Washington's preferred legislative tool, the manufactured crisis, is based on the idea that when Democrats and Republicans are forced to choose between catastrophe and compromise, they'll choose the latter. READ MORE >>
Historically low discretionary spending will drop even further
The question is no longer whether the automatic spending cuts of budget "sequestration" will start to take effect on Friday. The question is how long lawmakers are willing to let those cuts stay in place. That, in turn, will depend on how quickly—and how severely—the cuts affect people's lives. READ MORE >>
The sequester wasn't some sneaky Obama ruse. It was ransom.
On March 1 (i.e., this Friday) $85 billion will be sliced, more or less indiscriminately, from the discretionary portion of the federal budget. Everybody agrees this is a bad idea, which it is. But whose bad idea is it? READ MORE >>
Congressional Republicans have done a pretty good job pretending not to care that the planned March 1 sequestration will cut $43 billion out of this year’s defense budget. Sure, it’s an “ugly and dangerous way” to cut spending, says House Speaker John Boehner. READ MORE >>
The federal budget is going to increase, whether Republicans like it or not.
President Obama on Tuesday appeared alongside police officers and firefighters, warning that the automatic spending cuts set to take place on March 1 would cause local and state governments to lay off first responders. Get used to this sort of thing. As the cuts of “budget sequestration” approach, both sides of the debate will be talking about the dire consequences that worry them most. READ MORE >>
The White House finally surveys the devastation to come
The White House today, at long last, released a fact sheet outlining what sort of cuts we can expect in domestic discretionary spending if the automatic budget cuts (“the sequester”) are permitted to take effect on March 1. What the hell took so long? READ MORE >>
On issues like Medicaid and military spending, signs of a Republican rift
In Columbus, Lansing, and Phoenix, Republican governors are making headlines by embracing part of Obamacare. In Washington, Republican lawmakers are making headlines by seeking a new fiscal deal that avoids Pentagon cuts. What do these developments have to do with one another? Everything. They are products of the same, emerging divide in the Republican Party—one that pits conservative ideologues who preach anti-government extremism against some similarly conservative officials who actually have to govern. READ MORE >>