After a $700B bailout, a $150B "sweetener" to the bailout, a $787B stimulus and another $410B added to the FY 2009 budget (because President Bush was just too stingy), all on top of a $3 trillion original budget, the gang that can only add decided to subtract. Next year's federal budget of about $3.7 trillion just doesn't have room to keep all of today's Defense programs going.
So far, no surprise. President Obama asked for a 10% cut. Barney Frank asked for a 25% cut. The Communist Party USA asked for a 50% cut. And Defense Secretary Robert Gates is starting to deliver.
But here is the part of the story that got me. While Secretary Gates said he consulted closely with President Obama, he limited outside advice "because of the scope and significance of the changes."
Enjoy the logic here. As long as changes are small in scope and insignificant, those in charge will gladly listen to many voices. But when we're talking large and significant changes, then, well, they need to sort it out with just a few of the top guys, including Obama himself.
Feeling empowered? Like the transparency? Like the democracy, the give and take, the bipartisanship?
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that all of the issues tackled by President Obama will turn out to be large in scope and very significant. He'll have his people call you when he's accepting input on the insignificant stuff.