The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Soon, Most Of The Federal Budget Will Be A Blend Of ‘Disastrous’ And ‘Emergency’

Posted on | November 7, 2011 | 9 Comments

by Smitty

If I may scrape attention briefly away from contestant #753 on the Herman Cain Allegation Show, Heritage reports the following cheery bit about the Budget Control Act:

Then there is Loophole No. 2: In addition to the “disaster” funds [loophole #1], the BCA still retains the uncapped “emergency” credit card. So Congress could obligate all the $11.3 billion for “disasters” and still spend without limit later in the year on other “emergencies”—making a total mockery of the BCA spending caps.

That global warming you feel running down your back? Ain’t rain, mister. I was contending a bit with a colleague a couple years back. “They’ve got to pass the emergency extension to unemployment benefits,” he said. I tried to explain that, if everything is an emergency, then nothing is an emergency. If you reward disastrous situations, you will, oddly, perversely, create more disastrous situations.

These two flagrant gimmicks are among six spending limits exemptions in the BCA. The others are overseas military activities, technical changes in concepts and definitions, continuing Social Security disability reviews, and efforts to control health care fraud and abuse. But the disaster and emergency maneuvers are worse than the others, because they are so easy to abuse and because lifting the spending caps for them leaves more room to maintain status quo spending levels for everything else. Congress can pretend to be disciplined and claim austerity, but never really cut spending and reduce the size of government—demonstrating flagrant disregard for the budget crisis that the debt ceiling confrontation was supposed to address.

Neither the Democrat, nor the Democrat-lite party has shred #1 of any interest in driving the Progress bus anywhere other than off the cliff. So, in lieu of leadership, we get brinksmanship. Per the Wikipedia link:

If Congress fails to produce a deficit reduction bill with at least $1.2 trillion in cuts, then Congress can grant a $1.2 trillion increase in the debt ceiling but this would trigger across-the-board cuts (“sequestration”) of spending equally split between security and non-security programs. The across-the-board cuts would apply to mandatory and discretionary spending in the years 2013 to 2021 and be in an amount equal to the difference between $1.2 trillion and the amount of deficit reduction enacted from the joint committee. The sequestration mechanism is the same as the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. There are exemptions—across the board cuts would apply to Medicare providers, but not to Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare beneficiaries, civil and military employee pay, or veterans. Security programs include the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Nuclear Security Administration, some management functions of the intelligence community, and international affairs from the U.S. State Department.

Well, ain’t that just ducky? #OccupyResoluteDesk just loves him some crisis, and that’s exactly what this will be by the 23 November deadline for crisis maximization. Boehner and Reid, both old-school pols, will engage in ballet on finger-point, rather than just put it to the American people: the infinite pockets of Progress have hit bottom. It’s time to just admit it’s freaking over, deal with the fallout, and move on to real recovery.

Which may help explain why contestant #754 is up. Something to do with shrink tubing and a hair dryer. Shiny!


9 Responses to “Soon, Most Of The Federal Budget Will Be A Blend Of ‘Disastrous’ And ‘Emergency’”

  1. richard mcenroe
    November 7th, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

    Screw dat crap!  One of Cain’s accusers took her hood off!  On TV!

  2. Anonymous
    November 7th, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

    Did your coworker get it after you explained the facts of fiscal life to him or did he just stare at you as if you’d confessed to some heinous crime?

  3. JeffS
    November 7th, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

    I tried to explain that, if everything is an emergency, then nothing is an emergency.

    Sing it, brother, sing it!

  4. smitty
    November 7th, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

    I would like to say that the Appeal to Intellect worked. But no, I was viewed a heartless conservative.

  5. BruceC
    November 8th, 2011 @ 12:03 am

    I have some of the same type co-workers.  Not sure what it takes to convince them of the disaster that’s coming.  “Invincible Ignorance” is what it is.  Don’t remember where I heard that phrase but it sure does fit.

  6. Joe
    November 8th, 2011 @ 12:12 am

    They are claiming Cain is finished.  All I know is I hope he fights. 

  7. MrPaulRevere
    November 8th, 2011 @ 2:22 am

    Excellent post Smitty, one of your best.

  8. Adjoran
    November 8th, 2011 @ 2:34 am

    There is no doubt BCA and the entire budget procedure has become a complete farce and must be discarded, pretty much entirely, as part of any real reform.

    But I don’t see how anyone can possibly see Reid and Boehner as equivalent in any way.  The House passed the Ryan budget, which included entitlement reforms and CBO-scored savings of $5.6 trillion in the ten-year budget window Democrats cannot find a compromise to reach $1.2 tril.

    Now if that looks the same to you, have your eyeglasses checked.

    It may make people feel better to bellow “They’re all the same!” but it is clearly not true.

  9. Anonymous
    November 8th, 2011 @ 6:07 am

    That there is RINO talk.  Or so I’m told.

    Why are you trying to stop the good from being the enemy of perfect?