The Budget Menu
By Arnold Kling
In the essay I referred to in my previous post, I also write
A President who has only added to future entitlement obligations ought to be judged as having acted to increase taxes. To call this Administration a tax cutter is like taking a spoiled kid who does not touch dinner but takes a double portion of chocolate cake for dessert a “good eater.”
Brian Riedl suggests some Budget spinach.
It is time to step back and think about the role of government, the obligations of the private sector, and the delineation between federal and state responsibilities.
Riedl then draws up a long list of Budget cuts in discretionary spending. However, he does point out that entitlements are the main course.
Spending cannot be restrained without reforming entitlements, which comprise two-thirds of all federal spending and threaten the country’s long-term finances…[there is] no scenario to balance the budget by 2014 without reducing that 6 percent mandatory spending annual growth rate.
I would point out that we are in 2004. It may not be fair to people now aged 55 and older to reduce their Social Security and Medicare benefits, so it may not be fair to try and balance the budget by 2014 using entitlement cuts. However, by the same token, not reforming Social Security and Medicare for the longer term for those of us under the age of 50 will lead to even worse Budget pressures going forward.
For Discussion. When you examine Riedl’s article, which of his spending cuts stand a good chance of being enacted?