(Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/51256.html#ixzz1GnjahBut)
1. Expression of general support for deficit reduction. Reference to easy answers (there are none). Reference to burden (all must share).
2. Reference to babies and bathwater. Former should not be discarded with latter.
3. This program/agency/tax break is different. A bargain for the taxpayers. Pays for itself many times over. To eliminate or cut would be bad for children/our troops.
4. Cost is small (a) as percentage of total budget; (b) compared with budget of Pentagon; (c) compared with projected cost of health care.
5. Optional comparisons: to cost of just one jet fighter or 3.7 minutes of War on Terror
6. Names of famous people who support this program or tax cut, especially Colin Powell. Other good names: Madeleine Albright, Natalie Portman, George H.W. Bush (not W), Warren Buffett.
7. This is not about fair, responsible, across-the-board budget cutting. This is about the other side irresponsibly pursuing an ideological agenda, penalizing programs it doesn’t like.
So, if I like the template, which points out the dynamic of budget cutting fights, what do I have a problem with? Kinsley says most domestic programs are incremental: the more money we spend, the more outcome we are likely to get, whether it be roads, dams, orchestras, whatever. But the military, he says, is different. Security is binary; we either spend enough to be secure or we don't. That's where I have a big problem. The truth is often that we define our security interests by our capability, as in Libya. If we had more military might available, we probably would define our security interests as requiring the overthrow of Qaddafi, even if it meant "no drive zones". Since might is tight right now, we're a lot more hesitant.