Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The Entitlement Trap
Reducing the number of federal employees is the surest way to reduce the cost of government. In a previous column we said that Republicans must begin the process of paring government by reducing the number of employees by attrition as a way of reducing the most expensive part of any budget: personnel. As the House approaches dealing with the CR and the 2012 budget it must avoid getting dragged into the “entitlement trap,” which Democrats hope to use to beat the Republicans in the next election. While we think that everyone agrees entitlements are a long-range problem, it does not mean that non-entitlement cuts or cuts in personnel are meaningless. In fact if you combine non-entitlement cuts with personnel attrition in entitlement programs you can reduce the deficit in a meaningful way and at the same time reform entitlement programs in way that can reduce their cost by privatizing some of the programs. Republicans must avoid the characterizations used by the Democrats against the Gingrich Congress in order to enact meaningful budget cuts and assure their reelection.