If and when Republicans win control of Congress, just how will they tame the federal beast?


As Republican candidates for Congress prepare to start dancing in the streets in the wake of next month’s midterm elections, Eugene Robinson dares to RAIN ON THEIR PARADE with a troubling question or two.

An excerpt:

If the GOP takes control of one or both houses of Congress, voters will expect action to cut the federal beast down to size. All right, the 2010 budget was about $3.5 trillion. Where should the dragon-slayers begin to make meaningful cuts?

If you add up all the items generally thought of as mandatory — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, interest on the national debt — you’ve already spent about two-thirds of the total. Add in the close to $700 billion spent for defense, which Republicans hold as sacrosanct, and you’ve spent four-fifths of the budget. This leaves just one-fifth for “discretionary” programs, many of which aren’t discretionary at all. I doubt many Americans would want to risk going without food inspection, say, or air traffic control, or the FBI.



  1. Here’s an article from The Economist about Paul Ryan and his “Roadmap for America’s Future.”


  2. expdoc: I’ve deleted the full text of the article to which you linked. Hereafter, if you provide a link to an article, confine yourself to just a paraphrase or a short excerpt or two.

    Let me explain why I don’t want the full texts of articles to which you also provide links.

    Lots of our commenters pass along links to articles from other Web sites. If all of those commenters also included full texts of those articles, some of the threads here would become very, very long — so long, in fact, that most readers would never get to the comments near the ends of those threads.

    In my own posts, I don’t include the full texts of articles to which I’m linking. And I don’t want anyone else to do it either.

  3. Sorry about that. I understand your wishes but thought I only included the first few paragraphs. My bad.

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