Kinda Cuts

Where are these government-slashing Republicans I keep hearing about?

Two weeks ago The New York Times reported that Republicans "want a vastly smaller government." Last week the Times called the dispute about raising the federal debt ceiling "an epic clash over the parties' divergent views on the size and role of the federal government." This week it said President Obama faces "a conservative movement seeking a wholesale redefinition of the proper role of government."

The recent debt deal, widely portrayed as a victory for Republicans, suggests their goals are decidedly less ambitious. As always in Washington, the "epic clash" perceived by the Times is in fact a squabble between two parties that both favor big government.

The debt deal, which authorizes the federal government to borrow another $2.1 trillion on top of the $14.3 trillion it already owes, supposedly includes "$2.5 trillion in cuts." But as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) emphasizes, those are cuts from a projected baseline in which the national debt grows by $10 trillion during the next decade, which means "the BEST case scenario is still $7 trillion more in debt over the next 10 years."

Paul also notes that the vast majority of the "cuts" are not scheduled to take effect for years, raising serious doubts about whether they will happen at all. "Why do we believe that the goal of $2.5 trillion over 10 years…will EVER be met," he asks, "if the first two years' cuts are $20 billion and $50 billion?"

Well, you might say, the debt deal is only the first step. But even at their boldest, House Republicans do not envision a federal government any smaller than it is now. Under the supposedly radical budget plan approved by the House in April, Cato Institute budget analyst Chris Edwards calculates, federal spending would rise by 34 percent during the next decade, compared to the 55 percent preferred by Obama. The budget would not be balanced until 2030, while the role of the federal government would be essentially unchanged.

One of that plan's weaknesses is that it does not address the so-called defense budget, which has nearly doubled in the last decade and represents more than two-fifths of the world's military spending. This absurd situation cries out for critical examination by a party that supposedly wants a smaller government. Yet the squeals of protest elicited by the debt deal's "security-related" cuts suggest Republicans are not ready to reconcile this country's military spending with the threats it faces.

The deal's initial caps, Cato's Christopher Preble notes, would reduce total security spending in fiscal year 2012 by $5 billion below the current level, a decrease of less than 1 percent. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank avowedly dedicated to fiscal restraint, claims this tiny cut amounts to "gutting national security resources."

In the second stage of the plan, if Congress fails to approve at least $1.2 trillion in savings proposed by a special bipartisan committee, automatic cuts would take $500 billion from the Pentagon budget over 10 years. That's a cut of less than 10 percent from current spending. We could easily afford to cut much more than that if the United States stopped getting involved in unnecessary wars and stopped defending rich countries that are perfectly capable of defending themselves.

But according to Heritage, this 10-percent cut "would compromise our nation's security." Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) called it "incredible" and "unconscionable." If the cut takes effect, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) warned, "they'll have to have a new strategy for how they defend the United States of America." They might even decide to focus on defending the United States instead of policing the world. Unthinkable!

During the negotiations over raising the debt limit, Obama kept saying he wanted a "balanced" approach, by which he meant higher taxes coupled with cuts in projected spending. The debt deal, for all its flaws, could point the way to a different sort of balance, one that involves cutting programs Republicans like along with programs Democrats like.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist.

© Copyright 2011 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  • ||

    What do you guys think the chances are of a small-government Republican faction taking over the leadership and ravaging the federal government sometime in the next decade?

    Short of secession or rebellion (in these pussified times, not a chance), what can we do?

  • Aqua Buddha||

    I'd say about the same chances as Steve Smith taking a vow of celibacy.

  • Easter Bunny||

    He isn't real, you know.

  • Aqua Buddha||

    He's real where it counts, in my heart.

  • PIRS||

    Sure he is. He is an Australian Cricketer.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Smith_(cricketer_born_1989)

  • BakedPenguin||

    And a leg spinner, too. He probably hangs out with Warne.

  • ||

    100%.
    The current course is unsustainable and a breaking point will be reached eventually. I wonder if we arent close to it now.

  • DK||

    And why does this entail that the GOP will do anything about it? They've shown themselves to be quite willing to ignore the issue to this point.

  • ||

    You are correct. I worded my answer poorly. We will reach a breaking point and someone will step up and do it, most likely not a republican and certainly not a democrat. It will either be that or the dissolution of our nation.

  • DLM||

    And why does this entail that the GOP will do anything about it?

    GOPers are like recalcitrant children. They need to be constantly supervised and pushed. I'll leave it to other to say what Dems are.

