Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Kash at Angry Bear examines some of the "offsets" that are being proposed in the budget:
Republicans on Capitol Hill are going ahead with their plans to trim the budget. Despite Tom Delay's assurances that there remains no fat in the federal budget after several years of Republican rule in Washington, they have bravely identified cuts totaling $50bn - over five years - in health care and food assistance to the poor.
Ten billion a year? A mere nick in the budget. Except:
On Friday, as the Agriculture Committee was drafting budget-cutting legislation that could knock 295,000 people off food stamps, the Agriculture Department released findings that 529,000 more Americans went hungry last year than in 2003.

Then Kash asks the inevitable question:
Okay, given the apparent Republican sentiment that a 0.5% reduction in a program is negligible, and that they are desperately trying to reach the paltry goal of $10bn per year in budget cuts, let me pose a question to House Republicans: why not make an equally negligible cut in the defense budget? A cut of only half a percent in the defense budget would yield budget savings of around $12 bn - compared to the $844 million that would be saved by denying food assistance to hundreds of thousands of this nation's most impoverished people.
Methinks Kash is asking a rhetorical question, albeit an important rhetorical question.

The answer is quite simple. It's starve the beast, a conservative plan that's been implemented over many many years. You know the one, but here's a quick refresher.

First cut taxes, particularly for your donor base causing a crisis in government funding. As the huge deficits mount, then use your legislative abilities to indignantly demand budget cuts for fiscal reasons. Except...and here's the kicker...those cuts must be in "liberal areas" cause nuthin', not nuthin' can touch the defense of these Uuuunited States of Amurika.


Ah oh. Theres a wrinkle. Problemas.

There's this from Kash:
I can't believe that a someone who writes things like the garbage that Donald Lambro offered up today can still claim to be a "nationally syndicated columnist":
Mr. Riedl and the GOP's other critics are right to keep the heat on Congress to curb spending, but in the end -- as Mr. Bush has shown -- tax cuts are the most effective weapon in this fight. When you take away their money, they have less to spend.
Tax cuts are the most effective way to curb spending? Mr. Bush has shown this?

If there could ever be a perfect refutation of the quaint notion that cutting taxes forces the President and Congress to spend less money, it has been the experience of the past four years under Bush and the Republican Congress.
Hmmm. Point made. Guess we'll have to see if the pressure/lobby sensitive Congress will actually behave the way the starve the beast theorists have presumed.


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