President Obama says he doesn’t want automatic budget cuts to occur on Friday.
Republicans in Congress say they don’t want them either.
And polls show clearly that American voters dislike the notion of automatic cuts.
Why, then, are these cuts on the verge of occurring? Why won’t either side pick up the phone, call the other guys, and sit down for some serious negotiations to find solutions to reduce the deficit?
I’ve grown weary of the blame game. Republicans say the White House wanted to include the automatic cuts – known as “sequestration” – when the two sides settled an earlier budget crisis. The White House, however, answers smartly when it says the automatic cuts were enacted as a sword to hold over the heads of those in power. No one ever thought sequestration would take effect because Republicans and Democrats would fear them so much they would find a way to cut a deal.
Well, that strategy appears set to blow up in their faces. And you and I are going to suffer the “collateral damage.” For example, I’m betting investors won’t like the result and our retirement accounts are going to suffer some grievous financial injury.
I’ve noted here already that President Obama is in the public-relations catbird seat. He doesn’t have any more elections ahead of him. He’s been re-elected and on Jan. 20, 2017, he’ll hand the White House keys to the next person. Congressional Republicans, though, will face an election – and soon at that. They’ll be facing voters in 2014 and my hunch is that this ridiculous game of brinksmanship is going to make many Americans very unhappy with their elected “representatives.”
Is it too much to ask that these individuals get back to the job of governing?