Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cuts First!

Mickey Kaus has a great post on why deficit reduction should focus on spending cuts first, even though he, and most other moderate liberals (yes, they exist, and he is one), think that both tax increases and spending cuts will be necessary to close the budget gap:
Opponents of bloated government don’t trust politicians to make cuts if extra revenues are in the offing. Neither, sensibly, do many voters. But if you make dramatic cuts, demonstrate you’ve sweated out the fat–and there’s still a deficit, you’ve got a shot at getting a tax increase through. Cuts First! You could start with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

In any case. it’s inane to argue that every step on the road to deficit reduction has to be a balance of cuts and tax increases. That’s like saying you can’t take a piss unless you take a drink.
I couldn't have said it better, and I didn't.   Another great point:
It’s not as if a cuts-only deal to avert a debt-ceiling crisis would be the easy way out. Cuts are hard–arguably harder, at the national level, than even raising taxes, which is why, as now, adding revenues is so often the politicans’ path of less resistance. We are also up against the syllogism:

a) If you can’t cut the fat out of government during economic bad times, because, hey, we need the stimulus of government spending and

b) You can’t cut the fat out of government during economic good times, because,’ Hey, there’s plenty of tax revenue so why the sense of urgency?,’ then

c) When will you ever cut the fat out of government? Never, that’s when. Instead it will build up over the decades like sediment until we reach … the present circumstance.
Read the whole thing.

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