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Hail Armageddon

Posted by on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM
  • 151 Replies

Charles Krauthammer

Charles Krauthammer
Opinion Writer

Hail Armageddon

By ,

Mar 01, 2013 01:02 AM EST

The Washington PostPublished: February 28

 "The worst-case scenario for us," a leading anti-budget-cuts lobbyist told The Post, "is the sequester hits and nothing bad really happens."

Think about that. Worst case? That a government drowning in debt should cut back by 2.2 percent - and the country survives. That a government now borrowing 35 cents of every dollar it spends reduces that borrowing by two cents "and nothing bad really happens." Oh, the humanity!

A normal citizen might think this a good thing. For reactionary liberalism, however, whatever sum our ever-inflating government happens to spend today (now double what Bill Clinton spent in his last year) is the Platonic ideal - the reduction of which, however minuscule, is a national calamity.

Or damn well should be. Otherwise, people might get the idea that we can shrink government and live on.

Hence the president's message. If the "sequestration" - automatic spending cuts - goes into effect, the skies will fall. Plane travel jeopardized, carrier groups beached, teachers furloughed. And a shortage of junk-touching TSA agents.

The Obama administration has every incentive to make the sky fall, lest we suffer that terrible calamity - cuts the nation survives. Are they threatening to pare back consultants, conferences, travel and other nonessential fluff? Hardly. It shall be air-traffic control. Meat inspection. Weather forecasting.

A 2011 Government Accountability Office report gave a sampling of the vastness of what could be cut, consolidated and rationalized in Washington: 44 overlapping job training programs, 18 for nutrition assistance, 82 (!) on teacher quality, 56 dealing with financial literacy, more than 20 for homelessness, etc. Total annual cost: $100 billion-$200 billion, about two to five times the entire domestic sequester.

Are these on the chopping block? No sir. It's firemen first. That's the phrase coined in 1976 by legendary Washington Monthly editor Charlie Peters to describe the way government functionaries beat back budget cuts. Dare suggest a nick in the city budget, and the mayor immediately shuts down the firehouse. The DMV back office, stacked with nepotistic incompetents, remains intact. Shrink it and no one would notice. Sell the firetruck - the people scream and the city council falls silent about any future cuts.

After all, the sequester is just one-half of 1 percent of GDP. It amounts to 1.4 cents on the dollar of nondefense spending, 2 cents overall.

Because of this year's payroll tax increase, millions of American workers have had to tighten their belts by precisely 2 percent. They found a way. Washington, spending $3.8 trillion, cannot? If so, we might as well declare bankruptcy now and save the attorneys' fees.

The problem with sequestration, of course, is that the cuts are across the board and do not allow money to move between accounts. It's dumb because it doesn't discriminate.

Fine. Then change the law. That's why we have a Congress. Discriminate. Prioritize. That's why we have budgets. Except that the Democratic Senate hasn't passed one in four years. And the White House, which proposed the sequester in the first place, had 18 months to establish rational priorities among accounts - and did nothing.

When the GOP House passed an alternative that cut where the real money is - entitlement spending - President Obama threatened a veto. Meaning, he would have insisted that the sequester go into effect - the very same sequester he now tells us will bring on Armageddon.

Good grief. The entire sequester would have reduced last year's deficit from $1.33 trillion to $1.24 trillion. A fraction of a fraction. Nonetheless, insists Obama, such a cut is intolerable. It has to be "balanced" - i.e., largely replaced - by yet more taxes.

Which demonstrates that, for Obama, this is not about deficit reduction, which interests him not at all. The purpose is purely political: to complete his Election Day victory by breaking the Republican opposition.

At the fiscal cliff, Obama broke - and split - the Republicans on taxes. With the sequester, he intends to break them on spending. Make the cuts as painful as possible, and watch the Republicans come crawling for a "balanced" (i.e., tax-hiking) deal.

In the past two years, House Republicans stopped cold Obama's left-liberal agenda. Break them now, and the road is open to resume enactment of the expansive, entitlement-state liberalism that Obama proclaimed in his second inaugural address.

But he cannot win if "nothing bad really happens." Indeed, he'd look both foolish and cynical for having cried wolf.

Obama's incentive to deliberately make the most painful and socially disruptive cuts possible (say, oh, releasing illegal immigrants from prison) is enormous. And alarming.

Hail Armageddon.

by on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM
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Replies (1-10):
pvtjokerus
by Platinum Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:03 PM
1 mom liked this

"Obama's incentive to deliberately make the most painful and socially disruptive cuts possible (say, oh, releasing illegal immigrants from prison) is enormous. And alarming."

PinkButterfly66
by Gold Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:07 PM
3 moms liked this

Actually, the debt has been decreasing now that we're not paying for 2 wars. 

pvtjokerus
by Platinum Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:09 PM
2 moms liked this

Huh?????

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

Actually, the debt has been decreasing now that we're not paying for 2 wars. 


 

PinkButterfly66
by Gold Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:40 PM
1 mom liked this

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21134540/vp/50965800#50965800

Fast forward to 5:11, Chart on 7:59


Quoting pvtjokerus:

Huh?????

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

Actually, the debt has been decreasing now that we're not paying for 2 wars. 




Donna6503
by Platinum Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:50 PM

To be fair to those on the right ... it isn't the "Debt" it has been the yearly budget deficits that been going down.

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/21134540/vp/50965800#50965800

Fast forward to 5:11, Chart on 7:59


Quoting pvtjokerus:

Huh?????

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

Actually, the debt has been decreasing now that we're not paying for 2 wars. 






stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:52 PM
13 moms liked this

I love how people think it is a logical argument that Obama wants to destroy the country.  Why?  What would he get out of it?  Is he just evil?  

This argument is shallow and ignores some real substantive issues.

mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:55 PM
8 moms liked this

I'm of the opinion that this is a song and dance. All of them over there, every single one, needs to be sacked and thrown out of office physically. I mean that. Get some burly guys to toss out every single one on their ass. Unless of course they are elderly or have hip problems. Then just give them a good shove. 

All of them are incompetent. All of them are fucking with the lives of 315 million people over political games and who controls what, to save face, or have some measure of power. It's disgusting and we should not put up with it. But we do. I blame the fluoride in the water. 

mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 12:56 PM
4 moms liked this

Exactly. He's only one person and the rest of the elected body is 534 people. I say they ALL are playing a part in this and the ALL need to be tossed out for acting like children. 

Quoting stacymomof2:

I love how people think it is a logical argument that Obama wants to destroy the country.  Why?  What would he get out of it?  Is he just evil?  

This argument is shallow and ignores some real substantive issues.

D.O.E.
by on Mar. 3, 2013 at 1:27 PM
3 moms liked this

well i have a theory on this......not evil, but in all honesty? remember the birthers and the rumours? i honestly do not believe he is an "American" president i believe he was placed in the presidency. and i dont really believe anything that we are supposed to "know" about him. 

to me? he looks like a Saudi Arabian. he has very Saudi features. it would be beneficial to a lot of other countries i think if America failed and was no longer such a "super power"

i think there a more than a few countries who would like to see america in ruins

Quoting stacymomof2:

I love how people think it is a logical argument that Obama wants to destroy the country.  Why?  What would he get out of it?  Is he just evil?  

This argument is shallow and ignores some real substantive issues.


DivingDiva
by Gold Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 1:29 PM
1 mom liked this



Quoting D.O.E.:

well i have a theory on this......not evil, but in all honesty? remember the birthers and the rumours? i honestly do not believe he is an "American" president i believe he was placed in the presidency. and i dont really believe anything that we are supposed to "know" about him. 

to me? he looks like a Saudi Arabian. he has very Saudi features. it would be beneficial to a lot of other countries i think if America failed and was no longer such a "super power"

i think there a more than a few countries who would like to see america in ruins

Quoting stacymomof2:

I love how people think it is a logical argument that Obama wants to destroy the country.  Why?  What would he get out of it?  Is he just evil?  

This argument is shallow and ignores some real substantive issues.


Zow.  Saudi features.  That's a new one on me.  I say we force him to take one of those DNA tests that reveals one's ancestry just to be sure. 


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