Why would they be doing this? Is there some kind of payback intended, a retaliation or punishment in the form of rising unemployment and a serious recession/depression? All because they refuse to let go of a bad idea?
We have Europe's example of what happens when a lousy idea becomes economic reality.
European countries that have attempted to spur growth by rapidly reducing their deficits have failed to accomplish either goal and have instead driven their economies back into recession. The United Kingdom’s deficit has hardly gotten smaller despite its austerity efforts and the country is on the verge of a triple-dip recession. Greece and Spain both have unemployment rates above 25 percent. Even Germany, Europe’s largest economy, is on the brink of another recession. The Eurozone as a whole slipped back into recession in November and its unemployment rate is at record highs.
Still, politicians in the United States have failed to heed Europe’s warnings, pursuing deficit reduction instead of job growth. Republicans blocked the American Jobs Act, which economists estimated would have spurred growth and created more than a million jobs, and have instead pursued damaging budget cuts that would have the opposite effect even amid evidence that the original American push for stimulus worked better than the European approach. ...Think Progress
It appears that America's Republican party -- America's right -- is hellbent on punishing all of us for their mismanagement. They give every appearance of enjoying the prospect of the "sequester" and the economic costs of the Budget Control Act.
Genuine conservatives, as distinct from the radicals currently pushing the buttons of the right, are just as worried about the outcome as any. The non-partisan Congressional Research Service emphasized that cuts in federal government means cuts in payments to private contractors with the inevitable job loss and a blow to "Main Street" business.
The White House issued -- yesterday -- a detailed warning about the impact of the BCA's sequester cuts, due to kick in twenty days from now. What follows is a selection from a long list, a selection that focuses on the ironies that Congress is also expected to deal with problems like federal responses to severe weather events, our urgent need for income from exports, the focus on mental health issues as factors in the recent incidents of mass shootings, and, of course, the ongoing need for drug approvals on the part of the seriously ill.
For years the media have avoided the conclusion that the right isn't just blundering but that it is deliberate in its march to disaster. Time to wake up. They may look crazy. But just like the mass murderers we're so concerned about, Republican disasters appear to be very carefully planned. And they have plenty of weapons even more lethal than guns.
• Emergency responders – FEMA would need to reduce funding for State and local grants that support firefighter positions and State and local emergency management personnel, hampering our ability to respond to natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy and other emergencies.
• New drug approvals – The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) would face delays in translating new science and technology into regulatory policy and decision-making, resulting in delays in new drug approvals. The FDA would likely also need to reduce operational support for meeting review performance goals, such as the recently negotiated user fee goals on new innovative prescription drugs and medical devices.
• International trade – The International Trade Administration (ITA) would be forced to reduce its support for America’s exporters, trimming assistance to U.S. businesses looking to increase their exports and expand operations into foreign markets. In addition, ITA would not be able to place staff in critical international growth markets, where there is a clear business opportunity for many American businesses to increase their sales and create jobs at home. These staff would have been part of a key program working to promote and facilitate global investment in the U.S., supporting thousands of new jobs through Foreign Direct Investment.
• Mental health and substance abuse services – Cuts to the Mental Health Block Grant program would result in over 373,000 seriously mentally ill adults and seriously emotionally disturbed children not receiving needed mental health services. This cut would likely lead to increased hospitalizations, involvement in the criminal justice system, and homelessness for these individuals. In addition, close to 8,900 homeless persons with serious mental illness would not get the vital outreach, treatment, housing, and support they need through the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program.