The sky is falling, again

1 Feb

chicken-little-sizedBoth sides in the Senate seem to be on the same page when it comes to spending: once unthinkable, impossible cuts designed to force a more reasonable compromise may be much harder to undo than anyone ever thought.

If you need a refresher on why this silliness exists, take a look here.

For Republicans, the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts are an increasingly wonderful option with deficit hounds.

Of course their party’s defense hawks, who strongly are against the deep cuts to military spending disagree.

Democrats, on the other hand, would rather replace some of the spending cuts with new revenues (IE taxes) – an idea that isn’t going anywhere with the GOP.

And to finish this merry-go-round, Democrats refuse to even think about the Republican preference of replacing the military decreases with cuts to other programs.

This should give you an idea just how deeply divided Washington is.

The so-called sequester, which was designed to be so bad that neither side would let it take effect, could very well end up taking effect.

The fiscal-cliff deal that passed earlier this month delayed the cuts until March 1st.

Democrats say they think the sequester will be delayed again to give the House and Senate time to write their budgets.

Okay, Washington has a history of taking thing right to the absolute edge before working things out.

Maybe not this time.

Considering how far apart House Republicans and Senate Democrats are on spending priorities, the odds aren’t looking too good they’ll agree on a package to replace the sequester.

The “save my job” spin control is underway.

Democrats argue they never wanted the sequester to begin with, but were forced to pass it in 2011 as part of the package to raise the debt limit.

The cuts are split in half between military and discretionary domestic spending and the Democrats are saying the all-cuts, no-revenue package is the best deal they expect to get, so they aren’t reopening negotiations unless they include new revenue (taxes).

Across the aisle, Republicans are showing no signs of moving from their demand to replace the sequester cuts with entitlement reforms (cuts).

Yes, it’s a great story and the press is painting a grim picture because it makes better news – the politicians are wandering around telling anyone who will listen it’s not their fault.

This mess changes hourly and we’re sure it’ll all look different this time next week.

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