The Corner

We Face a $1.4 Trillion Deficit, and They Won’t Cut $8 Billion

The deficit commission held its first meeting yesterday, but another debate is taking place on the Hill these days. The 54-member Blue Dog Coalition is asking Appropriations chairman <a class="inline-ref" href="javascript:simplePopup('’,’membercard’,680,430);”>David R. Obey (D., Wis.) that domestic spending cuts go beyond what President Obama proposed in his fiscal 2011 budget.

They want an $8 to $10 billion cut in non-defense, non-homeland-security spending. In the worst-case scenario, that’s a $10 billion cut out of a $530 billion budget. That’s 1.89 percent.

That’s 0.73 percent of the discretionary budget (security and non-security appropriations).

That’s 0.27 percent of total spending.

You’d think that would be doable. But, according to Congressional Quarterly, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer disagrees.

“You know, we’re in a very tough situation, and it’s very tough for people to make decisions that they don’t want to make because they don’t want the consequences,” Hoyer said. “Some people want to cut more, some people want to not be cut as much.”

I would suggest that if they can’t cut $10 billion out of $3.7 trillion (which is the equivalent of cutting $8.30 a month out of a $50,000 annual salary, or $16.6 a month out of a $100,000 salary), they are unlikely to perform appropriately when the time comes (i.e., now) to make the necessary cuts in the budget to address the entitlement-spending explosion.


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