In the coming months there will be lots of fiery rhetoric about government spending. Orphans will starve and widows will die. But there is one thing to remember. It's liberals that have a problem, not conservatives. The longer that liberals put off agreeing to spending cuts, the harder it will be for the folks vote for liberals and have put their trust in government. Let's go through the list of proposed cuts that Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe have drawn up in The Wall Street Journal.
- Return discretionary spending to 2007 levels.
- Eliminate bailouts, and cut the cord with Fannie and Freddie
- Eliminate subsidies on ethanol and unproven energy.
- Scrap Departments of Commerce and Housing and Urban Development.
- End farm subsidies, cut NASA, Repeal Davis-Bacon, End urban mass transit grants
- Cut defense spending
- Cut entitlements by slow conversion of Social Security to personal accounts, and conversion of Medicare and Medicaid and tax subsidies for employer health benefits into "capped contributions to individuals."
According to Armey and Kibbe that would amount to $3 trillion in cuts over ten years.
But never mind that.
Look at all the proposed cuts. Does anything shine out at you? Exactly. None of that stuff is really going to affect you.
Maybe that's the big problem with the liberal welfare state. Liberals carefully started out by handing out benefits to the opposition. But now they have forgotten the consensus politics of the old days. Now they and their clients just flat out elbow everyone else away from the trough. That's what happened in the Reid-Pelosi Congress from 2007-2010.
It was great fun while it lasted. But there is a problem with it. The time is coming, because of looming default, to start cutting. Oh well, say conservatives. Oh no, scream liberals! If the only people benefiting from government programs are liberals and their clients, then only one thing can happen if we have to cut spending to stave off default. We will have to cut liberal government programs. So it will necessarily be liberals and their clients that will suffer.
And that is sad.
But it is not the end of the world.