  • Major Johnson||

    What makes you think there are enough Americans who really want that? Take away the people who won't give up their home mortgage deduction and those who insist that we don't give away enough food stamps and you've just lost 4/5 of voting Americans.

    These guys aren't spending this on their own accord, they're doing it because Americans are voting for them to do it, republicans and democrats alike. States rights reign, unless you mean marriage, education matters, but only if it comes from government. Everyone wants someones ox gored, just not their ox.

    The percentage of all Americans who really want a smaller government isn't a large enough population to help elect a dog catcher in Podunk Iowa, much less elect a majority in both houses.

  • Sinic||

    I accidentally listened to some CNN at the bank and they were interviewing seniors who were saying that the "cuts" would leave them homeless and hungry. I wonder how many of the viewers actually believed that.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I can't believe those oldsters spent their whole lives working and aren't even homeowners and have no savings.

    I mean, I know a fixed income is tough and there are impoverished elderly, but come on.

  • some guy||

    Seriously, it's like they didn't know they were ever going to get old and therefore never planned for it.

    I am not obligated to mitigate the consequences of their failure to plan ahead!

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Social Security is only intended to pay 1/3 of your retirement. The idea is also to have savings and a pension (not sure how realistic the last one is). Relying on it for you whole income: not so smart.

    Since I don't intend to draw Social Security even if it is around when I retire--if I retire in the US and am still a citizen--I'll be saving.

  • some guy||

    Bingo. That's the only way to plan for the future. Assume Social Security will give you nothing back. Maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised...

    Same goes with pensions, be they in the public or private sector. Promises like that aren't worth the paper they're written on.

    The only thing you can count on are actual accounts that are in your name.

  • ||

    Uh.....I have heard a number of socialists calling for the confiscation of personal wealth, in the case of Van Jones, specifically the wealth of whites. Until 2008 I never would have considered that a real possibility. I dont think having money in an account in your name is rock solid either. No, my back yard is not full of buried mason jars full of pennies.

  • some guy||

    I agree that confiscation of personal accounts and property is a danger as well. But I can't think of any way to prepare for that kind of world other than buying land in a remote mountain valley and stocking it with non-perishable supplies. I'm not willing to go to that trouble... yet.

  • DLM||

    Assume Social Security will give you nothing back.

    That's been my assumption for 15 years now. Anything I get will be a bonus. However, I'm fortunate enough to make more than the median income.

  • some guy||

    However, I'm fortunate productive enough to make more than the median income.

    FTFY ;-) Unless you really think your luck has trumped your hard work...

  • Fortunate||

    I know for my part I've been fortunate. I haven't quite been productive to invent a time machine to go back and arrange for my dad's high school teachers to give him a reality check and convince him to work hard in engineering so he could make enough money to raise me in a school district with high enough property taxes to give me a good education, pass on the work ethic to me, and then pay for my college tuition.

  • ScottyB||

    Actually SS was designed to keep the elderly out of abject poverty (think homeless shelters and cat food), nothing more.

  • ||

    Trouble is, when the first generation that had spent their entire working lives with FICA deductions retired in the 1970s, it turned out many of them had completely ignored the whole "Social Security is an income supplement only" saw and had not bothered, or were unable, to save for retirement.

    Suddenly stories about old grannies living on cat food adorned the front pages of every daily in America.

    Congress then fixed it by increasing benefits and adding automatic Cost of Living Adjustments. Nothing was done to make the program anything near sustainable, in spite of ample evidence that it wasn't.

    Ten years or so later Greenspan did his thing with boosting the FICA to buy a bit more time but noone has dared suggesting what needs to be done, namely, means testing it.

  • The Elders||

    You're allowed to hear CNN.
    You're not allowed to like it.
    We have spoken.

  • Cruz||

    Fuck old people, and that's not being cute. Oh we should all work so hard so they can shop the QVC and flood the grocery store at 9am.

  • ||

    Here's wishing *you* a long life then, too. This old person saved, and wants both Social Security and Medicare means tested. Pls don't lump us all together.
    CB.

  • rather ||

    There is no money to be made in small government

  • PIRS||

    If by this you mean that colluding businesses are less able to get goodies from corrupt officials in small government, you have a point.

  • rather ||

    I mean that colluding businesses and corrupt officials are less able to hide goodies in small government

  • PIRS||

    What you need to prevent that is transparency.

    Transparency is more likely in small government than in large government - that is true.

