The Corner

Spending Cuts

I agree that they are a very important long-term goal for conservatives–I’d have to think some more before saying they were more important than tax cuts. But what is more important than a dollar figure for spending cuts is a reduction in the number of improper domestic functions the federal government serves. I would much rather eliminate a bunch of small-dollar federal programs than have across-the-board budget cuts that were larger in dollar size but left every program intact; I’d much rather get rid of programs than “abolish” Cabinet departments by sending the programs within them other places, which is what the Gingrich Republicans were mostly trying to do; and under the right circumstances I would have no objection to massive increases in federal spending. (Say, for example, we were fighting World War II.)

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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