The video: With a potential government shutdown still looming, Republicans and Democrats are locked in a battle over the federal budget. Democrats are balking at a House GOP proposal to slash $61 billion over the rest of the 2011 fiscal year. But the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, has produced a brief video to put the proposed cuts "in perspective." (See the clip below.) The Republican cuts "look like a lot of money," the video says, until you consider that we'll pay more than three times that much this year just to cover interest on the federal debt. And the cuts represent just 1.6 percent of the $3.8 trillion budget.
The reaction: This just shows "how pathetic the Democrats' proposed cuts are," says John Hinderaker at Power Line. They only want to give up $6 billion in spending, which is less than one-fifth of 1 percent of this year's budget. Sure, the Democratic position is "insane," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, but Cato's jarring video shows that the Republican proposal is "inadequate," too. "We're facing 'historic choices,'" but so far, neither party has gotten "serious about addressing them." Well, it's not so simple, says Kevin G. Hall for McClatchy Newspapers. As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has pointed out, the GOP's "steep spending cuts" could slow down the economic recovery. So while long-term deficit reduction is crucial, doing too much too soon could make matters much worse. Watch the Cato video below: