The point is that a nation must be able to adapt its spending priorities, sometimes swiftly, in response to unforeseen contingencies. That’s harder to do when so many resources are pre-committed to a handful of worthy but expensive entitlements. In a federal budget of nearly $4 trillion, the president and Congress will argue over about $1 trillion, divided roughly evenly between defense needs and every other federal function. Under these circumstances, even the most modest policy prescription becomes a recipe for political trench warfare.You know, Detroit-style.
This structural problem requires credible structural reform — to both entitlements and taxes. In that respect, Mr. Obama’s budget is just the latest in a long line of plans, from Democrats and Republicans, that fails to deliver what the country most needs. Sooner or later, change must come, and preferably before a crisis forces it on us.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
The inevitable budget squeeze
I know that this is the millionth installment of "I told you so" or maybe "You'll see!" but the Washington Post notes that the budget battle is squabbling over the scraps because so much of the budget is already allocated to autopilot spending on entitlements: