The Freedom Alliance – NYTimes.com
The coming budget cuts have nothing to do with merit. They have to do with the inexorable logic of mathematics…
The greatest pressure comes from entitlements. Spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on the debt has now risen to 47 percent of the budget. In nine years, entitlements are estimated to consume 64 percent of the budget, according to the invaluable folks at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. By 2030, they are projected consume 70 percent of the budget…
Over the next few weeks, Republicans will try to cut discretionary spending to 2008 levels and tell their constituents they are boldly reducing the size of government. That is a mirage. Anybody who doesn’t take on entitlement spending is an enabler of big government. The supposedly rabid Republican freshmen are actually big government conservatives. They will cut programs that do measurable good while doing little to solve our long-range fiscal crisis.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration theoretically opposes runaway debt while it operationally expands it. The president is unwilling to ask for shared sacrifice if the Republicans won’t ask with him. Fine. But he hasn’t even used his pulpit to prepare the ground. He announces unserious cuts with lavish fanfare.
Since most of the budget is untouchable, the budget ax will fall on every section of the discretionary budget. It will fall on the just and unjust alike, regardless of merit.
The implication is this: If people who care about this or that domestic program fight alone, hoping that their own program will be spared, then they will all perish alone. If they have any chance of continuing their work, they will have to band together and fight their common enemy, the inexorable growth of entitlement spending.
The foreign aid people, the scientific research people, the education people, the antipoverty people and many others have to form a humane alliance. They have to go on offense. They have to embrace plans to slow the growth of Medicare, to reform Social Security and to reform the tax code to foster growth and produce more revenue.