Dionne and Gone Around the Bend

Featured image Apparently E.J. Dionne is not content with all the love we’ve sent his way here the last couple of days, and so today’s he’s descended to primal scream liberalism.  In today’s column Dionne stamps his feet and demands, “This has to stop.”  What has to stop?  The permanent budget crisis, that’s what.  But to repeat something said yesterday: I thought liberals liked crisis, because, pace the Crisis and Leviathan thesis, »

Obama knows best, or better than E.J. Dionne anyway

Featured image here, that President Obama is winning the sequester battle but losing the war: The more time we spend on pointless disputes about budget cuts no one is expected to make soon, the less we spend trying to solve the problems that confront us today — and, God forbid, thinking about the future. The 2012 election gave President Obama new authority and new energy. Republicans want to place as much distance »

Six Degrees of Sequestration

Featured image From the apparent horror of the White House, you’d think March 1 was threatening castration rather than sequestration.  And they might be right in a sense; as we’ve argued here before, Obama and the Democrats seem much more terrified of sequestration than Republicans for the simple reason that more of their key client groups depend on the discretionary programs that will be pinched in sequestration.  Fiscal castration indeed. Will the »

How Much Would the Sequester Cut Into a Big Mac Extra Value Meal?

Featured image The idea that the sequester cuts, which actually amount to more like $44 billion than the $85 billion that is often bandied about, are somehow draconian, is ridiculous. Out of a $3.55 trillion federal budget–well, no, the federal government doesn’t have a budget, that is just an estimate of FY 2013 spending–$44 billion is a pittance. So it is time to bring back my Big Mac analogy. In March 2011, »

Placing blame for the adverse consequences of sequestration where it belongs — a modest proposal

Featured image Yesterday, Steve suggested that congressional Republicans should prepare detailed budget cuts of their own, department-by-department, providing exact line items of what programs can be cut or delayed under a sequester. If House Republicans can get their act together to that extent, I second the motion. Meanwhile, here’s another possible approach that isn’t inconsistent with Steve’s. When the public begins to feel the bite of the sequester, House Republicans should haul »

Two Cheers For Sequester

Featured image Hysteria is rampant inside the Beltway, as politicians and their media fanboys contemplate the unheard-of possibility that federal spending may not rise very much this year. The horror! I’m guessing that outside the confines of America’s last boom town, the idea of cutting federal spending sounds pretty good. Most voters are probably skeptical that it will really happen, given the federal government’s iron grip on our wallets, and they may »

What to make of adverse polling in the sequester blame game

Featured image Much is being made of a Pew poll in which 49 percent say they will blame congressional Republicans if the sequester occurs, compared to only 31 percent who say they will blame President Obama. 11 percent say they will blame both sides, while 8 percent don’t know which side they will blame. I suspect that if the sequester occurs the percentage that blames both sides will increase (in a sense, »

Hagel set to be confirmed

Featured image Richard “Hi, I’m Dick Shelby and I’m holding a fundraiser” Shelby has announced that he will vote to confirm Chuck Hagel. He becomes, effectively, the 60th vote in favor of cloture, with more to follow. Shelby explained that Hagel is “probably as good as we’re going to get” as Secretary of Defense. He’s probably the only Senator who believes this, assuming he does. Perhaps he missed Hagel’s confirmation hearings because »

Signs of intelligent life in the House

Featured image I have it on excellent authority that, with the sequester looming, House Republicans will pass a bill to provide the various federal departments and agencies with the power to prioritize where cuts go in each organization. The total amount of cuts within a department or agency would be the same, but the cuts could be made on a more rational basis. I’ve been advocating this sort of legislation for some »

The sequester blame game

Featured image The Washington Post reports that, as the sequester approaches, our politicians are focused not on dealing with it, but on attempting to blame ther opponents. No suprise there. In analyzing the politics of sequestration, it might be useful to separate two sets of consequences for which blame may attach. In the short term, politicians from one or both parties may be blamed for the inconveniences associated with cuts in government »

Attacking the debt — three weapons and a strategy

Featured image I was pleased to read in Politico that, according to high level House sources, at least 90 percent of Republican House members are prepared to allow the sequestration cuts to take effect. President Obama would like to compromise by substituting revenue increases for some spending cuts. But if Politico is right, this is a non-starter in the House. By contrast, according to Politico, only a bit more than half of »