Sequester Deadline Open ThreadBy
The world will not actually end tonight when all of these forced budget cuts come down the pike. They have to be phased in by the end of the year if nothing happens between now and then and, as with all things, once it goes from the hyper-partisan theater of Congress to the agencies responsible, actual thought can be put into play to soften the blow to the average person, save as many jobs as possible, and generally make do, as we Americans are supposed to be so good at.
That is actually bad news. It means that the Austerians can claim that their plan to starve us all to prosperity is not actually the worst plan ever after all. It means that Tea-Party Republicans can claim to have vanquished the big spenders in Washington, to save the people out in the hinterlands from the threat of jobs, benefits, health care, and military and police protection, not to mention the very admirable crisis atmosphere it places around the neck of the stock market. That’s bound to be just great for the economy. The quest to become the Greece of the west goes on unabated.
Yes, it will do genuine damage to the country. But they don’t care. They will be able to claim victory. That is all that matters, because the far-right cheering section of the Republican Party didn’t have a very good year last year, and they needed a win. So here it is. And while speaking strictly for myself I hope for a quick end to a lot of political careers over it, the fact is that this will go down in history as the moment when the Tea Party discovers that it is okay to go beyond threatening to shut things down to an actual program of intentionally damaging the full faith and credit of the country in all aspects of its Federal responsibilities. Where it stops now, nobody knows.