Well, tomorrow seems like we will indeed get the Sequestration, the self-inflicted “austerity” wound. A lot has been written about this and I won’t repeat it in detail. But a few examples may suffice to show why we live in mad times dominated by frothing conservatives who are apparently bent on destroying this nation.
We have a sovereign currency – in fact it is the world’s reserve currency; everyone wants it and uses it – we aren’t ever going to be like Greece. Interest rates are so low that we should be investing billions in education and infrastructure to create jobs and hence bring in taxes as well as investing in the future.
The sequester will actually increase the national debt because unemployment will increase dramatically causing a significant decrease in tax revenues and an increase in unemployment payments hence increasing the debt. So, the sequestration exercise is entirely self-defeating and because its cuts hit everything it is highly destructive to good programs as well as those more dubious.
And the low interest rates we’ve had for 5 years also means that current and near future payments on the national debt are going down. The economy is recovering and new employment and corporate profits mean that tax revenues are increasing. Moreover, the combination of serious Obama budget cuts and a slowly recovering economy in the last couple of years means the annual budget deficit is coming down very rapidly and so the national debt increase has slowed dramatically and will shortly go down unless the GOPs in Congress continue to be criminally stupid.
To understand the otherwise incomprehensible context of the sequestration, you have to understand that all of the positive economic trends are really bad news for the GOP. But you thought they were being deficit hawks, right? Not at all. Every time we have had a Republican administration (Reagan, Bush I and II) and, during the Bush II era, also when we had a monolithic GOP Congress, the deficit has exploded. By contrast, it went down during Clinton and Obama. What’s going on?
The GOP isn’t interested in the deficit; they are only interested in reducing the size and functionality of the domestic side of the Federal Government so that it becomes irrelevant for anything other than making war, which they want to do more or less permanently. Oh and lots of subsidies for wealthy corporations which ordinary people will pay for. A form of government called Neo-Feudalism. That’s what we need to overcome.
Of course, long before this awful outcome so desired by Conservatives would arrive, we would likely see a widespread insurrection and perhaps, sadly, another civil war. Let’s hope rationality intervenes before then.