsack presides over a department with an annual budget of $155 billion (with a “b”), up from $129 billion just four years ago.
If the sequester does go into effect, Mr. Vilsack will be faced with the daunting prospect of paring $3.5 billion from that $155 billion. Does he, perhaps, plan to pare back some of the $9.3 billion proposed for crop insurance subsidies? Does he propose to curtail $4.8 billion in subsidized loans to farmers and ranchers who are experiencing record commodity prices? Might he consider doing away with some of the USDA’s proposed $6.1 billion in rural “green energy” loans and grants?
No. He proposes to lay off food inspectors. Those other line items are sops to special constituency groups, and likely wouldn’t be noticed by the general public. They would be good candidates for elimination even if we didn’t have a government running the largest deficits in the history of the world. But food inspectors; not only does this get the attention of the general public, but it also shuts down the nation’s meat and poultry processing plants, which, by law, can’t function without the inspectors. In the world of government budget PR, this is a two-fer.
A private business, faced with small budget cuts (as we routinely are) would look for reductions that cause the least harm to the bottom line while maintaining operations, maybe even come up with innovations to improve service while cutting costs. A bureaucracy, on the other hand, looks for the one or two things it does that are actually worthwhile and cuts those first. After all, we can’t have the public getting the idea that we could get by with a smaller leviathan.
Except about 60% of the budget is exempt from any cuts (Medicare, medicaid, SS, veterans). The cuts all come from the rest of the budget. So, instead of cutting from a budget pool of close to $4 trillion the cuts are actually coming from a budget pool of around $1.6 trillion. Thus, the cuts to the programs not exempt are higher than Will claims.
George Will always has the so called right answers to all the problems. Why doesn't he run for office? He might find out that it is harder to lead than to write ever ending opinions.
dos3885: Cabinet Secretaries are not above the law. They can't just cut whatever they want as you seem to think they can.
Okay, Kinda, that makes it 5.25% cut in the budget - still Will's argument is rational and spot on! Actually, let me rephrase this, it's a 5.25% cut in the growth of spending, not actual cuts in the budget.
If a 2.3 percent reduction in federal spending will devastate the economy, isn't that a sign the economy is far too dependent of government spending?
Face it, the days of carte blanche, never-ending spending are coming to an end. If the government can't find the means to survive on a measly 2.3% cut, you've correctly guessed they're not living in the real world where families and businesses are forced to cut a lot more.
Why was Mr Wills spot on editorial " hidden" from view on the web site? My comment which I thought was rather benign was not posted. The news should be just that- news! Editorializing this web site constantly in favor of UNSUSTAINABLE progressive propaganda is not ethical.
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