Robert Hiltonsmith

Robert Hiltonsmith is a policy analyst at Demos.

Recent Articles

The Real Budget Battle Is Coming

Republicans are hyping their $61 billion cut to this year's budget, but their real targets are Social Security and Medicare.

Conservatives have always used misguided public fear about the size of the national deficit as an excuse to target government programs they hate -- and score political points. That's certainly true in the current Congress and was on full display during the Senate Budget Committee hearing yesterday. "We are hurtling toward the financial cliff," said Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota. But while Washington and much of the media are still focused on the squabble over funding the federal government for the rest of the year -- and hyping up the possibility of a government shutdown -- in the end, this fight doesn't amount to a momentous shift in priorities. Whether we end up cutting $10 billion from the federal budget, as Democrats suggest, or $61 billion, as Republicans want, the slash to discretionary spending will hardly be felt by most Americans (though the most vulnerable -- students, children, and the poor -- will feel it the most). No, the real budget battle will be the one waged...