I expect that many Ricochet members are following Jim DeMint's efforts behind a moratorium on "earmarks", Congress's favorite way to funnel Federal dollars into their districts. He's fighting an uphill battle but has the Tea Party behind him. It's coming down to the wire...
On a related note, in this article in the WSJ, Gerald Seib notes how The chairmen of the deficit-reduction commission have grabbed the headlines and set the agenda for the debates to come. What struck me especially was this statement:
"By offering even more deficit reduction than necessary to achieve the commission's target, they sent a message: See, it isn't THAT hard to come up with a plan, especially if you're willing to go after popular as well as unpopular programs."
Rather than discuss the specific details of any deficit reduction scheme (we will be doing that for many years, alas) I'm struck by how the commission chairmen have pointedly raised proposals that have traditionally been considered "off limits". The programs favored (and well protected) by both the left and the right have been placed on the table.
So...is it time to start the country thinking about the unthinkable? Do we need to start preparing the nation for changes in Social Security (and other entitlements), cuts in corporate tax rates, belt-tightening at Defense and an end to a myriad of other subsidies and pork-barrel programs? Are Victor Davis Hanson's farmer neighbors going to fight for their subsidies? (as referenced in this week's podcast) or are all of us, liberal and conservative going to bring our pet programs forward for sacrifice?
Or are there elements of Federal spending that cannot be touched? And, since we're addressing the need to spread the pain around, what, dare I say it, about revenues?