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When Spending Cuts Get Real

More adventures in Republicans grappling with the fact that actual spending programs are popular. Here's Paul Ryan refusing to say what programs he would cut: 

MEREDITH VIERA (HOST):  You say discretionary spending — give me specifics. Where are you going to cut? Are you gonna cut transportation, education, Medicare — what are you going to cut?
RYAN: That is what is gonna happen in the appropriations process down the road. So I can't tell you the answer to that because, as a budget committee person, we simply lower the cap and then those things go down. We're gonna be reducing all domestic discretionary spending. I can't tell you by what amount and which program, but all of it is going to be going down, and the aggregate amount will be back to 2008 levels before the spending binge occurred.

What spending programs do you plan to cut, Rep. Ryan? Oh, all of them, any of them:

The discussion is preceded by Ryan saying he wouldn't touch defense. And of course, he won't touch Medicare or Social Security, either. So that leaves the portion of the discretionary budget that isn't defense. But of course, you can only say you're going to cut domestic discretionary spending because domestic discretionary spending is not a program, it's a category. Once it gets down to cutting scientific research and roads and, well, everything else that isn't foreign aide or programs that only benefit the poor, it gets very unpopular very fast. You can avoid naming programs he wants to cut for a while but he can't run forever.