I Repeat Myself When Under Stress
The title’s a line from an old King Crimson song, repeated rapidly while Robert Fripp and Adrain Belew drive a frenetic undercurrent of guitar. Music junkies like me appreciate how tight the whole thing comes off. Most people call the song annoying. What makes me think of that? Nothing in particular, I suppose.
And when the Republicans opened the seventh seal of the sequester, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black and the stars fell unto the Earth; and our nation’s ability to forecast severe weather, such as drought events, hurricanes and tornados, was seriously undermined. Lo, and the children were not vaccinated, and all the beasts starved in the zoos, and the planes were grounded.
When the Wall St. Journal tosses an opening like that at you, you know you’ve jumped off the silly cliff.
The White House’s “Seven Things You Need to Know About the Tax Deal” somehow managed to avoid discussing the negative impacts that the reduction in take-home pay will have on an already fragile economy. Yet here was President Barack Obama yesterday warning about the “hundreds of thousands of jobs” that will be lost due to the sequester cuts. The Obamaite Center for American Progress hailed the New Year’s tax hike by saying “Of course, any new revenue is a step in the right direction.” But if you take money out of bureaucrats’ pockets instead of taxpayers? “Sequestration Takes a Big Bite out of Government Growth.”
The strategy by the administration has been to highlight fantastic outcomes of any spending cuts and blaming Congress for not moving. It’s a pretty familiar refrain, so nobody’s surprised, and the hope is that low-information voters get so frightened that it impacts the 2014 elections. There’s no hope of actually doing any legislation to avoid it. The Republican side decided that cuts were better than nothing, and their base would revolt like a bad lunch if taxes entered the equation again.
So it’s not really about strategy anymore, at least not about any new strategy. But it’s fun to see the administration trot out more cripples (and other cabinet members) to talk about opening the doors to heck just because they don’t want to see government grow as much.
Now, on to entitlements…