Monday, December 27, 2010


What will Orange Julius slice from the budget to keep his $100 billion spending reduction promise?  Here's a hint:  it's not going to be from defense.

Republicans view their midterm electoral victory as a mandate to cut spending, and cutting $100 billion from a $3 trillion federal budget sounds like a reasonable goal. 

But GOP leaders say they will focus only on non-security discretionary spending, and won't slash funding for defense, Social Security or Medicare. 

That makes their task a lot harder.

Cutting non-security discretionary funds by $100 billion means a 21% annual reduction in the part of the budget that includes funding for education, health and human services and housing and urban development, among other things, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal think tank.

In other words, the sacred cows of domestic Democratic policy. 

Asked which programs will be cut to get to the $100 billion target, Boehner did not offer specifics.

"But I will tell you," he told reporters earlier this month. "We are going to cut spending."

No specifics of course.  That whole 20% across the board axed from social spending isn't going to make the GOP real popular, either. Especially in this economy.  Back in July, Republicans said that cutting Pentagon spending was no longer off the table, or at least Ron Paul thought it was necessary.  Of course, that was never going to happen.

So, in this economy, Republicans see their first order of business as piling on the pain on the American people (and more tax cuts!)  Let's see those specifics, guys.  Who's getting the axe?

My guess is going to be those spending cuts are going to be a lot less than $100 billion, especially for anybody with 2012 aspirations.  Of course, that would explain why most of your 2012 GOP prospective candidates are out of office right now, but all the GOP House will be facing voters again in two years as well.  Somehow I don't think those specifics are ever going to materialize.

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