2. You can cut back on art but not programming.
Of course it is possible to make a game without knowing how to program. That's what all the gamemakers are for, after all. (The most well-known being the RPG-Maker, but there are others for other genres as well).
Sure, it's quite likely that a game which was made this way is going to suck, but so is a game which uses no or only free/stock/cheap art.
Yes, programmers are important and definitely the least swappable members of a gamedev-team, but, at least when it's been planned from the beginning, even they are not indispensable. Nobody is.