With everything else that’s going on—particularly the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy and the upcoming election—it’s easy to forget that the federal government faces what’s been called “the fiscal cliff” at the end of the year.  That’s when, unless the White House and Congress reaches an agreement, tax rates will soar and automatic spending cuts will kick in.   

The hope was that this deadline would encourage really action and force Washington to get its act together to make real progress toward a balanced budget. 

Everyone—even those who support major spending cuts, like I do, and I presume even many of those on the Left who generally support higher taxes—recognizes that allowing massive across the board cuts and tax hikes to kick in is not optimal at this stage of our pathetic “recovery.”  Many conservatives have expressed particular concern about the substantial cuts to our military and defense budgets that are scheduled to take place.  After all, protecting the nation is supposed to be the primary purpose of the federal government, and clearly plenty of threats remain worldwide which will require a strong American military. 

Yet that’s all the more reason that supporters of limited government and a strong defense should be out front in calling for common sense cuts to wasteful programs funded under the guise of defense spending.  Our friends at Citizens Against Government Waste have produced this entertaining, but illuminating website highlighting one defense program that over-due for elimination.  If the military says that a weapons program is unnecessary, then there is simply no justification for Congress to continue to pour millions into it.

Achieving a balanced budget will require tough choices.  But not all choices are tough ones.