I just read the the Navy’s Blue Angels are going to cancel their flying shows this year because of budget cuts. I’m really upset about this.
If there’s no budget deal by midnight tonight, about $85 billion in budget cuts will kick in. For weeks, I’ve been bombarded with stories about how “draconian” these cuts will be. Even though everybody has known for months that the cuts are coming, Barack Obama and congressional Republicans act like teen-agers in cars playing chicken near a cliff.
Even though Obama gets to decide what cuts are made, he calls them ”dumb, arbitrary cuts” that are “unnecessary and inexcusable.”
For instance, Joe Biden isn’t going to be able to fly home on the weekends aboard his Air Force jet. Instead, he’s going to have to go back to riding an Amtrak train. This is horrible. It’s upsetting. How could we let such a thing happen?
Various federal agencies are telling their employees that they’ll be taking one unpaid day off every week through the end of the year unless a budget deal is reached. (The IRS is delaying this particular cut until after tax season, so you can tell what their priorities are.) How will we possibly survive with a 20 percent reduction in the hours worked by these various bureaucrats? It’s outrageous that they won’t be in their offices doing … well, whatever it is that they do.
The White House wants to apply maximum pressure on Congress to keep spending, so it has released a list of what cuts will hit each and every state. Here’s the list of cuts that I’m supposed to be scared about here in Alabama, for instance. And I am. I’m terrified.
The administration has planned the cuts in such a way that all sorts of groups are terrified of losing their money. For instance, various science projects won’t get the money they’ve expected under the cuts. This is obviously the end of civilization. We’re entering the Dark Ages if the feds trim the amount of money they’re handing out.
We could go on and on. Inspections for food safety will be cut. Children aren’t going to get various vaccines. Meals programs for seniors and children face cuts. And on and on and on. The world is coming to an end. I’m terrified.
Well, not really. The truth is that these “draconian” cuts are only 3 percent of the federal budget. Some of the specific cuts are going to hurt real people, and that’s regrettable. But let’s be honest. They’ve been selected by the administration to create the most pain for the most people, in order to create a public cry for more spending.
Until midnight tonight, it’s possible that Obama and the Republicans are going to hit upon some deal to avoid this minuscule cut. Doesn’t it tell you all you need to know about the sick culture of Washington politics and media that a simple cut of 3 percent could be considered this terrible?
There are millions of people in this country who would be thrilled if their income had only been cut by 3 percent in recent years. Somehow, they’re making do and cutting back even with cuts much more than that. The dysfunctional federal government is a huge cash-sucking machine. The establishment is terrified of the idea of losing any of that cash.
The particular cuts that are happening might not be the right ones to start with in all cases. Technocrats can reasonably argue about that. Honestly, though, I couldn’t care less about their arguments.
All I know is that cuts of much, much more are needed. Most of what the federal government does today isn’t even constitutional, if you read the text of the document as intended. Even if we simply returned to the “era of big government” in the ’60s and ’70s, the size of government would have to dramatically shrink to get back to that. If you’ve been convinced that the current tiny cuts are going to fix anything or amount to much, take a look at what the federal budget will be over the next 10 years, with and without these cuts.
Politicians aren’t going to come up with any nice, neat little plan to start trimming government in an orderly fashion. They claim that this 3 percent cut is a draconian cut that uses a meat cleaver.
That’s not true, but let’s pretend it is. Let’s pray that the politicians don’t make a deal tonight. Let’s hope that truly draconian cuts can start. They’ll be painful, but real, sustained cuts — more and more of them — are the only way out of this fiscal nightmare.
Let the draconian cuts begin.