[T]wo senior administration officials unveiled one of the more painful parts of the upcoming 2011 budget, to be released next Monday: a three-year freeze on "non-security" spending that requires annual congressional votes. The officials with direct knowledge of the budget requested anonymity because it has not been released yet.
The freeze would not apply to defense, homeland security, veterans or foreign aid, whose budgets are expected to get increases, particularly to pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nor would it affect benefits such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which grow based on population and health care costs.
A "spending freeze" that does not apply to defense, homeland security, veterans or foreign aid, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security is considered "painful". Actually, it's illusory.