When the budget gets tight at the Kole house, the vacation budget is eliminated. It's a 100% budget cut, until such time as we can afford it. We eat out 75% less. Entertainment is little more than a trip to the library. New clothing purchases are halted. Etc. In sum, the cuts are pretty harsh.
Elected officials are therefore hilarious in comparison. They whine and moan about 3% or 4% budget cuts. Boo-friggin'-hoo!
Here's an interesting bit from Cato's David Boaz:
Time to stop spending, eh? That would be most people’s response to an unprecedented deficit. And they do mention “irresponsible spending” later in the piece. But somehow, it appears that the governors thought that was a good lead for an article in the Washington Post demanding more federal spending to subsidize state governments.
They lamented the the plight of the state budgets; New York, for instance, asked state agencies “to slash their state budgets by 3.35 percent.” Now, if I had to cut my budget for a new sofa, say, from $1,000 to $966.50, I don’t think I’d call that a “slash”; it’s more like margin of error.
Hilarious. And there are some who make it out that Grover Norquist has won the day, that fiscal conservatism has triumphed, with taxes almost nil, and the federal government shrunk to the size of that of the Polk Administration.
Reason has picked up on this willful ignorance, also, noting how some fans of larger government are tying the downward slide of the Republican Party to the idea that said slide is proof of the failure of fiscal conservatism. I took Balloon Juice to task on this just last week. From Reason's Matt Welch:
"...a strain of curious left-of-center analysis I'm seeing more and more this election: That the Republicans are losing because limited-government ideas don't work, and are no longer popular.
This critique requires a significant leap of logic − that George W. Bush, and his would-be GOP successor John McCain, practice and/or believe in limited government principles."
Fiscal conservatism wasn't even tried out by the Republicans. Tax cut, borrow and spend simply isn't a fiscally conservative ideal. McCain thinks cutting earmarks is a slash, just as NY's governor thinks a 3% nick is a draconian reversion to primitive barbarism.
At the Kole house, and I'm quite sure at many others across the land, when the money isn't there, we radically cut our spending, by as much as 40%. We don't take out loans so that we can keep spending. We don't commandeer from our neighbors under the premise of 'the common good'. We cut spending.