The Sequester Is Here

Well, sorta. The people-centric parts are still a bit down the road. People I know and work with day to day will be seriously affected if this continues.

The news today had a number of policy makers talking about sequester, of course. It’s sad and pathetic, but the reason that sequester happened is Republican intransigence. Ezra Klein posted an article showing a specific example of this in the Washington Post. The salient paragraph:

This had led to a lot of Republicans fanning out to explain what the president should be offering if he was serious about making a deal. Then, when it turns out that the president did offer those items, there’s more furious hand-waving about how no, actually, this is what the president needs to offer to make a deal. Then, when it turns out he’s offered most of that, too, the hand-waving stops and the truth comes out: Republicans won’t make a deal that includes further taxes, they just want to get the White House to implement their agenda in return for nothing. Luckily for them, most of the time, the conversation doesn’t get that far, and the initial comments that the president needs to “get serious” on entitlements is met with sage nods.

This morning on Meet The Press, even David Gregory asked John Boehner about some of this. Boehner testily evaded constantly, still making the claim that the President needed to lead, and needed to put a plan on the table, and so on.

There are a lot of Republicans going on about how sequestration was the President’s idea. BFD; it’s not relevant. One question I would ask: The sequestion will produce the largest cuts in Government spending in a long time. If sequestration is Obama’s idea, then he should get credit for those huge cuts. Right? That means Democrats are serious about cutting spending, and Republicans are spenders.

The Democrats as spenders and Republicans as cutters meme hasn’t been true in a long time (if ever); it was Republicans that ran up the huge debts with tax cuts that were not matched by spending reductions, and two wars fought on credit. Boehner and the Tea Party, and their pathetically short-sighted voters, might find that hard to believe, but it’s true.

The Republicans are not negotiating, in good faith or otherwise. Just another example of not governing.

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