Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Budget-Cutting 101

How does the Obama Administration plan to save money? If you guessed "cutting defense," give yourself a gold star and move to the head of the budgetary class.

The Wall Street Journal reports that defense programs will absorb half of the $17 billion in planned cuts, which will be announced on Thursday. Some of the reductions have already been announced, including plans to halt production of the Air Force's F-22 stealth fighter.

The rest of the cuts will come from domestic programs, although it's unclear if the reductions will actually occur. As one administration official told the Journal, virtually all programs have a constituency, meaning that someone will fight the planned reductions.

Not that it really matters. The reductions are largely symbolic, as the WSJ explains:

Compared with the total $3.6 trillion spending plan for 2010, the proposed trims amount to one-half of 1%. Half the cuts would come from defense, especially Pentagon weapons programs already spelled out by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, such as trimming back the fleet of advanced F-22 fighter planes. The other half would come from programs that have strong support among progressive activists who cheered Mr. Obama's election. Programs targeted for elimination or consolidation include education and housing programs that Democratic aides said will have fierce advocates among traditionally Democratic constituencies.

Given that reality, it's not inconceivable that some of the domestic initiatives will be saved, forcing bean counters to look for more cuts in the defense budget. So the "50% share" for the Pentagon may well rise, as the administration looks for more ways to save money.

OMB Director Peter Orszag says the planned defense reductions include "all of those" outlined by Defense Secretary Bob Gates last month. Programs targeted for down-sizing (or elimination) include the C-17 transport, the airborne laser and the aforementioned F-22. Some analysts believe that the Air Force has been unfairly singled out for budget cuts, with ominous implications for the service and its airpower mission.

But those sorts of arguments don't get much traction. Just today, pollster Frank Luntz advised Republicans to avoid "principled arguments" in battling the White House on health care reform. Embrace the reform mantra, Luntz argued, and advocate efficiency and savings in the GOP plan.

If you can't get American voters to see the folly of socialized health care, then well-reasoned arguments supporting key defense programs stand absolutely no chance. Welcome to the ill-informed, indifferent U.S. electorate of the early 21st Century. The greatest of the "Great Unwashed." Just the kind of voters that Democrats love.


RPB said...

Its tough being conservative these days. Harder still to be a Republican.

I'm sure qualified applicants will be lining up in droves for 8 years of medical school once doctor pay is reduced. I'm sure emergency room/surgery wait times will improve when you add the 47 million uninsured. I'm sure there will be plenty of new drugs brought to market when the profits produced by those drugs is regulated by the government.

Its ok to cut defense too; the last social upheaval caused by a depression did not result in any global conflict.


Aerospook said...

If I wanted to sound like a conspiracy theorist, I might postulate that it is a carefully crafted plan to completely dismantle the Republic.....

Paul G. said...

Luntz, wasn't he the guy who made fun of John McCain's inability to use a Blackberry? (cause he was injured as a POW you idiot)

Lets do budget-cutting 101 republican style, invade a country, de-regulate the financial system, spend money on "key defense programs", don't spend on the poor, the sick, or education.

Man, when republicans get pissed about budget CUTS...what do you guys have left? Certainly not any answers or solutions.

PCSSEPA said...

The B. Obama Amateur Hour continues. Hopefully, this show only runs 4 years; 989 days left if you're counting. The only times that the United States has been attacked is when it was percieved as being weak. That perception was well established in the first 100 days. The world is a dangerous place and folly like we are seeing now only makes it more dangerous. We need to adhere to a 4% solution to keep our military trained, healthy, and ready to defend at a moments notice. Giving people a mission and inadequate tools to accomplish that mission is criminal.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Perhaps the scariest question of all is: what comes AFTER Obama?

I subscribe completely to the view that Obama and the Left Democrat dominance of Washington is going to be a first class disaster to the United States. But (as we are in the process of discovering) disasters have consequences. What will be the fallout of Obama's destruction of the dollar, the mountains of new debt, the evisceration of the military, unchecked immigration amd the alienation of a good chunk of the population.

The monster that all of this is going to throw up will not be pretty. I fear the consequences, even more than Obama.

TheAlchemist said...

I beg to differ... I think the Republican Party would benefit the most from the "Great Unwashed". People are waking up, noticing the direction the country is headed, and not liking it (and, therefore, not liking the way the Republican Party handled affairs over the past eight years).

And bloggers everywhere, please stop using "socialized medicine" as a huge boogie-man to be feared. Not only is it insulting to countries with excellent healthcare systems (e.g., Sweden), but it's not gonna happen in the U.S. for a variety of reasons, one of which is that the hospital/drug lobby is too strong.

*shudder* I never thought I'd be (even partially) on the side of the drug lobby.

Unknown said...

That is the list and you can bet most will get reversed by congress and Obama will still use the current headlines to claim 'he tried'.

HL Shancken said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
HL Shancken said...

There will be no authentic or meaningful Democratic Party opposition to any of the mentioned defense cuts. The Central Committee has made its decision and no meaningful changes will be made. Those congressmen in affected districts will be permitted or even instructed to voice their opposition and even to vote against any bills which result from the decisions of the Central Committee in order to maintain their constuent support. Any who truly and vigorously oppose the policies of the Central Committee will be defeated in the next election or will have their political careers destroyed by other means.

In the senate there are probably no unreliable Party members and any opposition will not be sincere but only a matter of political expediency.

Those who believe that such policies as are being handed down by the Central Committee of the Communist Party are folly, foolish, or the result of stupidity, inexperience, or naivete reveal themselves as operating from absolutely the most fundamentally wrong premises, and those are: that the collapse of the Soviet Union was authentic; that the Cold War is over; that it was ever cold; and that we won.

Until the realization that Antaoliy Golitsyn was telling the truth about a secret long-range strategy to defeat the West, which in turn causes a serious study of Communist methods and history, no analyst will be correct in assessing virtually anything. Golitsyn rightly stated that a New Methodology in analysis had to be adopted, based on the reality that Communist parties from around the world have been working in total cooperation and following an elaborate plan based on deception since the 81 Party Congress held in Moscow in November 1960.

Go to Youtube and watch the Bezmenov videos. Go to Google videos and watch the Christopher Story interviews.

Quit wasting time.