NEWS FLASH! STOP THE PRESSES! In an UNPRECEDENTED development, bipartisan support has been found for increasing spending in Washington!
I don’t know about anyone else, but this new spirit of bipartisanship in a previously hopelessly divided and gridlocked Washington makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Of course, anyone who says that this deal decreases spending or opts for fiscal sanity has a bridge he wants to sell you—cheap! The sequester was a package of genuine cuts—you know, real decreases in spending. This deal now consigns those cuts to the scrap heap of history. Whew! For a minute, I thought a sizeable minority to a bare majority of dealmakers in Washington had come down with an awful case of fiscal sanity! That was close!
After years of barely restrained spending, faced with a choice between being ravaged by withdrawal symptoms that would make even the most hardened street junkie blanch and being paralyzed, Congress apparently has opted for continued addiction. Deep down, however, even the most hardened junkie knows that, sooner or later, he’ll eventually be faced with three choices: get clean, go to prison, or die. Congress, however, oblivious to what’s obvious to the junkie, apparently has ruled out the first of those three options.
P.S.: Alas, the newfound unanimity with respect to budgetary profligacy in Congress does not, of course, mean that however Congress increases spending, it can also find a way to avoid cutting $6 billion in benefits for military retirees (including the seriously injured and disabled). As the (Un?)-Affordable Care Act shows, whatever the flaws in particular legislation may be (“We have to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it”) we can’t get it right before passage. No, no. We must pass the bill first, then fix it . . . (Maybe . . . but, of course, probably not.)