  • sarcasmic||

    I live in a town that is so small and transparent that they mail out a copy of the town budget every year.
    It includes every property tax receipt, every employee salary, every expense, everything, and you can read the whole thing in under an hour.
    Pretty nifty.

  • rather||

    Does it include the latest gossip, or do you have to go for breakfast in the diner to find out whom is banging whom?

  • sarcasmic||

    The best gossip can be found at the hardware store.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    The Federal Government should do this. I wouldn't be too surprised if a libertarian congresscritter was elected in the first five years of doing that.

  • rather||

    The feds use 'cost plus' accounting to hide spook shit. They will never be transparent

  • ScottyB||

    Wow! Really! That is awesome. i don't mean to pry but what municipality is this?

  • sarcasmic||

    Sorry ScottyB, but that's a little too personal for me to give out.

  • DLM||

    Transparency is more likely in small government than in large government - that is true.

    You mean like wearing a bikini as opposed to a burkha.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Maybe at the Chatterbox Cafe?

  • PIRS||

    I sometimes listen to NPR news on my way to work (Hell, it is better than 'Bill Bennett's Morning in America'). This morning they were trying to explain away the drop in foreign markets after the debt deal by saying it was because of "Concerns that the spending cuts will further hamper America's ability to recover".

    I was laughing so hard I almost veered into another lane.

  • The Elders||

    You may listen to 15 minutes daily.
    We have spoken.

  • Mike M.||

    Every time I think that the left can't get any more shameless than they are, they always manage to prove me wrong.

  • PIRS||

    Apparently the reporters at NPR think some people will actually believe this.

    The good thing is that such blatant propaganda only serves to reinforce beliefs - it rarely convinces those not already convinced.

  • ||

    Sadly, a lot of people do believe it. NPR even tends to reinforce the lesson by informing us that you'd be hard pressed to find a "reputable" economist who disagrees.

  • Brett L||

    Yep. The new 'wisdom' is that this will prevent recovery. Fuckers. As if raising taxes on the 60% of us who still have jobs is going to promote recovery.

  • some guy||

    I actually like NPR. I know they lean left, but they are so much more bearable than most other news sources.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    The thing they do right is act like reporters.

    Sure, there is an ideological bias in story selection, language, and so on, and they assume you are committed to the same politics they are, but at least they assume you can handle a few big words and are willing to believe that the story might have two or even three layers to it.

    So, yeah. They are the only main stream news source I can stomach for even ten minutes.

  • DLM||

    I was laughing so hard I almost veered into another lane.

    I'm sure nothing will build confidence in the U.S. dollar more than going further into debt with no plan on how to handle it.

  • Rich||

    Well, you might say, the debt deal is only the first step.

    That is one of my concerns. 8-(

    Nice photo, BTW.

  • Jerry||

    Republicans: "We will show you the second step, but you first have to vote for us in 2012." Won't get fooled again!

  • hazeeran||

    Unfortunately all the foot soldiers WILL. Less if it's Romney, but THEY WILL FALL FOR IT AGAIN %$)#&$^#%

  • sarcasmic||

    I was just thinking, two trillion is two million millions.

    If investors invested those dollars in business startups instead of bonds, and it took a million dollars to start a business, that's two million new small businesses. If each of those businesses employed four people, that's eight million new jobs.

    Instead the government will sell bonds, crowding out private investment. They'll siphon off a chunk of that money to government employees who produce nothing of value. The reduced amount of money will be handed out in entitlements to people who produce nothing of value, and to cronies who may produce value but nothing worth what they're getting paid.

    Then we will be told that the problem is that the government didn't spend enough.

    Why doesn't anyone point out that that which is spent by the government must first be removed from the economy?

    It's like a doctor pulling blood out of the patient's left arm, dribbling half of it onto the floor, putting the rest into the right arm, and wondering why the patient is losing blood.

  • Department of Redistribution||

    "It's like a doctor pulling blood out of the patient's left arm, dribbling half of it onto the floor, putting the rest into the right arm, and wondering why the patient is losing blood."

    Stop making sense, we don't like that.

  • Rich||

    Why doesn't anyone point out that that which is spent by the government must first be removed from the economy?

    Come on, sarcasmic. It's not that bad. Only 60% must be removed from the economy.

  • sarcasmic||

    Seen and unseen.

    Every borrowed dollar is a dollar that was not invested in something productive.

    The two trillion in government borrowing could have been eight million new jobs.

  • Rich||

    Note to self (again): Use less-subtle snark.

  • sarcasmic||

    np

  • DLM||

    Every borrowed dollar is a dollar that was not invested in something productive.

