Smart Decisions

From a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy profile of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s first vice president for public policy, David C. Colby:

Mr. Colby will split his time between Princeton, N.J., where the fund’s headquarters are located, and Washington, where he’ll work to educate politicians about the foundation’s research and learn how the fund can help lawmakers shape policy. A big focus this year will be on helping the federal government make smart decisions about where it trims spending. (my emphasis)

Interesting that the focus here is on where to cut, not whether to cut. There very well may be some savings to be had in some of the areas that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation cares about—and I assume they will limit themselves to those things when they make their suggestions as to where to “trim”—but there are still reasonable people who think that any further cuts to federal non-defense discretionary spending is a bad idea, since Congress already cut, in 2012, $1.5 trillion of discretionary spending for fiscal years 2013 through 2022. Three-fifths of that is coming out of non-defense programs, which will shrink non-defense discretionary spending to its lowest level on record as a share of GDP.