Sunday, February 24, 2013

Of Hamsters and Sequesters

George Will, "The manufactured crisis of sequester" (Washington Post, February 22, 2013):
Even during this desultory economic recovery, one industry thrives — the manufacture of synthetic hysteria. It is, however, inaccurate to accuse the Hysteric in Chief of crying “Wolf!” about spending cuts under the sequester. He is actually crying “Hamster!”

As in: Batten down the hatches — the sequester will cut $85 billion from this year’s $3.6 trillion budget! Or: Head for the storm cellar — spending will be cut 2.3 percent! Or: Washington chain-saw massacre — we must scrape by on 97.7 percent of current spending! Or: Chaos is coming because the sequester will cut a sum $25 billion larger than was just shoveled out the door (supposedly, but not actually) for victims of Hurricane Sandy! Or: Heaven forfend, the sequester will cut 47 percent as much as was spent on the AIG bailout! Or: Famine, pestilence and locusts will come when the sequester causes federal spending over 10 years to plummet from $46 trillion all the way down to $44.8 trillion! Or: Grass will grow in the streets of America’s cities if the domestic agencies whose budgets have increased 17 percent under President Obama must endure a 5 percent cut!

The sequester has forced liberals to clarify their conviction that whatever the government’s size is at any moment, it is the bare minimum necessary to forestall intolerable suffering. At his unintentionally hilarious hysteria session Tuesday, Obama said: The sequester’s “meat-cleaver approach” of “severe,” “arbitrary” and “brutal” cuts will “eviscerate” education, energy and medical research spending. “And already, the threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to delay an aircraft carrier that was supposed to deploy to the Persian Gulf.”

[Hat tip to J.M.]

1 comment:

Ralph Roister-Doister said...

When a budget is rejected by voters, the administration will make the cuts as painful as humanly possible. No administration will ever make the least effort to cut waste. No effort will be made to distinguish between what is truly needed and what is pork. Responsible stewardship of other people's money is for suckers. Make it hurt, baby! Make those penny-pinching bastards who pay my salary yowl! By the standards of public sector bureaucracies, this is leadership.

Every administration whose functionaries are subject to the will of those morons, the people, use the same playbook, from President Black Jesus down to the lowliest school superintendent. This is why bureaucracies always get bigger, never smaller, and why heads of bureaucracies are axiomatically NEVER to be trusted.

Oh by the way, the same cautions apply to diocesan bureaucracies, in spades.