22 October 2010

How do you cut this pie?

The pie chart comes from an op-ed piece at the Washington Examiner.
The blue parts of that chart are the parts Republicans have said they won't cut. The red slice, well that's fair game. Klein writes:
Even if you were to eliminate this entire slice of the budget (meaning you're willing to gut the Department of Homeland Security and defund all other federal agencies and departments) it wouldn't even eliminate half of last year's deficit.
The diagram emphasizes the point made earlier this week by John in the discussion of another pie chart.  At some point it's going to be necessary to rethink "mandatory" or "nondiscretionary" spending.  Andrew Sullivan contrasts the window-dressing cutbacks suggests by both Republicans and Democrats with the sea-change being suggested for Great Britain:
And now, courtesy of Britain's Tories, we have a real example of actual fiscal conservatives. Leave aside the legitimate debate about whether it's the right thing to do right now, the Tories bravely campaigned on major cuts - even in welfare which is beloved by their own core constituency, like child benefit - and delivered, risking their entire future on what they believe is the responsible thing to do...

They've raised the retirement age to 66; they plan to reduce the numbers of criminals in prison; they've cut police funding; they've cut defense by 8 percent; they've slashed subsidies to the regions. And remember the British debt is not that much higher than the US debt: Yes, the welfare cuts will hurt the poor, but the biggest hit will come from middle class entitlements. The wealthy, including the Queen, are reeling...
So, who's going to raise taxes and cut our spending on welfare, retirement benefits, education, and the war machine?  

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