Happy Sequester Day everyone! Do you have anything special plans to mark this joyous occasion of across the board spending cuts to federally funded programs? No? Well most moochers are pretty upset by this wholesale abandonment of spending in the public interest. Only some enlightened people can see the glorious utopia that is on the precipice of becoming a reality now that we won’t be wasting money on the ungrateful masses.
While most non-masochists abandoned even the pretense of giving a single solitary fuck about the “sequester” or any other issue regarding the national budget, others have had to sit on their hands and suppress their desire to orgasm in public at the thought of drastic cuts to social welfare programs. One of those people, not surprisingly, is Fox News contributor and apprentice demon from the 7th circle of hell Charles Krauthammer, who addresses the concerns of those of us who are wary about the logic of purposefully clubbing the fragile infant seal that is our economy with his most recent Wa-Po editorial “Hail Armageddon.”
A normal citizen might think this a good thing. For reactionary liberalism, however, whatever sum our ever-inflating government happens to spend today (now double what Bill Clinton spent in his last year) is the Platonic ideal — the reduction of which, however minuscule, is a national calamity.
Ahh the mythical “normal citizen” who is freaking out that our government is spending more than we did 13 years ago (and before we were engaged in the war on terror and recovering from a lost decade of abysmal economic growth). Yes let’s base our entire economy on the priorities of that genius.
Hence the president’s message. If the “sequestration” — automatic spending cuts— goes into effect, the skies will fall. Plane travel jeopardized, carrier groups beached, teachers furloughed. And a shortage of junk-touching TSA agents.
The Obama administration has every incentive to make the sky fall, lest we suffer that terrible calamity — cuts the nation survives. Are they threatening to pare back consultants, conferences, travel and other nonessential fluff? Hardly. It shall be air-traffic control. Meat inspection. Weather forecasting.
That’s not all folks! According to Mother Jones this sequester is going to make life really interesting for plenty of “normal citizens” out there. Some 125,000 people will now be at risk of losing their rent with the loss of their federally subsidized housing vouchers (and that’s on top of the 100,000 people who will be immediately thrown out of their emergency homeless shelters). Another 600,000 people are now preparing for some food-insecuirty fun times as they lose access to the Women Infants and Children program. Oh and there is also the huge reduction in unemployment assistance, and the loss of job training programs for veterans. You know, fluff.
Krauthammer goes on to explain how whatever pain is inflicted on our economy is really just the fault of the President playing 11-dimensional chess to garner public support:
It’s firemen first. That’s the phrase coined in 1976 by legendary Washington Monthly editor Charlie Peters to describe the way government functionaries beat back budget cuts. Dare suggest a nick in the city budget, and the mayor immediately shuts down the firehouse. The DMV back office, stacked with nepotistic incompetents, remains intact. Shrink it and no one would notice. Sell the firetruck — the people scream and the city council falls silent about any future cuts.
Nutritional assistance to infants and vouchers for life-saving HIV medication are analogous to the stereotypical DMV workers who force Krauthammer lose an entire afternoon every ten years when he renews his license. Got it.
In fact Krauthammer believes that the real tragedy in this whole ordeal is that conservatives will once again be unfairly categorized as unfeeling psychopaths who are intentionally drowning the government in the bath tub for no good reason. This is just not the case! Rather there is a very real and obvious point in repeatedly holding every function of public society hostage: creating a “limited government” that serves the interests of the people who actually matter, like Ari Fleischer:
Oh good a war criminal is able to get his Cinnabon in peace without having to come in close contact with the undesirables. That will be a relief to the 30 million children across the country who are seeing close to a billion dollars wiped away from their special education programs.
Look, no one in their right mind could possibly say that this idiotic sequester deal is a “good thing.” Even the cynical asswipes assuring us that starving kids will be a good thing for society are hesitant in supporting the sequester as their precious bloated defense budget will face cuts along with those gross homeless people and their shelters. But if anything, this manufactured fiasco has at least clarified exactly what is so very fucked up about our current state of affairs.
There is the whining from the right about Obama being uppity in response to the failure of elected Republicans to give two shits about the national interest. This of course is offset by the constant placation from Democrats to the increasingly insane demands of the minority party to revert every aspect of society back into the gilded age.
But the real prize of course goes to the esteemed press corps. It’s these wonderful folks who alternate between breathlessly reprinting whatever demented thoughts on the economy spill out of the warped minds of intellectual giants like Paul Ryan, and acting as if a slightly critical email is actually a fish wrapped in newspaper. Meanwhile the stories about actual pain in the post-2008 recession are best left to dumb blogs that have little influence on policymakers.
So if you are a bit confused as to why certain (white) people seem to be strangely happy on this random Friday, don’t worry. Everything worked out just fine for the callous yet influential few who steadfastly insisted on maintaining the malignant growth of income inequality despite its short term electoral consequences. The right people are suffering now, and that is all that matters.