How Cuts Can Be Both Small And Devastating

Veronique De Rugy evaluates the budgetary impact of the Republican Study Committee’s proposed cuts:


Nick Gillespie remarks:

De Rugy also rounds up a bunch of predictable comments about how the proposed cuts would be “devastating,” “dramatic,” and worse. Would that any of that were true.

I think this reflects a giant misunderstanding of how this works. If I were to recommend a 50 percent cut in what Jamie Dimon pays his maid that would both be a devastating cut in his maid’s income and also a tiny cut in his overall expenditures. The RSC proposal rules out cuts in Social Security, the Department of Defense, Medicare, Medicaid, and farm subsidies. These programs combined constitute the vast majority of federal spending. Consequently, achieving even modest reductions in overall expenditure entirely out of the remaining non-defense discretionary budget requires devastating cuts.