No, seriously, let’s do it.
It would suck, it would create havoc, it would destroy the nation’s fiscal stability for decades to come.
Or maybe not. The coming sequesterization of federal funds, informally known as falling off the fiscal cliff (click) only amounts to $110 billion a year. Since the $1.1 trillion or whatever it is is spread over 10 years, the first year will be the hard one, after that just keep spending where it is and, bingo! Massive budget cuts!
And the current budget is fat. The defense budget alone is nearly $700 billion, double what it was when George W. Bush took office. Are we really to believe that we can’t trim that?
The fiscal cliff that everyone is discussing is, of course, the budget agreement that the TEA Party and its ilk forced the nation to accept in order to get the debt ceiling raised.
However it plays out, maybe it’s time to give it a shot. It punishes everyone, not just the military or social programs. If nothing else, we’ll put an end to this endless gridlock, and sequesterization might finally create enough chaos and recrimination to shut the TEA party up.
That alone has enormous value.
Why? Because that gang of windbags has been able to sit around railing about the evils of government spending with impunity. Those weenie liberals always find a way to stop the cuts.
Just one example: The cuts will throw a lot of people out of work, which would make it a lot harder for those who claim government doesn’t create jobs to justify their blathering.
During the debt ceiling crisis of 2011 these people were all over the place demanding cuts of everything. I remember hearing some of their congresspeople –sorry, can’t remember the names — making speeches in which they made fun of the measley Trillion or so in cuts being discussed, saying it was woefully inadequate.
And I still hear that.
“$14 trillion in debt, what part of spending too much don’t you understand?” was spread all across some guy’s back window up in Morgan just last weekend. Some of that $14 trillion undoubtedly built the road he was driving on, but let’s not be picky.
No less a radical than Rep. Paul Ryan, now running for vice president, was one of those demanding it, saying the threat of sequesterization would force a special debt commission to come to some sort of agreement because the result of sequesterization was too horrendous to contemplate.
That Ryan then voted against the recommendations of the debt commission he was a member of, knowing full well it would mean sequesterization and the fiscal cliff he now blames on Obama, is a matter of record.
So, he wanted it, or at least was unwilling to compromise sufficiently to avoid it. Now he can have it.
Couple the cliff with the end of the Bush tax cuts, also slated to end this December unless extended, and we’ll be on our way to a balanced federal budget before you know it.
That is something everyone claims they want. The only way to get it is cut spending and raise government revenue, which is precisely what the fiscal cliff will provide unless some wimpy congresspeople once again cave in and keep it from happening.