Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sequester Numbers Put in Perspective (Update)

Michael Ramirez, perhaps my favorite political cartoonist, provides a service to the public by his portrayal of an understandable rendition of the Sequester cuts (click to enlarge):
In true demagogic fashion, though, Obama and his minions are portraying the cuts as the next 'end of the world as we know it', never mind that the Sequester was the bright idea of Obama to begin with. 

I can't keep up with all of the various extinction events that have been threatened in my lifetime, from Y2K to Global Cooling to Global Warming to the Mayan calendar (though that did correspond to Obama's re-election).
This is in keeping with the standard government bureaucratic attitude, as exemplified by the most popularly well-known example of California after passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 (the Taxpayers' Revolt) which forced the California state government to cut back on property taxes.  The state bureaucracy initially responded by cutting police, fire, libraries, schools, &c as a retaliation to the voters, instead of attacking waste. 

This is also popularly known among political economists (and cynics) as the Washington Monument Ploy (a jocular reference to the old football Statue of Liberty Play), after the director of the National Park Service in 1969 shut down said monument and the Grand Canyon for several days a week in order to extort funding.  It worked, though the director soon elected to retire – considered a partial victory in some circles as a condign punishment, but the director had likely figured to retire at that point anyway, which gave him the advantage of John Bunyan's dictum of "A man who is down need fear no fall."

Update:  The following morning, and Karl Rove has cited figures provided by the CBO that pegs last year's fiscal budget at $3.538 trillion, but the projected budget for this fiscal year, after the Sequestration, is $3.553 trillion, thus showing again that there is no actual cut in spending, only a decrease in the amount that projected federal spending is due to increase.

1 comment:

  1. A citizen's waste is a bureaucrat's necessity. In Austin, when forced to cut back, the city always axes the library first. Literacy be damned. How did California get to where it is today (i.e. almost bankrupt) without higher property taxes?


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