Suffice it to say that much hot air was blown over the sequester in the media. Really, there was much tearing of clothes over this. Much righteous indignation that someone in government, somewhere, would have to make (not so very hard) decisions about where to trim budgets.
We needed this, as the US government is so completely broken as to no be able to propose a reasonable budget, pass a reasonable budget, nor listen to and work with ideas from other portions of the legislative branch which want to work on reasonable budgets. For reasons that escape, well, reason, we collectively voted this situation back into power, thus guaranteeing that until at least 2014, government is hopelessly broken, and a number of very bad ideas and laws will not only take effect, but start scaling up.
No one could decide how to reign in spending. Well, thats not entirely true. There have been budget proposals from the house, but the senate and the president would never consider those, mostly for ideological reasons. The issue comes down to both of the major parties in power have been playing political brinkmanship with the issues. Rather than perform their duties as our collective representatives, they are working to torpedo each other (both sides are culpable here), and we are all collectively collateral damage.
Since no one had the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing, we have automatic spending cuts in process.
And if you believe the media, the president, the senate, then the sky is falling.
The reality appears to be quite a bit different than this. Actually very … very different.
From the New York Times, that bastion of right wing thought (that is sarcasm by the way), is a very simple to digest graphic example of amounts to be cut, versus the relevant segments.
As you can see, they are … well … minuscule.
They really aren’t significant in any meaningful way.
And despite the best efforts of the politicians, and a media trying to frighten the great unwashed masses (who voted for this mess by the way), most people WANT the cuts. More specifically, they want this cut, but not where its targeted.
The public by nearly 2-1, 61-33 percent, supports cutting the overall budget along the lines of the sequester that took effect last Friday. But by nearly an identical margin, Americans in this ABC News/Washington Post poll oppose an eight percent across-the-board cut in military spending.
Support for a five percent reduction in federal spending crosses party lines in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates; it includes 57 percent of Democrats, six in 10 independents and three-quarters of Republicans. Shaving eight percent off the military budget, on the other hand, is opposed by 73 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of independents, with Democrats split down the middle.
Strength of sentiment also lands squarely in favor of overall budget cuts, and against those to the military. Strong support for overall cuts outpaces strong opposition by 15 percentage points, while it?s the opposite, by 25 points, when it comes to military spending.
The combination of the chicken little like dire predictions about negative impact to the economy, coupled with completely misunderstanding that the public, enmasse, wants spending cut, and cut from areas that are less essential to the functioning and protection of the country, are an epic failure on the part of the relevant politicians and media to represent and report on our interests.
I don’t expect that to change.
So in a few days, the US Government continuing resolution expires and we need a new one or a budget. I hold out no hope for a realistic budget, either from the president (who proposes budgets so toxic, his own party, to a person, votes against them), or the house (who propose budgets that at least one party can accept). Unfortunately, the president and his party have done such a terrific job of poisoning the well, that there is no interest from their counterparts in working with them. Not that the opposing party is blameless. Not at all. They are largely inept at negotiating with their counterparts.
For the continuing resolution, I expect one similar to the one in place now to be adopted. One with no serious or meaningful cuts of any sort. One with likely new “revenue” which means my wallet gets lighter and my ability to grow is reduced, all for the sake of an ever expanding budget that needs to be cut.
One of the aspects of exponential growth curves are that they are unsustainable. Our federal budget is on such a curve thanks to things we cannot touch. And sequestration is causing various cuts. Though at the discretion of the department head. So rather than trim large expenditures to keep things in control, departments choose, in the most cynical manner, the most public programs for the budget axe.
Yeah, this is sad. Our government is almost, completely dysfunctional and clueless. All we need to do is to hire unqualified people for cabinet level positions to make the picture complete. No … wait … I didn’t mean that … Dont do it … NOOOOOOO!
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