In the end what we're looking at is that they are making cuts NOW based on the fact they won't be able to spend EVEN MORE in the future. That's like me making $50,000 and cutting back on my grocery budget because my annual raise was only 2.3% instead of 5%. I'm still making $50,000 +2.3%. why am I cutting back on anything simply because I didn't get the additional 2.7%? I can tell you why. Politics. It's playacting smoke and mirrors. DoD was able to choose their cuts(even though in reality they're still getting as much money as they were before, just not as much as they wanted to get in the future), so why is it they chose to cut tuition assistance instead of maybe buying fewer bombs? Because if they bought fewer bombs, no one would care. Same with the White House shutting down self-guided tours. There are other cuts they could've made(even though they didn't have to make any), but they aimed for cuts that they perceived as having the most impact to people that they could then use to foment for support.
It's a game they're playing, and too many folks are buying in.
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