Search This Blog

Sunday, May 28, 2017

What Does "Slashing" Mean To You?

I came across another article this morning headlined that President Trump had "slashed" the budget for something.  Today it was education, as in "Trump Slashes Education Budget".  It made me start to think about what most people think it means to "slash" the budget.

I looked up the definition of slash.  It came back as "to cut with a violent sweeping stroke or by striking violently and at random"

Think about that.  A slash is a major and violent cut which could be at random.  It sounds like a crazy person with a knife, a "mad slasher" if you will.

So is that what has happened to the Department of Education budget in the administration proposal?  Were programs chosen at random attacked with a figurative knife in order to chop off parts of the spending plan?

My prediction is that there is essentially no one in Washington or around the country who could honestly answer that question without first doing substantial research.  Certainly, the reporters in the mainstream media who wrote the articles announcing that Trump had proposed slashing the budget for Education could not answer the question honestly.  I doubt that any of them even know more than a few items funded by the Department of Education.

I only ask these questions, because what has happened in the President's budget proposal is a reordering of priorities.  Some programs funded by the Ed Department get increased, some stay the same (that really the same, not Washington's version of the same) and some get cut.  There are even a few small ones that get eliminated under the Trump budget.  Indeed, if you look at the budget proposal, it appears that a great deal of thought went into it.  This is no random cutting, it is a thoughtful exercise in making our spending more realistic.

The real problem when it comes to budgets is that the Democrats always oppose any cut suggested by the Republicans, and they do so with dishonesty and fear.  If President Trump wants to stop making a particular type of training grant for teachers which amounted to fifty million dollars last year, then the Democrats claim that the President is directly attacking every teacher across the country in the hope of driving the good ones out.  It's too bad that all those children currently being taught by good teachers are sure to lose them (or so the Democrats claim.)

It cannot be that once a program is passed or an expenditure made, that it can never be changed or even slowed in its growth.  That is a prescription for disaster, but that is the mindset that the Democrats bring to Congress and elsewhere.  The idea that once a program is passed, it need not be managed further is a Washington disease that attacks nearly every Democrat in DC.  Just think of the Obamacare Exchanges and how poorly they functioned when rolled out a few years back.  No one in the Obama White House had to manage that program; after all, the program was passed and would just go on by itself. 

In the latest budget for the Department of Education, there are a number of programs which the President wants to be kept the same.  If fifty million was spent on the program this year, he wants fifty million spent on it again next year.  Here too, we get lectured by the media that Trump is slashing the program.  In Washington, there are automatic budget increases of roughly 7% in each program.  Originally, this was designed to account for inflation, but we haven't had inflation approaching 7% or even 3% for any year during the last decade.  This actual spending freeze is derided as a major budget cut just because there is no large increase.

President Trump promised to drain the swamp.  There's no way that will happen unless and until there's at least some honesty and reality put back into discussions of the budget.  That could start with people at least using honest language about the battle.

No comments: