When a picture is worth a thousand words, go with the picture.
As my colleague Mike Luckovich depicts so well, the sequester is yet another in what is now seems like a never-ending series of artificial budget crises in Washington. What was once extraordinary has become ordinary.
The sequester, for example, is the bastard child of a previous crisis in 2011, when Republicans threatened to push the country into default by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. To get past that crisis, Washington created the sequester, timing the new crisis for after the election and designing it to be so painful to both parties that when the time came, Democrats and Republicans would surely be forced to compromise to avoid it.
They underestimated their own — or each other’s — intransigence. House Republicans have passed a plan to replace the sequester by gutting a series of government poverty and social service programs, in other words putting the burden entirely on those already suffering It contains no new revenue and no cuts in defense.
Democrats, on the other hand, propose a mixture of cuts and revenue increases, with President Obama committing publicly to a ratio of two dollars in cuts for one dollar in new revenue.
But never the twain shall meet, apparently.
Business Insider conducted an interesting poll, asking 550 people which of three proposed budget solutions they prefer. The plans were taken from proposals by House Republicans, the House Progressive Caucus and Senate Democrats, although those polled were not told where the plans originated.
Surprisingly, the plan that polled the strongest was the House Progressive Caucus plan. More than half of respondents supported it compared to sequestration and just a fifth of respondents were opposed….
Shockingly, 47 percent of Republicans preferred the House Progressive plan to the sequester. This means that Republicans supported the House Progressive plan just as much as they supported their own party’s plan…. Opposition to the House Republican plan was strong, with 57 percent preferring the sequester to that plan.
– Jay Bookman