Hegemony and Deficit

Apparently Evan Bayh is pining for a presidential announcement of a discretionary spending freeze:

I keep resolving to stop blogging about Evan Bayh. Suffice it to say that I don’t, personally, think it makes sense $250 billion in tax cuts for wealthy heiresses and then turn around and insist on the need to take food out of the mouths of poor children. So we’ll just have to disagree about that.

But what was really interesting here, to me, is that Bayh forget to work in the usual caveats about exempting defense, intelligence, and veterans spending from the “discretionary” catch-all. And yet the more I think about it, the more that national security, along with Medicare, stand out as the places likely to get the ax when the budget crisis really comes. One of the many virtues of The End of Influence is that it really lays out in detail the extent to which the sustainability of US fiscal policy is a matter of deliberately Chinese public policy. The dynamic isn’t sustainable in general, but it’s a particularly absurd financial basis for a policy of worldwide military domination. If a real debt crunch emerges, Chinese officials are going to be right in the thick of it with a say over what gets cut.