Four Percent Off the Top
Suppose you get a 4 percent pay cut.
Suppose you can’t borrow; you can only reduce your spending. Your household budget includes rent, videos, food, saving for a rainy day, and a front-door lock to replace the one destroyed when your home was broken into yesterday. What’s the first thing that pops into your head?
“Well! Better forget that lock!”? No.
Now suppose you head the executive branch of the federal government and want to entrench disastrously high spending. So you want to “prove” that even trivial budget cuts must produce blatant, instant pain. Then, for example, school kids en route to DC find that White House tours have been canceled. Then, for another example, airline passengers find that security delays at the airport drag on longer than ever.
Congress has tasked the Federal Aviation Administration with safely and efficiently directing airplanes on and off the tarmac. The sequester reduces the FAA’s budget by some 4 percent. What to do? What else but furlough controllers for one working day out of ten, inflicting delays in an estimated four of ten flights?
That’s what the Obama administration has done, even though many less destructive budgetary changes are not only possible, but far more preferable.
Much more than 4 percent must be cut from government spending. It won’t be painless. But the Obama administration, consulting a very old, very nasty “insider’s” playbook, seeks to “prove” that the only feasible way to even begin to reform is the least sensible way. False.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.