You're a newly elected Republican congressman. For the last six months, you've been railing against trillions in federal spending. Once elected, you've promised to cut $100 billion from the budget in the first fiscal year. Now it's prime time, the mic is in your face, the camera closes in, and asked for one program to cut, you slam your first and respond with patriotic passion ...
I'm not imagining a hypothetical, here. Nor am I picking on some newly minted carpenter-turned-Tea-Party-congressman who got blindsided on his way out of the Cannon building. Instead I'm quoting from House Speaker John Boehner's answer the world's most predictable question from NBC's Brian Williams: Name one program you'd like to cut.
A broken campaign promise isn't cause to wheel out the fainting couches. It is, depressingly, a prerogative of the winning party. Republicans, who have already halved their promised spending cuts for this year and exempted health care's repeal from their own budget rules, are putting that prerogative to good use in their first two weeks in office.
But with the Democratic president on record proposing a salary freeze for the entire government and the Republican leadership on record proposing nothing off the top of my head, you have to wonder why the GOP is refusing to get specific.