FCW Insider

Blog archive

Home improvement and the federal budget

Home improvement doesn’t always keep itself to your preferred schedule. If your sink drain backs up beyond your ability to repair it, you call a plumber and pay the bill, even if it’s not an expense you had intended to incur.

This is something that the deficit hawks in Congress should keep in mind. As the so-called “super committee” faces a looming deadline to identify more than $1 trillion in cuts or else trigger even more draconian automatic cuts, they should not lose sight of the value of flexibility.

Lawmakers are fond of trying to cut “discretionary” spending, as if they imagine that term to describe pizza parties and other such frivolities. But discretionary spending is how much of the work of government gets done, and it’s where the flexibility to meet unexpected costs often comes from.

Although it’s obvious that some politicians want to cut the government down to its most essential skeleton – trimming the fat and most of the lean tissue, to continue to anatomical analogy – that would be a bad idea. Trying to cover emerging situations when you have no funding allocated to doing so ends up costing a lot more.

Posted by Michael Hardy on Nov 16, 2011 at 12:18 PM


Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.