The line I've been hearing from sophisticated and unsophisticated commenters alike (that's when it really concerns me) these days is to mock sequester because it's not an "existential crisis" (yes I've seen that phrase at least onc) - that it's not the horror show we're told it's going to be.
It's a classic strawman. Nobody said it was going to be an existential crisis, of course. Nobody said there will be blood in the streets. But the fringe that actually likes this is using that line to trivialize it.
The thing is, it doesn't have to be an existential crisis to be a bad idea. The economy is growing right now, just like they all love to point out that government spending will still grow after sequester. The economy doesn't present us with an existential crisis. We aren't all wasting away in the streets right now (some people are, and services to them will be weakened by sequester, but let's put that aside for now). Does that mean the economy isn't in bad shape? Of course not. So let's cut this rhetorical trick out.
95% of economists apparently agree that sequester will be bad for the economy. The consensus against the minimum wage is nowhere near that, and I've been told repeatedly that I'm abandoning econ 101 even in just shrugging my shoulders at the minimum wage (as regular readers know I haven't exactly been a cheerleader for it).
Second only to cutting spending so much in a recession in stupidity is that the cuts we're doing don't even hit the genuine problems with the budget. We do have budget and debt problems. The problems leading up to now have largely been the Bush tax cuts and the unfunded war spending. The tax cuts were partially dealt with (again, though, not the wisest thing to do in a recession). The biggest problems going forward are the entitlement programs.
And guess what two major spending categories are exempt from sequester?
Direct war spending and entitlement spending.
It's insane. If you're one of the ones going around saying this is a good idea my confidence that you are actually concerned about fiscal responsibility has gone down.
It's not an existential threat, but it's bad policy.
The Lonely Unicorn
4 hours ago