Visual aid: How insignificant are those big GOP budget cuts we keep hearing about?

posted at 8:53 pm on February 11, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via Ricochet, here’s a nice clip that I’m going to call “Why I Drink.” To get in the proper frame of mind for viewing, fetch yourself an alcoholic beverage and sip slowly while comparing the increase/decrease numbers in this new poll from Pew:

Not until we reach the last line do we find a plurality in favor of cutting spending, and even that’s exceeded by the combined number who want to keep humanitarian aid the same or even increase it. No wonder Obama thinks a spending freeze is good enough: The public quite clearly agrees with him.

As for tea partiers, yes, they’re more willing to cut than other demographics. But the last item here should send a chill down your spine:

Just 29 percent of tea partiers are prepared to cut Social Security compared to 18 percent who want to toss even more money into the entitlement sinkhole. GOP Rep. Tom Latham warned freshmen Republicans today that they might feel excited right now about winning the big budget battle with leadership, but wait until their constituents have to live with the cuts. Look at those two graphs again, especially the second one, and tell me if he isn’t right.

And now you’re ready for the clip. Remember, $100 billion — the GOP’s new “draconian” figure — represents just one shot glass. And even that’s enough to get Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer to wet their pants. We’re doomed.


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Get more specific about the questions.

Someone who may not like the idea of reducing spending on “education” may support reducing funding for specific areas of the Department of Education.

Ask people who oppose infrastructure decreases if they support Obama-style stimulus spending that makes up so much of “infrastructure” today.

We’re going to have to do this specific cut by specific cut, starting with the most odious ones. Soon the cuts start racking up.

amerpundit on February 11, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Like the Chris Christie approach.

He doesn’t say “we need to seriously cut funding for schools”. He talks about making teachers contribute to their benefits, freezing the pay for union teachers, and takes on other specific issues.

If you go with “Let’s cut funding for education!” you’re going to fail. It doesn’t sound nice. It doesn’t sound acceptable.

Start talking about cutting specific areas. Talk about the teachers unions and how we need more choice. Talk about how the education infrastructure needs to be less centralized.

amerpundit on February 11, 2011 at 9:01 PM

This is why we have to cut all department budgets equally. Otherwise, we’ll get lost in arguments over the merits of each program. After that’s passed into law, we can go back and fight over what money should go from one department to another.

elfman on February 11, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Tell a drunk their drinks will be reduced to one a day… they would rather die.

leftnomore on February 11, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Drunk with power

Electrongod on February 11, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Cut it all, now…

Khun Joe on February 11, 2011 at 9:07 PM

This survey was bunk.

Cut Social Security? What does that mean if you formulate it into a question? To some it might mean cutting grandma’s existing stipend. To others it might mean a more reasoned approach.

I’m surprised so-called conservatives are eating this survey up like fish – it’s bunk. You cannot do a survey on budget cuts – they’re too complicated.

HondaV65 on February 11, 2011 at 9:09 PM

We’re doomed.

I’ll drink to that….

Fortunata on February 11, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Increase college financial aid? “Education?” Oh %$^& come on, does anyone pay attention? Oh but it’s it’s for the kids! ugh

brak on February 11, 2011 at 9:10 PM

So lets just go back to the 2008 budget and start from there. It was only three years ago, surely there is an old copy of lying around somewhere.

tommer74 on February 11, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Barry swallows.

BHO Jonestown on February 11, 2011 at 9:11 PM

Stop talking so loud, my head hurts.

El_Terrible on February 11, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Good God, is there anything Democrats don’t want to spend more money on, other than national defense?

Start drinking.

Who can afford alcohol in this economy?

Kensington on February 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Like the Chris Christie approach.

He doesn’t say “we need to seriously cut funding for schools”. He talks about making teachers contribute to their benefits, freezing the pay for union teachers, and takes on other specific issues.

If you go with “Let’s cut funding for education!” you’re going to fail. It doesn’t sound nice. It doesn’t sound acceptable.

Start talking about cutting specific areas. Talk about the teachers unions and how we need more choice. Talk about how the education infrastructure needs to be less centralized.

amerpundit on February 11, 2011 at 9:01 PM

That’s great and I agree with a lot of that, but that doesn’t explain the support for Social Security.

Proud Rino on February 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM

Who cares? We’re out of money. Got it. Tapped out. As a matter of fact we’re worse than tapped out we’re in debt above our eyeballs, hell it’s above the top our heads.

So the question isn’t “Should we cut?” or even “How much?” In a 31/2 trillion dollar budget, 11/2 trillion of it must be borrowed, much of it from the Communist Chinese. If the government was a household the cuts would amount to 11/2 trillion dollars. It would have to or we’d go to prison.

