Wednesday, February 16, 2011

No Defense Cuts

It amazes me (and heartens me) that Republicans are proposing $15 billion in Defense cuts. I find it ironic if not suprising that President Obama is citing the proposed cuts as one of the reasons he is threatening to wield his veto pen.

I think there is a good argument to be had that now is not the optimal time to start budget cuts. And I don't think budget cuts where the discretionary non-defense to defense ration is 85-15 is appropriate either. I would be content with a smaller cut this year where the non-defense to defense ration was 25-25 for a total of $50 billion and scaled up to $100 billion the following year and the year after that the ratio would change to 50-100 with a total cut of $150 billion. The reason I think you want to start with modest cuts now is that you don't know that the economy will start roaring back due to deficit spending. So while revenues will probably continue to rise the deficit is likely to be a problem for a while and the longer we fail to address it the more likely it is that we will be present with harsher choices when we are forced to deal with it.

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