NPR analyst and reporter, John Ydstie, described this morning what the real threat of the sequester is ... now only 6 days away. The problem doesn't lie in the cuts, it lies in the hamfisted nature of cuts that are nondiscriminating, like using a guillotine to trim your toenails.
There's a carelessness, a childish quality to Congress's attitude, in my view, and that may have been part of what Ydstie meant. We need to show we can take control of the debt, not set ourselves up for greater costs in the future to pay off what won't get done if the sequester kicks in.
Allowing these budget cuts across the board to take effect is not very reassuring. They've been described as "stupid, stupid, stupid!" by Erskine Bowles, one of the heads of the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission. That's because they are truly across the board. The good gets cut with the bad. Critical programs and payrolls get cut right along with expendable things like travel to conferences. The inability to cut budgets more rationally is likely to erode erode confidence in the Congress and in the White House. Right now economists are saying that Washington's deadlock is the biggest enemy of the US economy. ...Weekend Edition
And who decided to create and enforce that deadlock? Not both parties. One party. And they've admitted it over and over. Hey, they've taken pride in shutting things down.
They've talked about drowning government and that's what they're throwing out with the bath water! About the most Democrats can be accused of is trying to stop them.
Gail Collins does a humorous Q&A about the sequester in her NYT column today. One part goes like this:
What’s the first bad thing that will happen?
My money’s on the airports. So very, very easy to make life miserable at airports.
I get it. That's why they took their week's holiday. They saw the airport thing coming.
Why would they cut scientific research? That’s crazy. The federal budget is almost $4 trillion. Why can’t they just cut out the most useless stuff?Ha ha.
Because this was supposed to be a trigger so dreadful and dire and stupid that Congress would force itself to come up with a reasonable deficit reduction plan to avoid it. Ha. Ha.