Tea Party stars Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Michelle Bachmann have offered up sketches of how they would cut US federal spending, with Paul appearing to give a little more detail than Bachmann.
Neither would make an real attempt to tackle the real debt growth problems of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or the huge defense budget. These sectors account for a whopping 80% of federal spending.
Instead, the Tea Party favorites went after much smaller expenditures that are favorite targets of the far right: education, administration of justice, consumer and environmental protection, Wall Street reform and investor safeguards, and nation’s system of national parks and forests. Those favorite right wing targets don’t account for much — less than a fifth of federal spending — so the proposed cuts have to be eviscerating in order to make even a dent.
CNN’s Money quotes one economist:
“Oh my god. That’s just crazy,” said Isabel Sawhill, an economist who studies fiscal issues at the Brookings Institution. “Really that is wacko.”