Is there anyone making more sense than Bruce Bartlett these days? His take on the CBO, the Republican Party, and reducing the deficit is a must read. Here’s my favorite part:
The point is that spending and deficits are not going to be controlled by taking a meat-ax to the budget, as many of those in the Tea Party want to do. You can’t just enact across the board cuts in every program or abolish departments and agencies and expect their functions to completely disappear. Interest on the debt can’t be cut; defense can’t be reduced significantly without scaling back the Defense Department’s commitments, withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan, canceling weapons systems that create jobs in hundreds of different congressional districts, reducing the pay and benefits of our armed forces and so on; and abolishing every so-called earmark in the budget and foreign aid, as well, would together only reduce spending by 1 percent.
The reality is that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are where the real money is, and reducing outlays for these programs is very, very hard; not just for political reasons, but because they are highly complex programs and require changes in the law governing eligibility to reduce spending in the long run. Doing so in a way that can’t be gamed by beneficiaries or create massive unfairness is a major challenge.
I’ve been trying to say that for a while, but likely not as well.
Go read the whole thing.