Monday, December 09, 2013

"is" not "was"

The generally reliable LeBron messes up this morning by proclaiming that "The Sequester Was A Really Good Idea"

But the truth is that the Sequester still IS a really good idea.

People, I love the sequester. We are actually getting a slowdown in the rate of military spending (and perhaps an actual cut this coming year). We are actually getting a slowdown in the growth of overall Federal Spending. The deficit is coming down, and the economy is finally showing some signs of life.

Alas, it appears that it lasted exactly one year. Yikes. Even Gram-Rudman lasted longer than that!

Next year, according to the budget control act, discretionary spending was supposed to be $967 billion. But now Paul Ryan appears to be signing off on $1.05 trillion. After all, what's $38 billion among friends? They may even put 2015 up to $1.05 trillion as well which would be another $19 billion or so.

Remember that while in some years some numbers did go down temporarily, overall spending rose a fair amount under the terms of the Budget Control Act (sequester). But we could only take one year out of the 10 before the charade of discipline disintegrated.

At least maybe this will shut the yaps of all the "stimulus now, discipline later" advocates. It is nigh unto impossible for any kind of long term budget discipline to last.

Heck, this is not even a future congress undoing the actions of a previous congress. It's the same stupid bunch of hacks that enacted the thing!

So please pay no attention to the "offsetting cuts down the road", that's just smoke for the marks. Spending discipline is again over, the Republicans stand for absolutely nothing, and even Tyler has gone over to the dark side.


John Thacker said...

Definitely agree that the sequester is a really good idea.

However, I'm pretty sure that any shutdown would be blamed on Republicans, and that Democrats know that. A weak negotiating position (made weaker by the earlier shutdown picked over the wrong issue-- this would be the right issue.)

Anonymous said...

There was a Congresswoman on C-SPAN the other morning talking about the need to cut spending, but arguing against further cuts to the defense budget. The host asked her if she had any bases in her district. She had two.

The only way to cut is automating it.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind I deliberately *didn't* endorse the new deal (whose details remain obscure), I am just saying critics can find many of their concerns (not necessarily mine) addressed.
Tyler Cowen

AD said...

The sequester was a beautiful legislative move. They all voted for the cuts but gave themselves cover by creating the "Super Committee" which anyone with any foresight knew would fail. That way, when a constituent or rent-seeker got upset about the cuts, the member of Congress could blame the decreased spending on the partisans from the other party who wouldn't compromise and caused the Super Committee to fail. Blame avoidance explains a good portion of legislative behavior.

My hope is that all of these plans to undo the budget cuts are either position taking (with no hope of passing) or will be stopped by partisanship and divided government.

Tom said...

Sequester good; double sequester double good!