Monday, November 7, 2011

Why Is It So Hard to Cut Spending?

One reason is that so many people rely on government largesse. As a story at Bloomberg News points out,
A record 49 percent of Americans live in a household where someone receives at least one type of government benefit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And 63 percent of all federal spending this year will consist of checks written to individuals for which the government receives currently no services, the White House budget office estimates. That’s up from 46 percent in 1975 and 18 percent in 1940.
With so many people receiving so noticeably direct financial benefits from the government, it is easy to see why congressmen elected by the people do not find it in their interest to cut spending. It would be like taking the knives away from those who butter their bread.

Reduce spending in this environment will require the people to possess a significant amount of character. I am not sure we have the right stuff. I would be happy to be wrong.


  1. I think you're right. In the case of many elderly and retiring folks, the situation may be even more dire. What do you thInk of Ron Paul's strategy of cutting foreign expenditures in order to ease the transition away from domestic welfare while still making meaningful cuts?

  2. Paul's proposal is a good step toward transition to a free society. We have at least two full generations of people who have been trained to expect government welfare for their retirement and more and more expecting government health care. They have been told that the largess will be there when they retire and have lived according to what they've been told. Paul's proposal seeks to fairly recognize that fact while moving toward a truly free society.