Thursday, December 2, 2010

What's 16 Feet Tall and 43,000 Pages Long?

I've been around long enough to see deficit panels come and go several times without making much of a dent in the budget deficit. I have little doubt this current deficit panel will be nothing short of more window dressing. What's missing from politicians in Washington today are the attributes that are most critical to cutting spending-- courage, conviction and leadership. But the chambers of Congress and administration offices are filled with cowardly lions, all roar and no teeth.

The President's current proposal to freeze federal salaries is a start, but it's only a drop in the bucket. Over the past thirty years the growth federal workers salaries and benefits has far outstripped the private sector (let's not forget who produces economic growth and who pays who) and this cannot continue unchecked. However, I am constantly flabbergasted how in this 43,000 page orgy of waste meaningful cuts are so hard to come by. In earlier posts, I've provided my own off the cuff ideas on obvious areas to cut. I'll never be convinced that in 43,000 pages there isn't a lot of low hanging fruit to cut off the vine-- at least 10%. We just need political willpower and leadership, not more vaporware.

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