Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Reich on the budget deal

I didn't get to this when it was more timely, but I think it's still very applicable.  Robert Reich, who doesn't shy away from telling it like it is, was very critical of the recent budget deal worked out between the begrudged Republicans and the unhappy Democrats.  I didn't like the sound of the deal much either, but he outlined the major problems with it better than I could, substantially.

Raw Deal (by Robert Reich)

Summarizing  by excerptation:

  • "First, it fails to extend unemployment benefits for 1.3 million jobless who will lose them in a few weeks."
  • "The second reason this deal is bad is it contributes to the nation's savage inequality."
  • " Third, the deal makes no fiscal sense. It's topsy-turvy: The deal contains no short-term stimulus, and does nothing about the long-term deficit. "

But there's a fourth point, and this to me is the most troubling. Because the unhappy Democrats wouldn't allow any changes to Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security, and because Republicans wouldn't raise taxes, there's this:
  • "Although the deal overrides the dread "sequester" that mindlessly cuts domestic spending (except for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid), it doesn't put an end to the sequester. It merely postpones the sequester for two years."
So the big bad sequester, like the original Terminator, will be back.  And if you remember what happened in the movie when he came back, it wasn't good at all.  The return of the sequester won't be good, either.

The sequester's back, and nobody's safe.

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