Just in case you’re not freaked out enough by political dysfunction, take a gander at this little gem cooked up by R’s on the Hill to avoid—well, not avoid, but rejigger—the sequester.
Under the Republican plan, Obama would be required to offer a sequester alternative by March 8. Congress would have until March 22 to pass a resolution of disapproval, which would done by a simple majority vote. If that resolution is signed by the president, the original sequestration order would be restored. But the process is subject to a veto, requiring two-thirds to prevail and overrule whatever plan the president comes up with.
The President’s proposal must have the same level of cuts as the sequester, and no more than half can come from defense (in the actual sequester, half the cuts are from defense).
So, lemme get this straight. President Obama gets to own the sequester by himself, unless a majority in the Congress doesn’t like what he comes up with. In that case, they can formally disapprove. If he then agrees that he doesn’t like his plan either—even though he just came up with it—then we default back to the original sequester. But if he does still like it, he gets to implement it unless two-thirds of the Congress doesn’t like it either. In which case…you guessed it…back to the original.
You can’t make this stuff up, folks.
I was on the Rachel Maddow Show tonight and I found Rachel’s intro to be an extremely effective critique of not just the horrible economics of the sequester (and check out that amazing legislator from Alaska!), but the opportunity costs of dickering around with madness like the above when we’ve got real problems to deal with.
I get that they’re not going to do anything useful. I’m starting to get that neither will they take the Hippocratic oath to at least do no harm. But how they can come up with ideas like the above with a straight face is still beyond me.