"Tough choices" is a fine piece of Washington phrase-makery, a euphamism for painful, politically damaging cuts. In the White House's budget, the tough choices are... not actually very tough. The budget warns of "very tight caps" mandated by the Budget Control Act, and notes that "it would not be possible to go further and still meet the needs of the Nation." The new ideas:
- A cap on overseas contigency spending at $450 billion.
- A fee on TARP recipients "restricted to financial firms with assets over $50 billion."
- A mere "0.5 percent increase in civilian pay for 2013."
- A plan to up "employee contribution toward accruing retirement costs by 1.2 percent over three years beginning in 2013."
And that's basically it.
TODAY IN SLATE
Scalia’s Liberal Streak
The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.
Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters
There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?
The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”
The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B
Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey
No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.
The Other Huxtable Effect
Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.