It seems to me that some folks these days argue passionately for budget-cutting on a grand scale without displaying any concern for how difficult it is to do it. News from Europe is unsettling, as countries try to reduce entitlements. Mass protests, perhaps bordering on riots, are springing up. And in Ecuador, political instability is evident as the police force reacts stridently to entitlement cuts.
I am not arguing that, because of the difficulties, the United States should not do any budget cuts. Rather I am saying that we all need to recognize how difficult it is, made even more difficult if it is presented in a crude and politicized way that fans the flames of reaction. There is no painless way to change the budget, but there are ways to reduce the resulting conflict.
Too often, our politicians focus on law passing and not law implementation. It is with some interest that, in a different context, this was a central tenet of Rick Snyder’s, Republican candidate for Governor of Michigan. But even his comments made implementation sound easy. It’s never easy. That is why we need skilled politicians in office.
It’s not just the ideas. It’s also the implementation. Think about which of these approaches you would favor or at least tolerate:
- Good idea, good implementation
- Bad idea, bad implementation
- Good idea, bad implementation
- Bad idea, good implementation