I Don’t Get It — Why Start with Cutting Spending?

1 Jan

We can lie to, and deceive, the populace  about “spending cuts” all day long, but I think the truth is that most proposed “spending cuts” are not spending cuts at all — they are simply reductions in the projected rates of increases of spending.  And increases in spending are basically automatic year after year.

So why not just get off this misleading high horse of “spending cut” demands, and “simply” pick up the banner of “No Spending Increases”?  Although this would not solve the deficit/debt situation, wouldn’t just freezing spending be a significant first step toward future considerations of actual spending cuts?  Wouldn’t a freeze on ACTUAL spending at current levels effectively be a spending cut, where the cut  is really amount of the [formerly] automatic projected increase?

It would seem like freezing spending at, say, 2012 levels would allow most departments of government to function just fine, using employee attrition and elimination of fraud and overblown contracts to meet the need to keep spending flat.

This approach would also allow government to assess which departments really need more resources, and which could do with less (or none), and permit a reallocation of available funds  across department lines.

Any thoughts?

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2 Responses to “I Don’t Get It — Why Start with Cutting Spending?”

  1. Joseph Edward Wages January 2, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    The only sure way to reduce the public debt is to stop borrowing. And, the only way to assure that, with our waffling congress in charge, is to to hold to the debt limit we have, with the goal of actually reducing the debt limit in the near future.

    The GOP majority in the house will have an opportunity and the means to do that soon. Will they? Not likely. So, they are also part of the problem.

    If the debt limit is fixed now and later reduced, true spending cuts, or massive tax increases must follow. Not a good prospect, but the alternative is to lose all in a total collapse of the USA.

    • illero January 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      You are right, of course. I’m probably a little more optimistic on this matter, though — but just a little. I think that if we just took the steps of freezing spending levels, not only does the economy not take a big hit, but we would indicate to ourselves and to the world that we are getting our arms around this issue and starting the process of corraling. Next step would possibly be to actually CUT spending. Another way to view it is that we would be freezing spending levels PENDING a more robust addressing of actual spending cuts.

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