Good cuts, bad cuts

Good cuts, bad cuts

by digby

Not that I'm against cuttting defense spending, mind you, but this just makes me laugh:

As the White House tries to revive negotiations to raise the nation’s debt limit today after the talks nearly collapsed last week, some Republicans see cuts to Pentagon spending as a potential area of compromise. Although the House GOP has long been resistant to the idea, they believe it is easier to build support around cutting defense spending than raising revenues through changing the tax code.

Everyone from the President to Jim DeMint agrees that the government is just like an average American household and it must pay down what it owes as quickly as humanly possible. But they also seem to believe under no circumstances is it acceptable to bring in more money to do it. I guess this explains the lack of interest in the unemployment rate.

Seriously, the defense budget is a very logical place to look for savings. It's been off limits to any kind of serious oversight for decades, particularly the one just past. I have no doubt that significant savings can be found there. If they can come up with some cuts in obsolete programs that don't hurt any of their prized constituencies and donors too badly, a deal could potentially be made that would give President Obama an argument to take to his base as his liberal accomplishment in this "deal".

But keep in mind that when they make the argument that we can't raise taxes because the economy is too fragile, the economic logic of that is the same as cutting spending. So it isn't about the economy --- it's about shrinking government. No matter how worthy a goal cutting the Pentagon is on the merits, it's not a liberal economic policy. In fact, none of this is an economic policy at all --- it's a ritual sacrifice.

Update: Also: what Atrios said.