Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Just Wondering

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is making some, possibly pre-emptive, moves toward budget-cutting.

Steven Walt is only one of the many pointing out that whatever Gates's proposals and proclivities toward budget-cutting, Congress will work to preserve defense spending and jobs back at home. This is why, even when the Defense Department proposes cutting some behemoth mechanism that is suitable only against the Soviet Union on the plains of Central Europe, the funding for that mechanism stays in the budget and is perhaps increased.

What I'm wondering is whether it would be possible for some capable and shrewd budget analyst, whether working for the administration, a think-tank, union, political party, or other organization, to work out tradeoffs for those dinosaur programs. Funding for the states is badly needed now just to keep things from getting worse and laying off teachers, firefighters, and police. But how about using the dinosaur funding for loans and other incentives for green technology startups that could use the folks that have been building that military hardware?

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