Why are we allowing the sequestration? I’m truly baffled. We don’t know how much harm to the weak recovery it will cause, but an $85 billion spending reduction in one year will certainly cause more than a hiccup.
The Republican case: The federal government is experiencing “runaway spending” so its spending must be “brought under control.”
The problem is, there is no runaway spending. Mr. Obama’s four years have seen federal spending increase 0.6 percent and that’s not adjusting for inflation that would make it even less. (www.cbo.gov/publication/43904).
Maybe it’s not federal spending. Perhaps the Republicans are right in resolutely refusing any “revenue enhancements” because they are unfair. But the enhancement Mr. Obama is seeking is not a tax increase. He wants to cap deductions for the wealthy at 28 percent of income, an idea originating with Mitt Romney. Is such a plan terribly unfair if it was seen as fair three months ago?
And look: There’s something fishy in a position that demands spending cuts but the party that is demanding them can’t even point to one specific program to cut (other than Big Bird).
No, I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason is some mix of these three:
1. The Republicans are up to their usual act – protect the wealthy, even from such moderate actions as a deduction cap. Sock it to the middle class, which receives the main benefits of spending.
2. They hate Mr. Obama so much that anything he proposes they will certainly oppose.
3. They hate “government” so much that any meat ax cut is seen as good. Recall that Rep. John Boehner said, “I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I’m pretty happy.”
The Republicans often charge the Democrats with creating “uncertainty,” while their continual kamikaze attacks on the government make for the greatest uncertainty of all.
How sad. People will lose jobs. Businesses will lose sales. Defense will be weakened. The recovery will be harmed.
I just don’t get it.