The public says it wants to see government spending cut — and the Tea Partiers really, really want spending cut — but people don’t want to cut any program they like; and they like almost everything. What’s a conservative to do?
The obvious answer, once you think about it, is to eat the future: to cut spending in a way that undermines the nation’s long-run prospects, but doesn’t impose all that much pain on voters right now.
And that, as best as I can tell, is the running theme in the cuts proposed by House Republicans. The proposal is, deliberately I think, hard to read and interpret; I hope and assume that the good folks at CBPP will do the detail soon. But on a quick read, here are some of the cuts that jumped out at me:
WIC 1008 million
Food for Peace 544 million
NOAA 450 million
NASA 579 million
Energy efficiency and renewable energy 899
Science 1111 million
Nuclear nonproliferation 648 million
Federal buildings fund 1653 million
Homeland security administration 489 million
FEMA, various, around 1.2 billion
EPA clean water and drinking water about 1.8 billion
Community health centers 1.3 billion
Centers for disease control 900 million
WIC is nutritional aid for pregnant women and women with young children; let’s cut that, because the damage to the nation from malnourishment is a problem for future politicians. NOAA is weather and climate — hey, what we don’t know can’t hurt us. Nuclear nonproliferation — well, we probably won’t feel the pain of a terrorist nuke assembled from old Soviet fissile material for a couple of years. FEMA — well, how often do hurricanes hit New Orleans? CDC — with luck, by the time plague hits someone else can be blamed.
Don’t start thinking about tomorrow. - Paul Krugman
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