The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Oh Look! Another Kerfuffle

 Just a thought: If you or I lie to the federal government, it's a felony. If the government lies to us, it's called "politics" and completely legal.

Bob Woodward is in the news this week. It seems he had the audacity to to do two things: point the finger at Obama over sequestration and to take a comment by Gene Sperling (Obama economic advisor) as a threat.

In an email after a testy exchange between Woodward and Sperling, Sperling apologized for raising his voice and said that Woodward would regret saying that Obama was "moving the goalpost" in relation to the possibility of a deal regarding the sequestration. Sperling's actual words are: "I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim."

This is a non-issue, a distraction, something to divert attention. I don't see it as a threat at all but more as a suggestion that the White House will be able to avoid blame and that Woodward might feel some embarrassment in having made the claim. As the youths of today say, "meh", it isn't a big deal, not even newsworthy.

The White House's take on sequestration is that they thought it up, perhaps, but never intended for it to go this far and that it is all the Republican's fault. Maybe. But actions often do have consequences and most of them are unintended.

I think what the White House wanted was for Republicans to fold completely under the threat of sequestration and wimp out on demanding cuts while accepting tax increases. They did initially but suffered a backlash for doing so. And when part II of the sequestration drama began to play out, they have decided to call Obama's bluff.

I also think the public is supportive of that tactic.

When the average American does not get the raise he expected, he doesn't go to his boss and demand the raise he wanted. He goes home and tightens his belt; he adjusts his budget to suit the reality of his paycheck. And he doesn't understand why Washington doesn't do the same.

Remember, sequestration does not mean that budgets will actually be cut. That is, it does not mean there will be less money spent in the next year than has been spent this year. It means that the increase in the amount of spending will be lower than what is desired by Washington.

All this crying of late that the danger of sequestration is in the lack of discretionary control over the reductions in the growth of spending is also simply a diversion. A red herring, if you will. So that blame can be put on the Republicans for not acting (meaning "not caving"). There was nothing preventing the Defense Department and all others potentially affected from moving money around in preparation of the pending sequestration. Instead, it was "business as usual" as the assumption was that the Republicans would cave (as they have for decades) and spending would continue as before.

I think the public is truly fed up with these games that Washington plays and is ready to see this played out and the bluff called.

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