Budget Compromise Averts Government Shutdown, but Worse is yet to Come

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 9th, 2011

Shutdown Averted, now we can Create Jobs

So there’s no government shutdown.  The nation will experience one less crisis.  A bunch of people will be able to keep their phony baloney jobs.  All is right with the world once more.  We have pleased some of the people.  Some of the others, though, are pretty pissed (see Some Democrats Complain About Budget Compromise by Michael D. Shear posted 4/9/2011 The New York Times).

Robert Reich, the former labor secretary under President Bill Clinton, wrote on Twitter: “The right held the U.S. govt hostage, and O paid most of the ransom — inviting more hostage-taking. Next is raising debt ceiling.”

Held the government hostage?  Inviting more hostage taking?  Oh, come on.  Does Reich believe there is no end to the dollars the government can print?  Then again he was the Secretary of Labor.  A good friend of Big Union.  So he has some socialist leanings.  So, yeah, he’ll approve the printing of more money before cutting any spending.  Because that’s what socialists do.  Print, baby.  Print.

Ms. Pelosi also weighed in.  Her words were more reserved.  And then she unloaded some B.S.

Some Democrats appeared willing to reserve judgment. In a less-than-effusive statement after the agreement, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi commended Mr. Obama and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, for their “leadership and perseverance to keep the government open.”

But she added: “House Democrats look forward to reviewing the components of the final funding measure. The American people’s top priority is creating jobs, and we will continue to measure every proposal by whether it creates jobs, strengthens the middle class and responsibly reduces the deficit.”

Nancy Pelosi and her Democrats had the House for 4 years.  Her pal Harry Reid and his Democrats had the Senate those same 4 years.  Plus he’s still there.  When have they ever created jobs?  Strengthen the middle class?  Reduced the deficit?  Sure, they like to blame George W. Bush, but Bush just didn’t have the votes in the last two years of his presidency.  He had to play ball with the Democrats.  Nancy and Harry called the shots.  And wrote the legislation.  Nothing they did created jobs, strengthen the middle class or reduced the deficit.  And let’s not forget that the greatest financial crisis to ever hit this nation, the subprime mortgage crisis, happened on their watch.  They were responsible for the oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Those GSEs at the center of that financial crisis.

EPA, PBS and NPR win; Defense, Obamacare and Abortion Lose

All right, just what did they agree to?  Who won?  Who lost?  And who got taken to the cleaners (see Who Won the Shutdown Showdown? It Wasn’t Even Close by Carl Cameron posted 4/9/2011 on FOX NEWS)?

The deal mandates a host of studies and audits of Obama administration policies. It also blocks additional funds for the IRS sought by the Obama administration and bans federal funding of abortion in Washington, D.C.

The history of offers on this bill goes something like this. Democrats first offered no cuts, then $4 billion, then $6.5 billion, then $33 billion, then settled at $38.5 billion.

Boehner made numerous adjustments to his offer in recent days too, but started at $32 billion, then with a Tea Party push went to $62 billion, then dropped to $40 billion, then $38.5 billion.

Now that’s some interesting negotiating.  The Republicans settled for a larger cut than they were originally asking for.  And the Democrats accepted a tax cut that was greater than the Republicans opening offer.  Throw in the studies and the audits.  And the defunding of the IRS and abortion.  No wonder some of the Democrats are pissed.  It looks like the Republicans negotiated like Democrats.  Like they had a pair.

House Speaker John Boehner won more cuts than he originally sought and got the Senate to agree to votes to defund the health care reform law and groups like the nation’s largest abortion provider Planned Parenthood…

It was not a totally lopsided bargain. Dems have some silver linings. There were no votes on defunding the EPA or PBS and NPR. Democrats fought for and won a $2 billion cut from the Department of Defense, knocking the military appropriation for the rest of the year down to $513 billion.

Sure, cut the military after starting a third war.  That makes a lot of sense.  The country would have been better keeping that $2 billion and cutting the EPA, PBS and NPR.  But if you’re getting the Democrats to vote to defund Obamacare and abortion, I guess you had to throw them a bone.