    You're forgetting the multiplier effect...which only materializes when the government spends the money.

  • sarcasmic||

    I know. Amazing isn't it?
    When two people produce something of value and enter into voluntary exchange, there is no multiplier.
    But when government takes away money while providing nothing in return, and gives it to someone (minus processing cost) to spend in voluntary exchange, there is a multiplier effect.
    It's so intuitive, ya know?

  • ||

    "Instead the government will sell bonds, crowding out private investment. They'll siphon off a chunk of that money to government employees who produce nothing of value. The reduced amount of money will be handed out in entitlements to people who produce nothing of value, and to cronies who may produce value but nothing worth what they're getting paid."
    Yep.
    The economy exists in spite of government. Considering how onerous government is, that is amazing.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    If it gets much worse, I'll recommend going Galt.

  • Trident||

    "But according to Heritage, this 10-percent cut "would compromise our nation's security." Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) called it "incredible" and "unconscionable." If the cut takes effect, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) warned, "they'll have to have a new strategy for how they defend the United States of America." "

    Thank you, Mr. Sullum, for proving (as if we really needed any more) just what a bunch of hypocritical, lying sleazebags a large number of Republicans really are while they pretend to be "fiscally conservative". At least the likes of Allen West are honest even if only by accident.

    Is there any doubt that the measly so-called "cuts" that Republicans agreed to is precisely that they want to keep the empire and police state apparatus in tact? After all, they wouldn't want to "gut"...ahem..."national security".

    They are just too afraid to admit that Republican have no more liberty-mindedness to offer, even on fiscal matters, just like on social issues like war, drugs, civil rights and freedom of speech for instance, liberals have no more liberty-mindedness to offer on social matters.

    Both parties are parties of increasing betrayal of their own supposed 'values' and are parties of increased totalitarian rule.

  • sarcasmic||

    I sometimes wonder if it is by design.

    Democrats pass laws to destroy economic liberty, and Republicans rarely if ever repeal those laws.

    Republicans pass laws to destroy personal liberty, and Democrats rarely if ever repeal those laws.

    Both sides bitch a lot, but nothing is ever repealed.

    Perhaps there is an unspoken division of duties with the goal being totalitarian rule.

  • Brett L||

    I don't think they're smart enough to have 'goals' per se, but neither are ant colonies that destroy all other ant colonies abutting their territory. I don't argue that they are working towards the end result you suggest.

  • sarcasmic||

    You're probably right.
    The goal is power. The purpose of power is to increase one's power.

    The specifics are irrelevant.

  • Restoras||

    A+

  • ||

    Both sides bitch...but have you noticed that they have one hand behind their back when they do it, fingers crossed? Both 'sides' are secretely rooting for each other.

  • PIRS||

    I hope every single member of Congress who voted for this debt deal looses in the primary - somehow I doubt this will occur however.

  • hazeeran||

    My congressman voted for this monstrosity. Tea party caucus, no Dem. opponent in 2010, no primary I think. Around here that vote might get some negative traction and change things.

  • ||

    An example of the tiny government-slashing sought by Republicans-- and how it's still opposed by Democrats-- can be seen in the FAA authorization.

    The short-term bill passed by the House before recess doesn't include the labor provision, but it does end Essential Air Service (EAS) subsidies for rural airports within 250 miles of a larger, unsubsidized, hub airport.

    Naturally, it's being blocked by Rockefeller (D-WV). It doesn't matter what the spending is, if it's spending, Democrats are for it. (Just like the Republicans and tax cuts, even loopholes.)

  • Brett L||

    No doubt he also wants the Rockefeller Airport built, too. He'd better get started if he wants a quarter of the shit named after him that Robert Byrd had.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Last Friday, the House took a break from budget speeches to name Post Offices.

  • NotSure||

    People have different definitions on what a cut means. For a politician want to spend 100 units on some new project and then "compromising" to spend only 50 units is a cut. Ask Tony, that is exactly what a cut is.

  • Blondie||

    Dagwood, honey, look at how much money I saved you at Tudbury's today!

  • Mr. Dithers||

    Bumstead, you fucked up for the last time!

    *BLAM*

  • DLM||

    ... that is exactly what a cut is.

    And 'default' is failing to incur future debt you may not be able to pay for.

  • Carl||

    after this circus of a budget that was passed including its creation of a "super congress" i am convinced that as soon as these people are elected to congress men in fedoras immediately welcome them to washington with a good ol fashion bully and blackmail

  • ||

    True. Happens at the state level too. Father-in-law knew a guy who got elected to Tennessee's legistlature. First day on the job a couple of the "leaders" pulled him into a room, told him they knew he was hot shit in his area, but he had better do as he was told and get rich doing so, or they would destroy him. True story.