So where do we cut 11/2 trillion dollars. That’s the only question that deserves consideration.

ncjetsfan on February 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM

That’s great and I agree with a lot of that, but that doesn’t explain the support for Social Security.

Proud Rino on February 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM

We’re going to need to start with talking about raising the retirement age for future retirees and changing the whole dynamic for the really young.

It’s going to be baby steps. Only thing that’s going to work. I’m not ready to either go full-force on a suicide mission or just avoid it and reduce ourselves to admit defeat and disaster.

There’s undoubtedly a strong element of “cut the free money for everyone….but me”. Which will need to be changed over time.

amerpundit on February 11, 2011 at 9:21 PM

The phrasing bias in these polls is in just discussing reducing spending. It is not just how much you spend but how you spend it. Rather than just saying “we are going to cut environmental spending 10%”, the framing Conservatives must present is “we are going to improve the environment and the economy by stopping the EPA from doing destructive, stupid things. We will save 10% of their budget in the process, and we will make sure our grandchildren will have a functioning government to help conserve their environment”.

The Democrats are going back to their best only play – Cat Food 2012 is in high gear. We have to work to ensure that their campaign, based on Big Lies and their PT Barnum view of the American electorate, is defeated.

motionview on February 11, 2011 at 9:21 PM

Bumping up against the bully pulpit and the drumbeat of the MSM that tells us spending more is always better.

The Right has to hammer the quality over quantity message home and the NEA and the unions are the problem.

Greedy government no more.

Speakup on February 11, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Does it sound better to emphasize the reduction in the size of government, as in eliminating the department of education?
I think the size of the federal government needs to be cut way back before many people will embrace having their social security or medicare cut.

GaltBlvnAtty on February 11, 2011 at 9:29 PM

What a stupid poll…meaningless questions asked by Pew.

David in ATL on February 11, 2011 at 9:38 PM

We have to got to win the presidency back in 2012 if we are going to make any meaningful cuts.

It’s one thing to shoot numbers back and forth but to see it graphically really brings it home. I can’t believe there are people out there who want to increase spending, we are so screwed.

tommer74 on February 11, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Until this country figures out that our educational system needs a complete overhaul, (including de-unionizing the whole built-in bureaucracy), we will continue to waste billions and never make a gain on literacy.

Rovin on February 11, 2011 at 9:41 PM

We’re doomed.

We’ve been doomed, but not allowed to discuss the realities of what it’s going to take to avoid catastrophe.

In the meantime, we’ve racked up another trillion and a half in deficit, and this administration is in its second week of *openly* violating it’s oath to uphold the Constitution (much longer than that in many ways, but less openly).

By all means, let’s whine and drink some more; that’ll fix it.

Midas on February 11, 2011 at 9:52 PM

One good thing when the Commies took over Russia they lasted 60 years before the bottle was empty or they killed enough people to make them not realize the bottle was empty. When the commies come out in the open and take over the US, the bottle is already empty and the Chicoms have taken it back for the deposit.

tjexcite on February 11, 2011 at 9:53 PM

If the government was a household the cuts would amount to 11/2 trillion dollars. It would have to or we’d go to prison.

So where do we cut 11/2 trillion dollars. That’s the only question that deserves consideration.

ncjetsfan on February 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM

It really has to be more than that, so that we can make headway on the debt. 1 1/2 trillion in cuts is a good start, but treading water isn’t the way to avoid drowning – for long…

I’m sorry, they could cut $2 trillion from the budget tomorrow, effective March 1st, they just won’t. It’d hurt, I know, but not doing so – and soon – is gonna hurt hella worse.

Midas on February 11, 2011 at 9:55 PM

How many people in this country understand how far we are in debt, and how much we are paying to service that debt?

WE ARE BROKE

WisCon on February 11, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Don’t worry, it’ll get cut.

Question is: Will it be by our own controlled choice or by an exponential math disaster?

ZenDraken on February 11, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Hellllllllllo?……..PAPPY PLAN!!!!

1. Seal the southern border.

2. 10% across the board spending cuts.

Then get the GOP to use the term “FAIRNESS” and shove in the Face of the Democrats/ Media. Keep repeating the word FAIRNESS. Keep repeating it until even SOUNDBYTE Americans start repeating it!!

It’s just that freaking simple.

PappyD61 on February 11, 2011 at 10:10 PM

Of course the PAPPY PLAN assumes the GOP really wants to cut the size of Government……..BIG assumption!

PappyD61 on February 11, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Yup. In government terms a cut is a decrease in the increase in spending.

