Sequester Politics: Hard to Believe, but They’re Getting Worse

February 26th, 2013 at 11:46 pm

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.

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5 comments in reply to "Sequester Politics: Hard to Believe, but They’re Getting Worse"

  1. jnfr says:

    How can they require the President to do anything? Couldn’t he just veto their bill?


  2. Pablo says:

    That Obama’s team came up with the sequester in the first place is the real problem. They are negotiating what they failed to negotiate in 2011.


  3. JohnR says:

    Once you cut loose from the surly bonds of objective reality, it’s easy to keep a straight face no matter what you say. It’s fascinating to watch this self-reinforcing diversion into group madness at close range. It makes re-reading Shirer a richer experience.


  4. Dale says:

    We have officially entered the stupid era – the willingness to hurt the country’s citizens and economy over ideology and politics.

    Certainly both parties must know that they could just repeal this awful law. But you don’t hear them talk about repeal as an option. I wonder why not? Instead they act as if the finger on the trigger of the gun pointed at the head is somehow not under one’s control. And so all this damage will be done, I guess, to see who blinks first. The lack of leadership and common sense is stunning.

    What is ironic about all this is that deficit reduction is not even one of the top problems that our nation faces. So let’s hurt ourselves over something that doesn’t really matter right now?


  5. Ray says:

    Why repel the law? I mean neither party has the courage to stop government spending and they don’t want to. Pres Obama want to scare the public into thinking these minimal cuts are really going to ruin the country.

    These cuts are very minor to what we will be borrowing and spending this year. I don’t see anyone will the leadership to change the unfortunate course this country in heading.


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