Monday, January 31, 2011

Cutting spending, GOP style (II)

I have been negligent in not addressing Rand Paul's plan to slash $500bn from the budget in one year. Thankfully, Matt Steinglass did a masterful job of it over at DiA:

Mr Paul's bill is a juvenile, irresponsible stunt. For most of his proposed cuts, he hasn't put in the minimal work necessary to make any rational decisions about what programmes should be cut, and what shouldn't; he hand-waves towards "pro rata cuts" without thinking through what that means. Those of his cuts which are specific betray a callow, politically-minded populist anti-intellectualism. Rabble-rousing calls to eliminate "international commissions" may play well to Glen Beck's audience, but senators are expected to have some grasp of what it is that the government they are running actually does. Mr Paul has been elected to the United States Senate; it's time for him to grow up.

Again, while Rand's bill has specific programs that he wants to cut funding for, the cuts are expressed as "agency x gets $x less money." There's a reason bills like the ACA are thousands of pages long (besides the criminally small number of words per page). Law-making is complicated. Anyway, read Steinglass' piece. And if you can handle it, Andrew Sullivan's readers took Paul's plan apart as well.

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