You know the cliché: America's fiscal condition might be grim, but lawmakers should avoid the "meat ax" of across-the-board spending cuts and instead use the "scalpel" of targeted reductions. The problem with this argument is that, given today's politics, it is nonsensical.
Targeted reductions would be welcome, but the current federal budget didn't drop from the sky. Every program in the budget—from defense to food stamps, agriculture, Medicare and beyond—is in place for a reason: It has advocates in Congress and a constituency in the country. These advocates won't sit idly by while their programs are targeted, whether by a scalpel or any other instrument. That is why targeted spending cuts have historically been both rare and small. And in a government as closely divided as today's, there is virtually no prospect for meaningful targeted spending cuts.
Big spending washington politicians are shooting their mouth off over such minimal cuts of funds. Thankfully they are being ignored even as they scream and shout and babble like toddlers.