Video: The Budget Chef

posted at 11:36 am on December 14, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

No, this isn’t Julia Child — it’s Nick Gillespie from Reason TV, offering kitchen advice on what to do with pork over the next ten years.  How do you trim a budget in order to ensure that dinner doesn’t come buried in debt gravy?  Cut the fat and leave the meat, and watch as the pork gravy stops flowing:

Using only a big piece of pork, a large knife, and a small knife, the budget chef shows how to balance the federal budget by 2020.

As a special treat, he does it without raising taxes from the current Bush-era rates!

It seems like a complicated preparation at first, but it’s so simple that almost any elected official should be able to pull it off like a pro!

Domestic and foreign investors will love this, and it will also help create a stable environment conducive to long-term, sustainable economic growth.

Between 2011 and 2020, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that total federal outlays – for defense, agriculture subsidies, Medicare, Social Security, you name it – will total a whopping $42.1 trillion (in 2010 dollars). To bring outlays down to revenue, we need to cut a total of $1.3 trillion in total expenditures over the next 10 years.

That sounds like a really tall order until you realize that it cutting just 3.6 percent a year for each of the next 10 years. To put it in dollar terms, it means cutting about $130 billion a year from budgets that will average over $4 trillion. That’s not so hard now, is it? By making small, systematic cuts to a federal budget that is larded up with more fat than an Ponderosa buffet, we can balance the budget without even nicking essential services.

I’ve never seen anyone cook in a leather jacket before. It’s worth a watch just to see Nick in a white chef’s hat.

The point is well taken, though, and Reason TV actually avoids juicing it up. We don’t need new revenue streams to solve the problem of deficit spending; we need to curtail spending after a massive increase over the past three years (38% growth in annual budgets) and decade (around 55% growth). The simplest recipes are often the best.

Update: Kevin Williamson says that trimming $1.3 trillion in ten years will help, but it’s not enough to solve the problem.  (h/t: Dustin Siggins)


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Dreaming.

Badger40 on December 14, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Delicious and nutritious, USDA-select budget cuts

Jeddite on December 14, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Maybe we can get the FDA with the help of the First Lady, Mitch Obama, to help make us a lean budget machine.

Electrongod on December 14, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Doesn’t this still leave the $13 Trillion deficit?

Alden Pyle on December 14, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Whatever, Nick.

Knott Buyinit on December 14, 2010 at 11:45 AM

USDA-select budget cuts

Jeddite on December 14, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Jus be aware that designation means nothing.
The USDA is not inspecting your cuts of meat for quality.
It’s just a plain old definition of a quality standard.
Not that you should worry about the meat.
Your better off buying from a local, however, IMHO.

Badger40 on December 14, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Maybe we can get the FDA with the help of the First Lady, Mitch Obama, to help make us a lean budget machine.

Electrongod on December 14, 2010 at 11:44 AM

Food vouchers for everyone.
So that when we all go the the local grocery store, you are only allowed so many pounds of meat etc per week.

Badger40 on December 14, 2010 at 11:50 AM

He always dressed in black.

TimTebowSavesAmerica on December 14, 2010 at 11:51 AM

I have my steadfas leather jacket. But this guy is ridiculous. He wears that coat on single interview.

/nohomo/

swamp_yankee on December 14, 2010 at 11:56 AM

Man that pig meat looks tasty. Must be lunchtime.

Greek Fire on December 14, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Anton Chigurh returns. In a chef’s hat.

“Call it, friendo.”

Bat Chain Puller on December 14, 2010 at 12:00 PM

That actually stimulated my stomach more than my brain. Time to head over to the cafe for some cacoila.

swamp_yankee on December 14, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Sharpen that blade a little.
That pork looked like it was cut with a broken piece of glass.

NeoKong on December 14, 2010 at 12:02 PM

I generally like the Reason TV clips, but this was not only silly, but grossly misleading.

The 2010-2020 deficits are all projected to be in excess of $1 trillion.

Can you balance it by cutting $130 billion per year? Yes, if you mean $130 billion the first year, $260 billion the second year, $390 billion the third year, etc. until you have cut $1.3 trillion by the tenth year.

That means the last pork chop should have had 1/3 cut away, not the little bit of fat the video showed.

SwampYankee on December 14, 2010 at 12:06 PM

swamp_yankee on December 14, 2010 at 12:02 PM

SwampYankee on December 14, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Do we have two Swamp Yankees? Just curious.

strictnein on December 14, 2010 at 12:10 PM

I was all set to enjoy this but was quite underwhelmed. I’m not going to bother rewriting the material but a lot more could have been done with a cute idea, starting with menu planning and portion control.

Drained Brain on December 14, 2010 at 12:11 PM

strictnein on December 14, 2010 at 12:10 PM

I only use the one with an underscore.

swamp_yankee on December 14, 2010 at 12:11 PM

But if we cut the fat, then pork kings like Ron Paul can’t demagogue the issue and those poor shrimp in his district will die or something.

catmman on December 14, 2010 at 12:13 PM

What’s w/ the leather jacket?

esnap on December 14, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Balancing the budget is all nice and well, but a huge portion of the budget is interest on already outstanding government debt. If you really want to start saving, cut the budget by 10% and apply it to the debt. Eliminating the national debt and balancing the budget will keep the US Government from overspending. Maybe we can even save some money and build up a “war chest” to spend on emergencies and pressing military actions.

Nethicus on December 14, 2010 at 12:30 PM

: Kevin Williamson says that trimming $1.3 trillion in ten years will help, but it’s not enough to solve the problem.

What isn’t taken in account is the economy will be more robust under a constrained budget, making for more money into the tax coffers.
When our businesses are firing on all cylinders, we create a lot of horsepower…

right2bright on December 14, 2010 at 12:39 PM

I’d much prefer if we could trim $1.3 trillion each year.

modnar on December 14, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Love the jacket. Really, it is easy to balance a budget if you want to balance a budget. Like Nick said, and like every person with any bit of common sense has ever said, simpyl don’t spend more than you make. The only reason balancing the budget is complicated in our time, is because people want other people’s money. That’s called stealing. And stealing is wrong.

j_galt on December 14, 2010 at 12:48 PM

The leather jacket with apron and chef’s hat is an odd fashion statement, but somehow endearing to me.

ynot4tony2 on December 14, 2010 at 12:54 PM

I’ve never seen anyone cook in a leather jacket before. It’s worth a watch just to see Nick in a white chef’s hat.

I was thinking the same thing. Also, his idea doesn’t address the interest payments to China, paying off the debt, etc.

mizflame98 on December 14, 2010 at 1:00 PM

I would prefer the federal government live within a 2% GDP budget, the states live within their respective 4% GDP and the county/city live within their respective 4% GPD…making total government take at 10%. Make taxes flat and small.

Conservative Voice on December 14, 2010 at 2:31 PM

I wonder if Nick takes a shower with the leather jacket on?

motionview on December 14, 2010 at 2:47 PM

Nick,

Not to call you an idiot, but you need to put Social Security into that pork.

Tim Burton on December 14, 2010 at 4:39 PM

I am afraid that Nick has offended countless future jihadis by using pork in his recipe.

How insensitive!

Laurence on December 14, 2010 at 4:47 PM