There’s a great quote in this piece on how the Republicans demand spending cuts to lift the debt limit. They won’t say what to cut. It’s this:
“If you exempted defense, veterans, Social Security and Medicare spending, you’d have to cut everything else by 85%,” said Marc Goldwein, an expert at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a think tank that advocates for reducing red ink. “It’s possible as a mathematical proposition. But the question is: Is it possible as a policy proposition? And the answer is no.”
The crucial fact is this: the US government is an Insurance Company with an Army. (From Paul Krugman’s blog of over 11 years ago,) That leave any one governing with really two choices: cut the insurance or cut military spending if you want to make significant reductions in the budget. If you cut the insurance, good luck getting reelected. And while I think they could easily still dominate the world with a much smaller military, good luck as well persuading many American voters of that.
Some Republican politicians love to imagine they can reduce government spending significantly during these Debt Ceiling discussions. All the best with that. (Even Mitch McConnell is moving on this time.)