Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Compromise - An Increasingly Rare Beast in Washington

Here's an interesting recent news conference held by the Republican heavy hitters, talking about the looming sequestration spending cuts:

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What is it with the "campaigning" and "smarter cuts" talking points?  As well, there's nothing like using the spectre of lapsing in the level of "homeland security" to convince Americans that the situation is dire. In Washington, it would appear that one should never use the word "compromise" and mean it, particularly when one has a political axe to grind.

Since the Congressional Democrats and Republicans didn't play well together back in August 2011 when the debt ceiling debacle was taking place, they managed to piece together the Budget Control Act of 2011 which called for mandatory sequestration that sets a cap on the amount that government is allowed to spend.  In case you've forgotten, both Republicans and Democrats voted in favour of the Budget Control Act with 174 Republicans and 95 Democrats voting for the Act and 66 Republicans and 95 Democrats voting against it along with 3 Democrat abstentions.  In the Senate, it passed by a vote of 74 to 26 with 19 Republicans and 6 Democrats voting against it.  That’s something that the aforementioned Republicans seem to have forgotten in their haste to pin the blame on the moving donkey.

It's interesting to see that even the Democrats weren't fussed on the idea of spending cuts totaling $900 million in the first phase of the plan with equal numbers voting for and against the Act.

The original intent of the Budget Control Act of 2011 was to put a bandaid on Washington's debt problems and ensure that future negotiations over tax increases and spending cuts would take place.  Unfortunately, with Washington's elected politicians acting more like children in an elementary school playground than $174,000 a year members of the House and Senate, they never seemed to get around to dealing with the problem.  In what has become typical fashion, they have waited until the 11th hour to get the job done and then use partisan threats to get voters to see the issue their way.

Here's how seriously the Senate is taking the sequestration issue:

You'll notice that the Senate didn't even sit during the week of February 18th to 22nd, two short weeks before the sequestration cuts are to take effect!

Just in case you weren’t aware, here’s the latest Debt to the Penny figure from the Treasury:

And, in the end, you know who will pay the heavy price for Washington’s diddling and they won't be spending their time in the House or the Senate.

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