Magazine article Insight on the News

Budget Sacrifices Required to Fund War on Terror. (Waste & Abuse)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Budget Sacrifices Required to Fund War on Terror. (Waste & Abuse)

Article excerpt

Spending fever swept through Washington in the aftermath of Sept. 11 as bureaucrats, industry lobbyists, interest groups and opportunistic politicians scrambled to game the crisis for advantage or gain. But one man -- White House Budget Director Mitch Daniels Jr. -- has served as a lonely bulwark against the unruly mob, preaching the gospel of fiscal restraint and responsibility to uncertain effect.

Rebuking the capital's cake-and-eat-it-too crowd, whom he accused of launching "opportunistic spending sorties masquerading as `emergency' needs," Daniels has argued that budget trade-offs and sacrifices will be necessary if the nation is to avoid a backward free fall into the deficit zone from which it only recently emerged.

"Many lesser priorities will have to yield while we ensure that the essential functions of government are provided for," Darnels said during a recent speech in New York City. "The alternative is to discard discipline totally and imperil our long-term economic health." He said new priorities could be addressed without pillaging the Treasury, assuming that politicians were willing to re-examine existing programs and spending in light of the new realities. "Everything ought to be held up to scrutiny," Daniels said in one interview. …

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