Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 19, 2010 / 11 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771

Where to Cut Spending?

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the last two years, spending by the current Congress has increased 21.4 percent, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The question thrown in the face of tea party activists and other conservative Republicans when they talk of cutting spending is, "Where would you cut?"

It's a loaded question, of course, and those who ask it follow it up with vitriolic assertions that any cuts will mean that children will go hungry, the elderly will be evicted from nursing homes and the federal government will be forced to close, meaning no more Social Security checks. This is precisely the approach taken in 1995 when the Clinton administration set a trap for the new Republican congressional majority and shut down the government, sending Republicans into a hasty retreat, from which they and their proposed spending cuts never fully recovered.

Everyone knows Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid must be reformed, but Democrats want to maintain control, so they won't do what is necessary to fix these massive entitlement programs. So, where to cut?

The presumed new Republican majority can begin by paring down noncontroversial spending that the public will understand and then, after proving the programs aren't necessary or could be better run by the private sector, move on to more expensive programs.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


Rep. John Mica (R-Fl), ranking member on the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, has made a start. In a letter to me, Rep. Mica encloses a report by his committee's minority staff with the clever title, "Sitting on Our Assets: The Federal Government's Misuse of Taxpayer-Owned Assets."

Misuse is a word most Americans understand and don't like.

The report identifies "hundreds of billions of dollars in potential savings" through "improved management" of what the federal government owns. "If implemented," says Rep. Mica, "the opportunities ... have the potential to save up to approximately $250 billion."

Admittedly, that's not much when the latest deficit projection is $1.294 trillion, but we must start somewhere.

The problem is, and always has been, that once government programs and agencies are created, they quickly become sacrosanct and virtually impossible to destroy. As Ronald Reagan said, "Government programs, once launched, never disappear ... a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" So it doesn't matter that the Department of Education doesn't educate, or that the Department of Energy doesn't produce energy. It's government and, thus, by definition good in the minds of the Washington establishment.

There are quite a number of solid proposals for spending cuts and efficiencies in the minority staff report. These include "Amtrak's squandering the potential development of high-speed rail in the Northeast Corridor; The Federal Aviation Administration's management of air traffic control facilities; utilizing innovative financing alternatives, including well-defined private sector participation, for infrastructure projects." (Why should the money come only from government?) There is much more. The entire report is available at http://republicans.transportation.house.gov.

Additionally, a new House (and possibly Senate) majority ought to embarrass Democrats by exposing the number of government programs that no longer work (or never achieved their objectives) and then ask for a referendum from the public as to whether they want the money they earn to continue to go for such things. Republicans could also ask the private sector to submit proposals for projects it could do less expensively and more efficiently than government.

People who elect not to participate in government programs might be given a tax break. A new emphasis on healthy living (thank you Michelle Obama for emphasizing how overweight we are) would reduce the costs of health care and possibly lower the cost of health insurance, as well as reduce the number of hospital stays.

The public will likely accept these and other cost reductions if they can see results and if Republicans can persuade them that the cuts they're making are in the public's interest, and not in the interest of the GOP. That's the challenge. Rep. Mica's minority report offers one answer to the question "Where would you cut spending?" Get this right and there will be many others.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


BUY THE BOOK
Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).

Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

© 2006, Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles