Mona Charen

Responding to the Obama administration's operatic warnings of catastrophe for Meals on Wheels for the elderly, Head Start, meat inspections, air traffic controllers, and police, fire, and 911 operators if the government reduces the rate of increase of federal spending by 2 percent, radio host Chris Plante offered the following suggestion: "Since this two percent obviously covers all essential government spending, let's cut the other 98 percent!"

Even if these "draconian cuts" are implemented, the federal government will spend more this year than it did last year.

Another way to think about it is this: In 2007, the government was 40 percent smaller than it is today. Were poor people sleeping under bridges? Were the elderly starving? Were planes grounded? Was food unsafe to eat?

Here's another question: Are Americans really this gullible? The president's doom saying is so absurd that a mature country would hoot him off the stage. As it is, the housebroken media credulously report his obviously partisan scare mongering as fact.

As the sequester has loomed, the president and even many Republicans have argued that these "across the board" spending cuts (they're actually just reductions in the rate of increase) are "stupid" and "destructive" and so forth. This raises (it doesn't beg) the question: if cutting spending across the board is so stupid, what does that say about the priorities of the congress and president who passed these spending bills in the first place? If our spending priorities are so out of whack that cutting everything equally is unthinkable, why hasn't the government adjusted those programs before now?

Isn't it the job of elected representatives to pass laws, oversee their execution and adjust accordingly? There is a rumor that the U.S. has two Houses of Congress, but the Senate hasn't been heard from in years. While the Republican House has passed budgets that would slowly reduce the levels of federal debt over 10 years, the Democratically-controlled Senate has played see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, but alas not speak-no-evil. In any case, that body has not passed a budget in nearly four years.


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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