Buy ammo before the hyperinflation hits. Printing dollars is the only way we’re going to “pay” for this stuff. And dollars, my friends, are, indeed, being printed – by the billions.

If a hamburger costs $5 today, when the money supply is doubled, it’ll cost $10 afterwards.

If your SS check is $1000 today, when the money supply is doubled, it’ll only be worth $500 tomorrow. You make $50k a year? You’ll soon be only making $25k a year.

Now, with QE2 we’re not just doubling our money supply – we’re tripling or quadrupling it.

Granny, enjoy your $50 can of Alpo. And pray to God you’ve got kids or grand kids who love you … and can afford you.

BowHuntingTexas on February 11, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Just do it. Since when do they care what anyone think? It’s not about pleasing people anymore, it’s about existing.

Cindy Munford on February 11, 2011 at 10:24 PM

There will be another election, they pussy footed long enough and I was so happy knowing that the GOP had the House but they used a lot of big words with promises and now they are accountable to keep them and do what they said they would.

sheebe on February 11, 2011 at 10:32 PM

PappyD61 on February 11, 2011 at 10:12 PM

The ONLY way to get any meaningful spending reductions from the clowns in DC is for them to absolutely understand that their precioussssss seat is caught in a revolving door if they lack the spine to do the tough decisions about cutting entitlements along with everything in DC. The size and number of gubmint employees needs to be reduced to about 1/2 its current size.

How do they do it…reduce funding, HINT: quit spending money we taxpayers don’t have, and you might be able to remain in your preciousssssss!

belad on February 11, 2011 at 10:32 PM

This survey ignores the two biggest contributors to the deficit, stimulus spending + new entitlements (ie. Obamacare). Kill those two and the budget will be in much better shape.

Moose Dung on February 11, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Government (public schools) are an utter failure. Why anyone would want to increase the amount of money thrown into this rat hole I do not understand. Every study out there shows home schoolers and private schoolers educate more with less money. End government schools now. Allow citizens to take their tax money they opay for government school and pay for far btter private schools instead.

paulsur on February 11, 2011 at 10:40 PM

I support cutting all of those except vet benefits and military spending. I further support eliminating spending for at least 5 of them.

besser tot als rot on February 11, 2011 at 10:49 PM

The fiction here is, for example on Education, -the respondents think that a cut in money spent on education means a cut in the number of teachers (oh, the horror!) when what it should mean is only a reduction in the size of the federal bureaucracy, not a change in the money that passes through them to the states.

Someone needs to send a Congressional page down to that big Indiana Jones basement and unearth a copy of the 2007 budget; let that be the starting point for negotiations for the next one.

slickwillie2001 on February 11, 2011 at 10:56 PM

Nit picky stuff like this gets under my skin with AP. I told him on Twitter he needed to give a H/T to @politicalmath, the producer of this video, as politicalmath himself requested as well. Dayum, AP, he is a young guy expecting his first child in 2 weeks, and could use some hits. Are you in a cocoon?

sybilll on February 11, 2011 at 11:13 PM

The spending cuts that are needed will only happen if the Democratic party junks their party platform and starts over. The Democratic party is essentially built on government spending. The GOP elites probably would make deep cuts, but they fear to be painted as evil by the dems/media or even the many people within the GOP who have fallen prey to the “I deserve my government money” mentality.

So the can will be kicked down the road until the road ends. Ryan’s plan calls for balancing the budget in 50+ years. When was the last time we’ve seen the government hold true to even a 10 year budget plan? How about a 5 year budget plan? None that I can recall. Even Rand Paul’s plan is not enough.

Irrationally, I still hold out a very slight amount of hope that just before the collapse hits, some kind of compromise will be found.

Revenant on February 12, 2011 at 12:26 AM

When did the United States become a Mob Rule Democracy?

However the “solution” has I see it for these unconstitutional but federal programs is to wind them down, and put the burden for paying for them, if the state chooses to continue them, back on that states, so the “blue” states can pay for their own socsec program if they want, but the federal government will not. This wind down should be paired with equal drops in federal taxation to allow the states to increase their taxation to cover, or maybe pass a flat 15-20% tax, then over the next 10 year phase out all unconstitutional programs with goal of 10% flat tax at the end of the tunnel.

the_ancient on February 12, 2011 at 12:43 AM

The main thing that sticks out to me is everyone across the board wanting to increase funding for education.

It’s already been proven over and over and over that throwing money at our education system is not going to make it better.

ButterflyDragon on February 12, 2011 at 1:43 AM

That’s great and I agree with a lot of that, but that doesn’t explain the support for Social Security.

