Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The wisdom of Jeff Ely


All we can hope now is that the current Congress looks at this sequester “debacle” and concludes that in order to make it work as intended the next time the threatened cuts have to be even bigger.

the full & self-recommending post is here.

1 comment:

Adam said...

I thought it did work as planned.

In the 2011 debt deal, Congress worried about their credit being downgraded for not making any cuts so they came up with a way to vote for cuts* that both sides favored and opposed and that solved the time inconsistency problem.

Undoing the sequester requires a highly partisan, non-majoritarian (read: Senate + Veto), divided government to pass legislation to undo what they did, and it turns out that that's really hard. The upcoming debt limit debate will give them the chance to undo it all, and put in place "long-term" debt control that will likely never pan out, so we'll see.

And the cuts aren't that random. They spared the top sacred cows and third rails (and yes, those are going to have be handled at some point, too, but who knows if they'll pull that out. I guess the "genie" isn't so powerful after all), and the executive branch has much more leeway in making the cuts than they would like everyone to think.

*Yes, government spending is still increasing, but it likely would have increased by even more without the sequester.