Cutting Spending by $100 Billion

by Sal on February 10, 2011

in Economy,Politics

The GOP in the House is now determined to cut $100 billion from the continuing resolution that needs to be passed to keep the government going.  This is after heavy tea-party lobbying, which succeeded in getting the GOP to raise their planned cuts from approximately $75 billion to $100 billion in order to keep a campaign promise.  Conservative pundits and commenters all over the blogosphere are voicing objections, saying that we’ll never really balance the budget without entitlement reform, and that $100 billion is a drop in the bucket.  All true, but a few observations:

  • This shows the power and influence of the Tea Party movement.  If the Tea Party evolves into a lobbying check on Republicans’ natural instinct to back down and take the easy way out, it will have achieved a major accomplishment.
  • $100 billion is real money.  Five years ago, before TARP and the Stimulus, it would have been a big deal.  The government never cuts anything, and the fact that the GOP is going to cut this amount is a huge deal, albeit only a first step.
  • Nothing in Washington happens overnight.
  • This is only a continuing resolution to get through the rest of the fiscal year (to 9/30/11).  The real budget process which the GOP Congress will have full input into will be for the 2012 fiscal budget.  Look for more cuts and more substantial cuts here.
  • Entitlement reform is going to take time, and likely won’t get done at least until 2012 when a Republican Senate and White House is a possibility.  Why waste the political capital now?

All in all, it’s a good first step, and I applaud the GOP for sticking to their campaign promise (even if it took a little gentle coaxing) and actually trying to do something about cutting spending and waste.

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