Monday, October 13, 2008

John McCain's "Comeback Speech"

I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren’t working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes. - John McCain, 10-13-2008
This reminds me of when Schwartzenegger proposed cutting all of California's budget 10% across the board. Both are at the extremes of our options. Whereas Schwartzenegger's plan ignored the fact that different programs have varying degrees of importance, I feel that McCain's spending freeze places the priority of some (including the wrong ones) things over the needs of others. The biggest problem I have with this is that Defense is right there at the top of the list. I would agree that the other three are priorities as well, but I would add many more things to the list. The idea that we would have a spending freeze on energy, education or government aide to low income citizens while putting what we do have into more defense spending is absolutely unacceptable. Somewhere in between the two proposals is a better way. Not every program should receive an equal budget cut, but neither should some just be left out in the cold.

It sounds bold and flashy to declare a spending freeze, but if you tried something like that in your personal life, you would quickly realize that it doesn't work. In fact many families in our country have to make those decisions out of necessity, and it only drives them further into debt. I can't simply stop paying for food because I need to pay my rent. What I can do, is look at how I spend that money and readjust. It may mean I buy less food, or that I drive less, or stay in more.

I appreciate that he wants to look into the spending habits of our government, however the way there should not simply be to stop spending money period.


Thomas said...

Not sure if you've ever seen this, but it is a pretty good way to visualize where money goes in our government: