Now that a bipartisan commission has been named to find way to reduce the massive U.S. federal budget deficit sometime in medium term, it will be interesting if any of the usual untouchable spending areas will now be considered touchable.
It all likely depends on how much lawmakers really consider the budget deficit a crisis in the making. Few would advocate deep spending cuts now, with the fragile economy still in need of external support, but many think sometime reasonably soon the deficit issue has to be tackled.
There’s no great track record in American government for dealing with big, hard issues before they become full-fledged crises and even then there’s a preference to muddle through.
Besides the traditional “third rail” of American politics, Social Security, another big spending area has generally been considered by both political parties to be a no-go zone when it comes to cuts. That’s military spending.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, back in late January, Rep. Barney Frank, D-MA, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was pushing the idea of defense spending cuts. He said substantial mitiary spending cuts were an essential if deficits are to be brought under control.
As the budget deficit becomes a hotter topic, let’s see if anyone else in government is willing to take on defense spending.