Thursday, February 14, 2013

Let it Be

Want to understand what all the talk about a sequester is and why it's probably going to happen? Read this column by Charles Krauthammer.

Here's his lede:
For the first time since Election Day, President Obama is on the defensive. That’s because on March 1, automatic spending cuts (“sequestration”) go into effect — $1.2 trillion over ten years, half from domestic (discretionary) programs, half from defense.

The idea had been proposed and promoted by the White House during the July 2011 debt-ceiling negotiations. The political calculation was that such draconian defense cuts would drive the GOP to offer concessions. It backfired. The Republicans have offered no concessions. Obama’s bluff is being called and he’s the desperate party. He abhors the domestic cuts. And as commander-in-chief he must worry about indiscriminate Pentagon cuts that his own defense secretary calls catastrophic.

So Tuesday, Obama urgently called on Congress to head off the sequester with a short-term fix. But instead of offering an alternative $1.2 trillion in cuts, Obama demanded a “balanced approach,” coupling any cuts with new tax increases.

What should the Republicans do? Nothing.
Krauthammer goes on to give three fine reasons why the Republicans should let Mr. Obama have his sequester even though it'll severely diminish our military's capacity to respond to threats from our increasingly powerful enemies. Mr. Obama's intransigence has taken us down this road and he has made it quite clear that he's not not at all interested in significant cuts to government spending. The sequester, which was his idea in the first place, is the only way to get him to do what has to be done to save the nation from slipping so far into debt that future generations are crushed under an unconscionable tax burden. Our massive debt will all but ensure that people in their twenties today will never enjoy the standard of living their parents and grandparents did. The only way to avoid it is to reduce spending, narrow the deficit and eliminate the debt.

You can read the rest of Krauthammer's column at the link.