It’s time for a family budget tightening, and everyone’s getting the first dollar knocked off their allowance. Stop the talk of how “draconian” the sequester is – it isn’t. But even if it was, a broad-based cut is the only fair way to do things if we can’t agree on which spending cuts to prioritize. Now, there’s a point to be made that Defense is getting a bigger drop than the rest, but the doomsayer tactics they’ve used to defend such cuts with promises of apocalypse simply aren’t real. But even if they were real, Karl Rove’s argument – that Republicans should simply give the power to the president to decide what’s important and what isn’t – is absurdly wrongheaded. His “better” sequester strategy would involve some assumption that Obama knows best how to split up cuts, when in reality the White House would just use this as another opportunity for leverage to split their foes. Have Republicans learned nothing from Rove’s other failed strategeries? I’m sure nothing will bolster their standing with their base or the American people so much as seeming so desperate to avoid cutting government spending that they’ll leave the choices up to the president.
The real problem is that no one at Defense or elsewhere really took these cuts seriously. They assumed an eleventh hour solution would arise.