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Everybody Is Stupid, Evil, or Both Department:
February 2011: The national conversation at this moment is the issue of reducing the expense of government and the crazy debt that we're assuming.
Listen: The proportions of the budget that we have now represent our priorities, and consequently, our desired monetary appropriations. If each and every part of the total budget were cut x% across the board, it would still represent our priorities and desired appropriations exactly as before. This is not only obvious but also true.
However, most people demand that their special interest not be cut. Everybody else's piece of the pie can shrink, but not theirs.
This demand is dishonest, whether it relates to art or health or schools or the military or subsidies to profitable corporations or silly earmarks or anything else.
The funding priorities that we have now are the priorities that we want. If they all click down in unison, the budget still reflects the exact same priorities. These priorities and their proportional funding have been shaped and negotiated and evolved since government first came into existence. They are what the people want, and they will continue to evolve as conditions evolve.
Anyone who sees a budget cut as an opportunity to improve his own standing relative to others is dishonest. If all budget items are cut an equal percentage, it will preserve the original priorities and intents of the country exactly as they were before the cut, and that's fair. If all items are not cut an equal percentage, it violates the original priorities and intents of the country, and that's not fair.
This is not only obvious but true. So why do some people choose to deny it?
I realize that budgeting is dynamic with size -- a rich person's budget is different from a poor person's budget -- but if you want to get Congress to address the dynamics, they can't. It's too complicated. You'll have chaos and failure, which is what we've been doing and what we've been getting.
Besides, a cut of a few percent is not enough to make that a relevant question anyway.
If you complain about your honorable pet project getting cut the same as everyone else's, it only demonstrates your tolerance for, and support for, and participation in, corruption. Believe it or not, you and your preferences are not more important than everyone else and everyone else's preferences. Besides, life will go on after the blanket step-down, and you can re-fight everything like you always did and like you were going to anyway.