Budget dilemmas in Israel and the U.S.

The most fateful decision by governments is the split between spending on defense, and spending on making the country worth defending

by Norman A. Bailey  |  March 7, 2013  |  ARTICLES

In the United States, a broken political system and a broken budgetary process have resulted in an automatic, across-the-board budget cut for the approximately one-third of the governmental budget that is not mandated (social security, medicare, etc.), including defense and internal security.  Although the amount is relatively small compared with the total budget since it is spread over ten years, the so-called "sequester" was adopted by Congress at the suggestion of the Obama Administration, precisely in order to avoid what just happened, the reasoning being that neither the executive nor the Congress would allow such an absurdity to take placew, forcing a budgetary compromise.

In Israel, whatever the composition of the new government coalition, after the surprising results of the recent election, it will be faced with the same kind of budgetary decisions, which short of war and peace, are the most difficult decisions to be made by any democratic government, which must respond not only to its own judgements but to preferences and pressures of society at large.

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