  • ||

    True. Happens at the state level too. Father-in-law knew a guy who got elected to Tennessee's legistlature. First day on the job a couple of the "leaders" pulled him into a room, told him they knew he was hot shit in his area, but he had better do as he was told and get rich doing so, or they would destroy him. True story.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm not surprised.
    Take Ron Paul for example.
    He puts on a good show, but in the end he cuts nothing and manages to bring home the bacon.
    Actions speak louder than words.

  • DLM||

    He puts on a good show,..

    Even if it's a show, at least it keeps the idea out there.

  • CE||

    He puts on a good show, but in the end he cuts nothing and manages to bring home the bacon.

    But you can't say he hasn't tried to cut anything. And if he never votes for the overall budget bill, why would anyone agree to accept his earmark requests? He's not trading anything, so why do any of them ever get approved?

  • GILMORE||

    In related crazy-talk @ the NYT, we have this =

    http://opinionator.blogs.nytim.....nts-crazy/

    ...But the mere failure to support some of your basic claims with good logical arguments does not show that you are irrational.

    ...a discussion of the relative lack of pure reason in all political determinations.

    its not terrible, but it strikes me as a belated apologia for the continuing behavior of congress, and to a large degree ignores any alternative not strictly TEAM RED/TEAM BLUE predefined.

    Meaning, one could argue that there are in fact more logical approaches to political issues.... its just that no one plays the logical card, because pathetic-reasoning (i.e. resort to pathos) is oh-so more effective in the political sphere...

    What is most crazy is that I continue to look to this paper for 'news' out of some kind of reading-reflex, and continue to be frustrated even though i know what i'm always gonna get is a steaming load of horseshit.

    Its like wiggling a loose tooth. compulsive.

  • Untermensch||

    The commenters on the article you link to are wonderfully un-self-aware. They turn around and replicate what the article talks about in order to refute the article…

  • Doctor Whom||

    It's been a long time since I've thought of Republican "principles" as anything but a mystery religion. In my misguided youth as a College Republican, I went to a state CR convention. In one speech, the head of the state's Republican Party told us that all of the happy talk about less government was just to get votes and that Republicans actually wanted more government, just slightly less more than what the Democrats wanted. That last bit is of course questionable.

  • Restoras||

    Off Topic

    Yesterday our friend posted this:
    Tony|8.2.11 @ 4:21PM|#
    Average annual increase in spending:
    Bush II 9.3%
    Reagan 8.6%
    Bush I 5.8%
    Obama 4.9%
    Clinton 4.0%

    I checked these and came up with numbers a bit different. The following are the CAGRs [Compound Annual Growth Rate, where CAGR=((Ending Value/Beginning Value)^(1/# of years))-1] in outlays for each of the Presidents that he cited.

    First on a current dollar basis:
    Obama 8.6% (2008-2011)
    Bush II 6.6% (2000-2008)
    Clinton 3.3% (1992-2000)
    Bush I 6.7% (1988-1992)
    Reagan 7.6% (1980-1988)

    And on a constant dollar basis:
    Obama 7.3% (2008-2011)
    Bush II 3.6% (2000-2008)
    Clinton 1.3% (1992-2000)
    Bush I 2.8% (1988-1992)
    Reagan 2.5% (1980-1988)

    If I get time later today I'll do the same for the Receipts, I'm sure that will be illuminating as well.

  • PIRS||

    Does this take into consideration the "baseline budgeting" that has gone on in Washington since Nixon?

  • Restoras||

    I beleive that is represented in the constant dollar figures (adjusted for inflation), assuming that baseline means an increase in the budget each year to account for inflation.

  • ||

    The Obamatrons are trying get mileage out of putting TARP on Bush's books,

    Some also try to claim the entirety of the FY2009 spending is Bush's fault, not Obama's, because the budget/CR was adopted during Bush's term. Even though the stimulus bill in FY2009 was 100% Obama.

    Of course, anyone arguing that Obama isn't the biggest spender in US history is just destroying their own credibility.

  • Restoras||

    Yes, I suppose it never occured to them that Obama and the Democrat Congress could have slashed spending if they wanted to as soon as they were all sworn in.

