Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Budget short takes: Recognizing limits

It's nice to see Congressman Barney Frank, a guy who actually has influence in Congress, telling some home truths about where the federal government can save money if it wants to.

"We need a thoughtful, non-rancorous discussion about the appropriate mission," said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

Frank has been actively promoting ideas to cut the defense budget. In April, he put together a group of scholars to look specifically for defense cuts, unlike President Obama's deficit-reduction commission, which appears to be focusing elsewhere. The group issued its report last month, outlining nearly $1 trillion in defense budget cuts over the next 10 years.

"What should we be doing? What policy should we be setting? We have not had that conversation," Frank said Tuesday.

He's got the point: if, after more people get back to work, you want to reduce what the government spends, take a knife to the bloated military establishment. The thing grows in all directions, seemingly immune from concerns about why and for what purpose.

A machete is called for, not a scalpel.

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