Friday, February 22, 2013

Let's call the whole thing off

There's a reason Republicans love to demagogue about "out of control spending" but refuse to name specific cuts they want to make. It's because, when asked about specific cuts, the majority of the electorate loves spending and in fact wants to spend more. If you don't want to dig through the numbers, Plum Line summarizes the polling.

As it turns out, the people love the very programs Republicans most want to cut and care the least about the spending Republicans are fighting to protect. Although there's some small variation, for instance callous cons care less about helping the poor and the olds, this is true across party lines. The only safe spending cut is to foreign aid, which as the self-informed know, constitutes such a small slice of discretionary spending as to be a mere sliver of the total pie chart. Not going to starve the scary deficit beast by withholding that crumb.

Sequester is the worst possible way to revoke unnecessary spending. It's dangerously disruptive. Bookkeeping costs of this kabuki will far outweigh any savings. It won't last for long because it will hit all the things the people like to spend money on. The sensible thing to do is for everyone to agree they need more time to consider the cuts and just cancel it. They could do that. The twitter tells me they probably won't.

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