After adjusting for inflation, spending under Obama is falling at a 1.4% annual pace — the first decline in real spending since the early 1970s, when Richard Nixon was retreating from the quagmire in Vietnam.
In per-capita terms, real spending will drop by nearly 5% from $11,450 per person in 2009 to $10,900 in 2013 (measured in 2009 dollars).
Grover Norquist, the tax-cutting champion, famously said he wanted to shrink the federal government “down to the size where we can drown it in the bath tub.”
With gargantuan deficits, that seems like a pipe dream, but it may be time to start running the water.
The new plan offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and approved recently by Mitt Romney and congressional Republicans puts the Republicans on record supporting a federal government that within a decade will consist of little more than national defense, entitlements and interest on the national debt.
Governor Perry says he will slash spending to 18 percent of G.D.P. from its current level of 23 percent. No explanation was offered of how this would be done or how such a huge spending cut would ever be enacted by Congress. It should be noted that even if every domestic program other than Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid is abolished, that would not be enough for Mr. Perry to reach his goal — all those programs together come to just 4.2 percent of G.D.P.
Republicans know in their gut that theirs is a demographically declining party. The GOP does poorly among younger voters, and it has little appeal to ethnic minorities who represent a rising share of the population. The native-born whites at the party’s base worry that they are losing control of American society, and they see themselves as the source of the nation’s wealth and values, besieged by claimants on the public treasury who steal their money through taxes. Locking in low taxes through the Constitution would offer them protection even after they can no longer dominate elections.
House Republicans are laying down new markers for 2012 budget cuts, continuing their battle to weaken consumer protections in the name of fiscal austerity.
A companion piece to the post below on arsenic in chickens. What I have never been able to understand is where all the anti-regulators expect to live. Do they think that they will never have to eat inadequately regulated food, drink inadequately regulated water, or breath inadequately regulated air?