The American people reacted with horror after Republicans in the House of Representatives passed their budget plan this past spring to eliminate Medicare as we know it, decimate Medicaid, and slash education, transportation, and scientific research funding down to unprecedented levels. With the din of disapproval ringing in their ears, conservatives changed tactics. This week the House will vote on a proposal to cap federal spending at 18 percent of gross domestic product, the broadest measure of our economy.
This proposal might sound good in a press release. And it certainly allows its supporters to avoid calling for specific cuts to popular programs. But capping federal spending at 18 percent of GDP—a level not seen in half a century—would actually require cuts that are even larger than those in the original House Republican budget plan. The level of cuts required is so dramatic, so draconian, that any way you slice it, Congress would end up making severe cuts to some very important programs.
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