Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No Defense Cut

In a recent post I commented on a report that said the Obama administration would request a 10% cut in the military budget.  Congressional Quarterly reported yesterday that the actual budgetary request is in fact an increase. Apparently the amount is less than the Pentagon would like, so some there decided to spread misleading information and call it a "cut," when it is no such thing. 

Characterizing actual increases as "cuts" for political purposes has long been a Democratic tactic. How many times did we hear that the Bush administration had cut funding for something, only to find that there was an actual increase once the details were examined? Even now you will still hear blanket statements claiming that Bush "cut" regulation, even though he massively increased it.  Just about  any time the rate of increase for some pet program has slowed, it has been characterized as a "cut." It's unfortunate to see some on the right now resorting to the same type of intellectual dishonesty. An increase, even if less than expected or desired, is not a cut.


  1. re: Democratic use of cut, I thought the main cut/increase difference was with taxes. Republicans insisted that Obama's promise to pass new tax legislation extending most of Bush's tax cuts was a tax increase; Democrats pointed out the tax cuts were supposed to be temporary.

  2. Clay,



    What I was referring to was this type of situation:

    Federal spending on program X increased by 10% from 2000 to 2001. In 2001 the administration decides that the program will only receive a 5% increase in funding. This is then characterized by Democrats as a cut. Funding is still increasing, even though the rate of increase has been cut. This gets portrayed as an actual cut in the program.