Tuesday, August 6, 2013

If The Congress is Going to Declare a Government Spending War Then Let’s Have At It

The Issue Needs to Be Settled

Regardless of how strongly Conservatives feel about government spending and the need to drastically reduce it, the reality is that each and every modern economy needs a strong, efficient and effective central government.  Disrupt that process over any extended period of time and there is major damage to economic and social life for almost everyone. 

The radical Republicans in the Congress do not understand this basic point of modern America, and so they are once again pointing the nation in the direction of a confrontation on government spending.

Hours before leaving on summer recess, Congress on Thursday hit a seemingly intractable impasse on government spending, increasing the prospects of a government shutdown in the fall and adding new urgency to fiscal negotiations between the White House and a bloc of Senate Republicans.

The issue for Republicans is massive cuts in social programs.

Facing another rebellion, the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday set aside the formal drafting of an interior and environmental program spending bill that would have cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget to $5.5 billion from $8.3 billion, slashed clean-water grants by 83 percent, and cut the national endowments for the arts and humanities by 49 percent.

The final domestic bill, which finances labor, health and education programs, would have the deepest cuts of all.

No one is sure where the President stands on all of this or how strongly he will stand (with this President one is never sure) but if the confrontation involves shutting down the government then Republicans should go ahead and do that.  The issues will not go away until the consequences of severely restricting Federal activity over a long period of time are known, assessed and experienced.  The sooner that happens, the better, for the nation, for the Democrats and even for the Republicans.

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