What spending to cut? How about just doing it like most corporations do in the same circumstances: Establish a percentage by which all departments have to cut (and from last year's levels, not some inflated new number requested for this year). And/or line up all programs, establish cost/benefits, apply any other factors you want to weight each (like strategic value or synergistic effect with other programs), rank them and cut the bottom ones. Part of our Washington DC problem is that very few of these people have any kind of real world (i.e. private) experience making decisions, balancing budgets, finding creative ways to keep revenues ahead of expenses so that the organization survives. It really isn't rocket science.