Monday, February 25, 2013

The Budget: To cut or not to cut

So, we're back to Round 1 on the budget mess again. Come March 1, if our elected leaders fail to agree on a new budget, many programs will experience deep spending cuts. About $85 billion in cuts are expected to go into effect next month.

Sound familiar? Yes, the echoes of the 2010 debt ceiling, the 2012 fiscal cliff and now the 2013 sequester as the upcoming crisis has been labeled. All defining, last-hour bantering and gridlock on what else?  How government should spend our money. Of course, it's political and yes, I really do expect a little consensus and strategy. But apparently, my expectations of our elected leaders is a notch higher than the average American.

The only difference between the March deadline and the previous ones, is that both Democrats and Republicans are actually looking forward to the cuts taking place. Sort of. Both parties believe this is their opportunity to support their rather hard-headed stances. The majority of Republicans in favor of deep cuts are convinced that the fallout will be minor. Americans will then realize that yes, we can survive with a smaller budget.

On the other hand, Democrats believe the impending consequences will be so severe, Republicans will have to cave in to their demands.

The good news is, while the deadline is March 1st, Americans won't be impacted by any cuts until the 27th - if there is an impact. At that time, Congress is supposed to reconvene anyway to argue taxes,  budgets and politics.

Until that time, the American people will be used as lab rats at the mercy of political scientists who have a lot riding on this study of  persistent uncertainty and divisiveness.

Hold on tight for the ride of your lives...

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