This sequester has been a textbook case of how to make political hay out of nothing. As many people have explained over the past weeks, the so-called cuts were only reductions in the already planned spending increases for this year—a little over 2%, to be precise. In other words, we are still spending more now than we were a year ago, just not as much as we expected to be spending. What a sacrifice! So what’s the political hay I… Read more »
While I was gone, the sequester went into effect. It was supposed to be the end of the world. Somehow, I don’t think we’re quite at the end yet, and when we do get there, it won’t be because we cut back our planned increased spending by a little over 2%. There’s nothing drastic about this, yet you wouldn’t know it from all the dire warnings emanating from the White House. But it seems to me we’ve heard this rhetoric… Read more »
Back in the mid-1960s, NBC aired a satirical program called That Was the Week That Was. It was a look back over the events of the previous week, with political lampooning as its specialty. I don’t know why I was reminded of the program, but it did provide the idea for today’s post. In a similar vein, I now present the highlights of the past week in politics. Item #1. Shall we begin with an event that was not supposed… Read more »
Graphs and charts can be very informative. Sometimes, if done right, they can clarify rather complex issues. Take budgets and spending, for instance. Now, this isn’t a typical graph, but I think it makes the point quite well: Talk about a pie chart. I hope you caught the crumbs next to the larger pie—that’s the dreaded sequestration amount. How will we ever survive? Yet President Obama seems to have difficulty with the proposition that spending needs to be cut: He… Read more »
The big word that’s scaring people these days is sequestration. All those automatic spending cuts are supposed to go into effect later this week if Congress can’t come up with a better solution. President Obama was behind this tactic from the start; now he’s acting like he never was. In other words, he’s doing what he always does—speaking out of both sides of his mouth. And the other part of his plan has already been set in motion also: This… Read more »
Yesterday, I declined to go into any depth regarding the president’s State of the Union Address. Today, though, I’ve decided it does require some commentary, but I’ve figured out how to be concise. Since nothing has really changed in any of his speeches for the past five years, all you need to know are the following few words: Tax: Spend: Delusions: Disaster: That was ridiculously easy.
So the debt deal is history, in the sense that we don’t have to wade through the daily trauma of ups and downs. It’s not a solution, by any means. In fact, the “cuts” in the deal are only just cuts for the rate of future spending. They don’t actually cut back on what is current. This means, unless more drastic action is taken, we are still plunging deeper into debt over the next few years. I’m not as disturbed… Read more »