Proud Rino on February 11, 2011 at 9:15 PM

How about the argument that I’ve been working 32 years paying into SS, and I want my money back?

Squiggy on February 12, 2011 at 7:33 AM

Cuts in core entitlements like Social Security are premature at this point. I want to see a whole laundry list of programs completely eliminated first. Then we can talk core cuts.

Why? Because I don’t want to see SS cut that I paid into all my life and then turn around and find billions going to the UN and hunreds of millions still producing piss Jesus exhibits and funding NPR.

It’s kind of analagous to the border. I don’t want to hear anything, not a word, about amnesty for anyone until the border is locked down and secured.

It’s the same dynamic. If we say go ahead and cut ss NOTHING will be cut because they will fail at that and throw their hands up and walk away. If we say maybe Amnesty for XYZ they will immediately do that and that will be the last we hear of border security.

Not cutting SS is our leverage to get the fat cleared out first.

DaMav on February 12, 2011 at 7:53 AM

That first chart explains why our national disease called democracy is chronically fatal and de Tocqueville was right about the follies of Democracy. Actually, all he did was recognize the reality that no earthly system (other than God’s)can alter fallen man.

Don L on February 12, 2011 at 8:51 AM

As California goes, so goes the nation. California didn’t want to lose their “goodies” nor pay for them with more taxes. Same nationally. Cut social security? “Oh, no! We can’t throw grandma out in the street!” Nevermind we aren’t talking about granny, but rather Suzie Fortysomething on down. Education? “Not our investment in our kids’ future?!” nevermind that “investment” is a poker game at the Teacher’s Union Casino.
The answers to those poll questions aren’t surprising, we need an army of Chris Christies who know how to explain what has to be done without worrying about their political careers.

cartooner on February 12, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Cut it all now.

EasyEight on February 12, 2011 at 10:54 AM

Let’s consider that polls are not anonymous by any stretch of the imagination and that’s the major place they differ from the ballot box. People are voting for those who are promising to cut spending, that’s our representative democracy in action.

Now when you take that same voter and call them on the phone or stand in front of them with a clipboard, you’re going to get quite a bit of the “I’m not a scrooge” effect. People rarely in public conversation will stand up and say “Cut Education Spending” because they know some other idiot will jump up with the “what about the children” canard.

That’s why polls on this are bogus. Present the full picture about cutting duplicative and unnecessary programs that don’t actually educate, and you’ll get lots of people willing to cut.

We elect representatives to make the hard decisions and debate the issues on the merits, it’s beyond unfair to call a guy in the middle of dinner with his kids sitting around the table and say “do you want to cut EDUCATION”, it’s absurd.

Jason Coleman on February 12, 2011 at 11:26 AM

You do realize that you’ve never been “paying into SS” right.

It was admitted long ago that Social Security was a program of the government and that the SS tax was just that, a tax. There’s never really been a fund that you pay into.

We are going to have to accept the fact and move forward. You’ve just been paying a tax to redistribute your wealth. Your best bet at this point is to accept it and then DEMAND that it stop.

If you haven’t been saving for your retirement, start now. .. not only are you unlikely to get significant payouts from the SSA, any payments you get will have been so eaten by inflation that you’ll never “get your money back.”

Save for yourself and demand the end to the pyramid scheme.

Jason Coleman on February 12, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Sorry, forgot to paste, I was replying to:

Squiggy on February 12, 2011 at 7:33 AM

Jason Coleman on February 12, 2011 at 11:32 AM

This survey was bunk.

Cut Social Security? What does that mean if you formulate it into a question? To some it might mean cutting grandma’s existing stipend. To others it might mean a more reasoned approach.

I’m surprised so-called conservatives are eating this survey up like fish – it’s bunk. You cannot do a survey on budget cuts – they’re too complicated.

HondaV65 on February 11, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Let me touch on Social Security-

I’m currently drawing Social(ist) (In)Security. It’s a Ponzi scheme into which I was forced to pay for more than 50 years. When my father retired more than 30 years ago, he told me that after drawing his SS he had taken more out of the system in 18 months than he had paid in. He began paying in when SS started in 1937. Paid in for 44 years, drew it all out in less than 18 months. As I’ve posted before, when SS went into law in 1937, you had to be 65 to start drawing benefits. The average life expectancy was 63.7 years. That’s a pretty clear indicator – at least to me – that FDR never thought monies would ever be paid. It was simply a “cookie jar” which politicians could raid whenever the desired. If retirement age were raised to match the original age, you youngsters would’nt be able to draw Social Security until you reached 79 years 6 months.

oldleprechaun on February 13, 2011 at 10:06 AM