Still, what is $38.5 billion in spending cuts when you have trillion dollar deficits?  I’ll tell you.  Not enough.  Like it or not bigger spending cuts are coming our way.  Or higher taxes.  And by higher taxes I mean confiscatory high taxes.  The kind that makes socialism look like capitalism by comparison.  Or bankruptcy.  Those are the choices.  Like it or not.

Federal Workers get a Taste of Reality…and don’t Like It

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been laid off.  Ever just escaped being laid off.  Or kept your job only to do the work of those laid off for the same amount of pay.  If your hand isn’t up you’ve been very lucky.  Think it’s silly to raise your hand while reading on line.  Or you work for the government.  Because most everyone in the private sector has gone through these anxious moments.  And a lot of us had to start all over doing something completely different.  It’s not easy.  But we move on.  Because that’s life.  And it ain’t easy. 

For some life has been easy.  They work in a magical place.  Where layoffs are unknown.  Pay is generous.  And benefits fat.  Where is this magical place?  In the government.  So how does one more privileged than others take a potential momentary paycheck interruption?  Not good.  Here are some of their comments after the government passed a budget deal (see D.C. was prepared for the worst by Ed O’Keefe, Carol Morello and Michael E. Ruane posted 4/8/2011 on The Washington Post).

“It brings relief,” [a Department of Homeland Security worker] said, adding he couldn’t afford to be out of work for more than two weeks…

Younger federal employees and contractors seemed jubilant…

… a 22-year veteran of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, compared this week’s impasse to the drama of asking a girl to the high school prom who also gets asked by another guy…

Yeah.  It can be like that.  When the pretty girl already has a date.  That hurts.  Almost as much as being out of work for two weeks.  I can’t imagine what those people in Michigan are going through.  Some of them have been out of work for 2 years.  That must be like having the pretty girl say “yes.”  And she tells you that she’ll pick you up for prom.  And you wait and wait and wait but she never shows up.  And when you finally walk through the rain to the prom you see her dancing with the quarterback of the football team.  And they’re laughing at you.  That’s Michigan.  In Washington DC you’d probably still end up at the prom.  You’d just be with a different girl.

“It’s frustrating not to be able to get our work done,” she said, adding that now she fears the potential of a “post-crisis period.”

“I won’t be able to just come in on Monday or Tuesday morning and hit the ground running,” she said.

A “post-crisis period.”  You see, that’s what happens to you when you live sheltered from the real world.  You get soft.  Spoiled.  And whiny. 

Around midday Friday, hundreds of angry State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development employees spent their lunch hour protesting the prospect of a shutdown…

“Why must we, who work around the Hill, suffer the adverse consequences of those who work on top of the Hill?” a representative with the American Federation of Government Employees…

Protesting?  Adverse consequences?  I guess someone didn’t get the memo.  These people are entitled to their jobs.

…a social worker with the Attorney General’s office, said the last few days have been stressful as she and co-workers shared their concerns about how they would pay their mortgages and other bills.

All the talk about who was essential and who wasn’t essential weighed on people’s minds, making it hard to focus on their work, she said.

As the weekend approached, she was angry.

“Who wants to start a nice, cherry blossom weekend wondering what do we do — do we go to work on Monday?” she said.

When news of the possibility of a breakthrough came, [she] said it wasn’t going to be to switch off her anger at the politicians who she felt toyed with her livelihood and well-being.

“I’ve still got a little bitter taste in my mouth.”

Anger?  Bitter taste?  Toyed with her livelihood and well-being?  My God.  What have we done?  We spoiled her nice, cherry blossom weekend.  For shame.  I mean, Michiganders are one thing.  But federal workers in Washington DC?  They deserve better.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

So what have we learned?  Well, first of all, this country is truly screwed.  With all the drama surrounding the recent budget debate that cut a paltry $38.5 billion from a $3+ trillion budget, cuts that actually mean something will probably bring out the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  Anyone who thinks there will be entitlement reform before the United States follows Greece and Ireland into bankruptcy is like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand.  And nothing will get them to open their eyes.  Except, perhaps, four horsemen bearing down on them.  Of course, by then, it will be too late.

Oh, and federal workers are a bunch of whiny cry babies.

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