All this talk about how sequestration is going to devastate the government is getting me down. The cuts during the first year are supposed to be something like $85 billion, which constitutes about 2.4% of total government spending (3.5 trillion in 2012) and only a fraction of the normal 6-8% annual increase in federal spending. Of course, sequestration doesn’t permit tailoring the cuts to allow a more sensible approach, but that’s only because Congress and the President have an abysmal record of actually cutting anything even under urgent circumstances.
So, I propose we immediately end all foreign aid. That immediately saves $50+ billion per year. That would also have the immediate benefit of reducing corruption throughout the world, reducing U.S. intervention in the politics of other countries, and forcing many European and Asian countries to start paying for their own defense.
Ah, if only such suggestions could actually find their way into the deficit debate, but they can’t. If Congress and the President had the integrity required to reduce spending and balance the budget, they would never have let us get $16T in debt to begin with. But, government doesn’t attract people with integrity and people don’t elect candidates who exhibit integrity. We have met the enemy and he is us.