So, in the end, there was no federal government shutdown. As I explained before, I think avoiding a shutdown over a relatively small difference between the cuts Republicans wanted and the ones Democrats were willing to make was the right move. I would have preferred to see all the cuts made, a few billion at a time, over the rest of the fiscal year. But there are bigger fish to fry.
U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., and Mark Warner, D-Va. were in the AJC’s offices this morning for an editorial-board interview. You may know Chambliss and Warner as the founding members of a “Gang of Six” in the Senate trying to fashion a bipartisan agreement to balance the budget and begin paying down the federal debt. I haven’t re-listened to the tape yet, but here are a few quick takeaways:
I’ll get to more from the interview shortly.
In the meantime, Mickey Kaus (now blogging at the Daily Caller), notes one takeaway from the government shutdown showdown:
If you worry that the federal government can’t afford $38 billion in cuts, please read Chris Moody’s article from two weeks ago. There’s a $1.6 trillion deficit but the feds are still hiring. As of March 23 they were hiring someone to run a Facebook page for the Deparment of the Interior (at up to $115,000 a year). They were hiring equal opportunity compliance officers at the Peace Corps and Department of Interior for $150,000 to $180,000 a pop. They were hiring deputy speechwriters for officials at relatively obscure agencies. …P.S.: The point isn’t so much that these federal employees are overpaid, though they are. The point is that if there were any actual sense of a deficit crisis in Washington these are jobs that would not be filled at all. … Well, maybe the Facebook editor. I think that’s a critical investment necessary to win the future, don’t you?
Kaus’ “P.P.S.” is also worth reading.
– By Kyle Wingfield