I guess something is better than nothing, but in this case it will fall far short of what is necessary to make a real difference. Some Republicans in the House of Representatives have come up with a “Spending Reduction Act” which promises to reduce federal spending by trillions over the next decade (translation: a couple hundred billion each year, a small fraction of the current deficit). The act includes no cuts from the Department of Defense and eliminates no significant programs, agencies, or departments. A handful of piddly programs, such as the $1 million mohair subsidy, would be eliminated. All to the good, but it’s still just a drop in the bucket.
As this commentary points out, the lion’s share of the projected savings are to come from freezing non-defense discretionary spending at 2006 levels. This would in fact be a real cut, but what is the likelihood that Congress will hold the line over ten years in the face of all the yammering from special interest groups? And to insist that the DoD is just the right size is madness. We’ll keep an eye on this; expect there to be all sorts of wailing in Congress that even these modest spending reductions will be “slashing essential programs to the bone” and the like.