  • Restoras||

    Here's the receipts portion:

    First on a current dollar basis:
    Obama -4.9% (2008-2011)
    Bush II +2.8% (2000-2008)
    Clinton +8.0% (1992-2000)
    Bush I +4.7% (1988-1992)
    Reagan +7.3% (1980-1988)

    And on a constant dollar basis:
    Obama -6.0% (2008-2011)
    Bush II -0.1% (2000-2008)
    Clinton +5.8% (1992-2000)
    Bush I +0.8% (1988-1992)
    Reagan +2.2% (1980-1988)

  • DLM||

    I don't believe interest payments should not be included when comparing spending. These payments are required because of the actions of past administrations/legislatures.

  • Mr Whipple||

    In Soviet Russia, budget slash you.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    +guffaw

  • Cosmotarian||

    Hey guys, c'mon, it's wrong to call out Republicans for not significantly reducing the size and scope of government! We need to reach out and cheer them on no matter what. We need as much support as we can get. If this keeps up, we won't get invited to their Amway parties anymore.

  • PIRS||

    Fail.

    This particular troll has absolutely no idea what the meaning of "Cosmotarian" even is.

    He has no actual evidence to back up the implications of his own trolling.

  • ||

    I believe that was sarcasm, not trolling.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    But it's not even a correctly implemented strawman cosmotarian.

    I miss CosmotarianOverlord.

  • Hirai||

    The Republican party has always been a big government party. Lincoln and the Republicans tripled tariffs, imposed the income tax and reintroduced excise taxes, created a national bank system, and subsidized the railroads.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    The Republicans were the tariff party until at least 1931 (Smoot-Hawley).

  • cw||

    Man, you guys should check out (or not) the stoopid over at The Economist's comments board. Those who want to limit government spending REALLY are terrorists. Fore REALS!!11!!1

  • ||

    Teachers according to the article make a little over a thousand a week ($53,000) factor in healthcare and any addition programs at school. All this at 38 weeks a year makes it just short of $1,400 a week. Pretty good huh? Now the kicker......TENURE... job guarantee for life no matter how they teach, another pretty good, huh? Plus guaranteed raises. Now you have some idea why Governor Christie was so upset.

  • CE||

    You forgot to mention the pensions.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    A true "cut" would be "we spend at least one token dollar less NEXT year than we did THIS year".

    Tony, of course, will disagree.

  • Tony||

    I remember, back in the days of Clinton, the elderly were dying in the streets, forced to eat dried cat food to sustain their pitiful existence. Children were abandoned by the millions as their parents, and even the animals suffered from a lack of federal spending.

    And you Tea Party extremists want to cut the budget to Clintonian levels? That's why no one listens to you wing nuts.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Obvious spoof, but fun anyway.

  • Realist ||

    "Where are these government-slashing Republicans I keep hearing about?"
    They're blowing in the wind.

  • ||

    Auction off the White House and make Obama live in a motel. That should be a good start.

  • ||

    This "big cuts to the federal government" meme will be wheeled out by the Dems the next time the government fucks up a la Katrina; I remember the Kos Kiddies blaming the FEMA fuckups on Grover Norquist. Likewise the next fuckup will be met with "aagghhh those teabaggers STARVED the federal government of funds! And look what happened!"

  • Ryan||

    Why does everyone seem to be equating debt to government size. Debt numbers can't tell the difference between a small government that nonetheless doesn't collect enough taxes and a large government with higher tax rates. By the equivalences in this article, more taxes means a smaller government.

  • CE||

    Judging by the anguished cries from liberal senators and the comments from New York Times readers, I thought maybe that some serious budget cutting had taken place. Instead, I discovered that discretionary spending "cuts" for FY2012 were less than 0.6 percent of the budget!

    That's not a budget cut, that's a rounding error.

    How about this: cut total spending by 5 percent across the board, to start. This would be a typical budget reduction in the private sector in a down year. Cut 10 percent if things get serious, which they undoubtedly have.

    Big government apologists on both sides cry about the reduction in cash to their favored recipients of government largesse, but why not start with a 10 percent layoff of government workers, coupled with 10 percent pay cuts for those who remain? How about switching to defined contribution retirement plans for new hires? How about bringing the occupying/assault forces home from Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Germany, Italy, and the UK?

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    How about bringing the occupying/assault forces home from Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Korea, Germany, Italy, and the UK?

    Hmm...it seems those Nips are particularly untrustworthy.

  • منتديات تهاويل||

    Hmm...it seems those Nips are particularly untrustworthy.

  • Air Jordan Ol School||

    That's cool!

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

  • قبلة الوداع||

    ThaNk U

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