A Spending Head Fake

Howard Gleckman makes a 2011 prediction:

The House GOP leadership promises to slash spending (excluding–take a deep breath–Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense, homeland security, veterans’ benefits, and interest on the debt) by $100 billion this year alone. Even if such a plan made it through the House, it would die in the Senate, where many Republicans much prefer to trim business regulation rather than shrink federal benefits for individuals. The GOP may succeed in slashing some regulatory budgets, limiting federal hiring and pay, and curbing what they consider waste, fraud and abuse. And Obama will probably go along with some small spending cuts. All of this may have great symbolic meaning for both the anti-government right and the pro-government left. But the impact on the overall deficit will be much less than the heated rhetoric will imply.