Perspective is good, so consider: The federal government spends $3.6 trillion a year. A cut of $85 billion, as called for in the looming sequester, represents 2.3 percent of that total – from a government that is having to borrow more than 25 percent of everything it spends. It doesn’t touch entitlement spending at all, so we’re talking about 7 percent of the Pentagon budget and 5 percent of discretionary domestic spending.
But wait, there’s more.
Over the past five years, these agencies have received budget increases totaling 17 percent. So even if you make the cuts required by the sequester, the Pentagon still has 10 percent more than it had in 2008 (and remember, the Iraq War is over and we’re told the Afghanistan War is ending next year), and the domestic agencies still have 12 percent more than they had in 2008.
Sounds like something they could handle, yes? Sillies! Haven’t you been listening to Barack Obama?
Conjuring up the specter of fired teachers, furloughed FBI agents, idled Border Patrol agents, sidelined firefighters, criminals freed by cutbacks and “hundreds of thousands” of lost jobs, President Barack Obama pressed congressional Republicans on Tuesday to agree to increase tax revenues as part of a plan to avert “brutal” across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect one week from Friday.
“If Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness. It will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research,” Obama warned in a speech at the White House, flanked by emergency workers.
If this guy were running a division of some company that had a bit of a down year and ordered all its managers to cut their budgets by 2.3 percent, I guess he would go into a complete meltdown.
It can’t be done!
Anyhoo, the Wall Street Journal effectively destroys the Keynesian argument that cutting spending will kill the economy:
After World War II federal spending fell from 42 percent of GDP to 14.8 percent in two years, yet the private economy and employment roared back to life. In the 1980s domestic spending fell by about two percentage points of GDP and in the 1990s it fell by more than three. Those were decades of government austerity but rapid growth in private output and wealth. Mr. Obama has taken government spending from 21 percent to 24 percent of GDP, yet we’ve had the weakest economic recovery in three generations.
What I’m struck by here is the astounding lengths to which Obama will go to avoid even the tiniest spending cuts.
As the Journal points out, any half-competent middle manager could find 5 or 7 percent to cut from his department’s budget given a cash shortfall. But that assumes an agenda based on some modicum of seriousness, and you can’t make any such assumption where Barack Obama is concerned.
Read more Calabrese at CainTV here.