GOP leaders say the source of their short-run cuts will be discretionary non-security spending. They foolishly exclude entitlement spending, which Congress puts on autopilot, and all spending for national and homeland security (whether it's necessary or not). That leaves only $520 billion.
So even if the Republicans managed to cut all discretionary non-security spending (which is not what they plan), the deficit would still be $747 billion. (The deficit is now projected to be $1.267 trillion.)
This is a revolution? Republicans will have to learn that there is no budget line labeled "waste, fraud, abuse." If they are serious about cutting government, they will ax entire programs, departments and missions.
I'm not confident they have it in them. I hope I'm wrong, but they're politicians, after all. I'm reminded of Spencer Abraham. When he was a senator, he sponsored a bill to abolish the Department of Energy. But then George W. Bush appointed him to head the department. Suddenly, he saw the importance of the Energy Department. "I changed my mind after Congress passed legislation in 2000 reorganizing the department," Abraham explained to his former Senate colleagues. Yeah, yeah.
That's why I fear that the new Congress will soon remind me of that line by the Who: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
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