At one time the buzz-word of "zero-based budgeting" was sexy in the DC village.
Why isn't "90%-based budgeting" a reasonable description of the spending side of the misleadingly nicknamed "fiscal cliff"? Whatever "meat ax" cuts are excessive, why can't they be reversed by new legislation to increase related spending? Certainly the Pentagon has plenty of money to shift around and meet whatever needs arise in cut areas during the first few months of the year.
What is so frightening to Democrats about passing supplemental spending bills through the Senate that restore funds to both the Pentagon and social spending? Are House Republicans going to block these bills in the face of pressure from the military-industrial complex and other big business and big investors?
Why won't this pressure and related debate help expose the hypocrisy of the campaigners to cut future social spending? How much longer will the Austerians be able to keep a straight face when try to pretend that their screaming about the fiscal cliff does not contradict the logic of their demand for cuts in government spending -- at a time when private demand is recovering only slowly from the financial crisis (and when Europe is proving and the IMF is acknowledging that you cannot cut your way out of a balance-sheet recession)?
Is there any chance that this transparent hypocrisy will remind people that all Republicans and many other Austerians cheered or acquiesced in W.'s lightening fast reversal of Bill Clinton's surplus only a few years ago? On deficit politics, are the Democrats ready to stop playing Charlie Brown to the Republicans' Lucy?