[Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility] said that if Obama cuts Pentagon spending, he will not have to work hard to help the other six agencies [Labor, Housing and Urban Development, veterans Affairs, TSA, EPA and the Social Security Administration in addition to Defense].Source: Obama Wrote Federal Staffers About His Goals (Washington Post, 17 November 2008)"These domestic discretionary programs are peanuts in the grand scale of things," Ruch said. "A small diversion from the Iraq conflict, if they were put into Interior, EPA or NASA, those agencies would be in their salad days. The National Park Service is laboring under a [maintenance] backlog that would be cured by a month and a half of Iraq expenditures."
Leaving aside the very interesting questions of budget allocation between and among various bits of the Federal government: with increased funding, the agencies would be in their "salad days"?
No, no... or at least, let's hope not.
"Salad days" is Shakespearean in its elegant origins, and refers to a time when one is "green in judgment" -- in other words, youthful, inexperienced, callow, enthusiastic:
CLEOPATRA: My salad days,With enough diverted Federal funding, the career employees of the various Federal agencies would be in fat city, in high cotton, aboard the gravy train, etc.
When I was green in judgment: cold in blood,
To say as I said then! But, come, away;
Get me ink and paper:
He shall have every day a several greeting,
Or I'll unpeople Egypt.
(Anthony and Cleopatra - Act I, Scene V)
But not, please, in their salad days.