A selection of public grievances in this first fortnight of the first season of Sequestivus. Motivated by a common desire to moderate or replace some of the sequester cuts, budget proposals are being prepared and presented by Senate Democrats and House Republicans. Unsurprisingly, they look nothing alike. Surprisingly we may actually get a compromise Grand Bargain that puts us on a sustainable fiscal path. The only certainty is that the airing of grievances will continue for the foreseeable future.
Archive for the 'Budget' Category
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities still blaming Bush tax cuts for deficit even though they expired.By mw | Related entries in Budget, Bush, Debt, Deficit, Divided Government, Fiscal Responsibility, Obama
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities are still calling the tax cuts and war expenses a “Bush Legacy” and attributing most of our current and future debt and deficit to GWB. They are simply not acknowledging the facts. The argument itself and the dubious premise are exactly the same as when first presented three years ago. What has changed are the facts about who is the author and owner of the policies they are tracking. And by ignoring these facts, the CBPP has moved from a dubious, “disingenuous” argument to outright misrepresentation and falsehood.
The “sequester” is not a crisis. The “sequester” is not the problem. The real problem is the massive growth in federal spending creating unsustainable deficits and debt that will be shouldered by generations to come. The “sequester” is a solution to a real problem facing America. That said, the “sequester” is not a great solution.The sequester cuts are not a smart way to address the spending problem. The sequester cuts are not adequate to solve the spending and unfunded liability disaster that looms in our entitlement programs. But the odds of getting anything smart out of this administration or this congress that makes even as little impact as do the sequester cuts are vanishingly small. Since it’s a bad bet to rely on our leaders for smart significant cuts, let us at least bank the cuts they already passed.
The compromise will include some formula for revenue increases, (probably in the form eliminating deductions while reducing rates), it will include cuts to the military, and it will include deep meaningful and substantial cuts in spending in the overall budget. And the compromise will be agreed on the brink of default to no one’s satisfaction. In the meantime, we have six weeks of Kabuki theater to enjoy while the eventual compromise is hammered out. Both tribes will have ample opportunity to point at the feckless hypocrisy of the other. Enjoy the show.
For anyone interested in doing a deep dive into the state of the financial budget crisis facing the United States, you cannot do better than Mary Meeker’s recently released report “USA Inc.” Published under the auspices of venture capitalist Kleiner Perkins, it is detailed and comprehensive, yet clear, understandable and served up in digestible bites. It is well worth the time and effort.
In Madison, Wiscosnsin – the public sector unions have organized protests at the steps of the capitol to exercise their Democratic right to shut down the Democratic legislative process and subvert the Democratically expressed wishes of the Wisconsin electorate, in order to be sure that the union money flow to the Democratic Party is not interrupted.
Last week, in the Republican controlled House of Representatives, with Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner supporting the continued funding of the unneeded engine, it was finally defeated. Credit to President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates for reaching out to Republican legislators and the new crop of Tea Party supported freshman Republican representatives who stood up to their own leadership.
President Obama is not going to get re-elected if he continues to treat American voters like they are complete idiots. He cannot tell us that a spending increase is really a spending cut, and that a massive new entitlement program will save money when it will actually cost money and expect to maintain any credibility.
He needs to outflank the Republicans on fiscal responsibility by supporting the bipartisan recommendations of the deficit commission he sponsored. If he puts the full weight of the Presidency behind the Simpson-Bowles Plan and pushes it to a floor debate, the American people would put their electoral weight behind him.
President Obama and his political brain trust were diligently taking notes while getting schooled in the midterms. On Monday President Obama announced a federal employee pay freeze for non-military employees. On Tuesday he met with congressional leadership and assured the American people that he heard the voice of the voters.
The Affordable Health Care for America Act is a bad piece of legislation that will have negative consequences for our economy and country and should never have become law. On that one point many liberals, conservatives and libertarians agree. Perhaps President Obama has simply fulfilled the campaign promise of a post-partisan political environment in Washington D.C. Due to his efforts, many Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Liberals and Conservatives are now united – in opposition to the BFD that is the Obama Health Care Reform hairball.