Home > Uncategorized > 2013/10/14: Commentary: The Howie Mandel administration?

2013/10/14: Commentary: The Howie Mandel administration?

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COMMENTARY: Monday, October 14, 2013.

DONDmandelBRIEFCASE-131014Deal or No Deal?

…so what’s it going to be?

We’re sorry. We know the current negotiations in Washington DC are serious business, and will continue to affect the lives of ordinary Americans… and in a worst case scenario, possibly many far from our shores as well. No joking matter.

And yet, on one level the current state of the negotiations has gone from the ridiculous to the sublime… Democratic Party over reach to rival the previous Republican insanity. They are still asking the Republicans to restore government funding as a precursor to any real budget negotiations. In other words, much the same as the ‘secret briefcase’ prizes Howie Mandel would use on the US TV game show Deal or No Deal.

First they approve what the Democrats want, and then the Republicans get to find out what’s in the case. Just like on TV… trade away what you may have (can’t be sure what that is either) for some other unknown. Except the nature of the ‘secret briefcase’ the Dems are offering has changed into something not so secret…


…because the basic vessel has now jettisoned a reasonable (if sneaky) Democratic last-minute budget deal proposed right before the deadline on Monday September 30th. That accepted 2012’s $988 billion spending level for 2013. As we noted in ‘GOP paints itself into a corner… and worse’ (October 1st), in Washington DC budget-speak, ‘baseline’ increases are deemed (accurately or not) as the minimum ‘inflation-adjusted’ increase to keep programs or departments fully funded. So the Democrats would be able to claim “they agreed to ‘spending cuts’ as a way to keep the government funded.”

But the Democrats now feel the Republicans are so damaged they are shifting gears on that. The latest ‘clean’ Continuing Resolution (i.e. funding the government without an actual budget) has restored not just the previous 2013 funding levels, but also increased spending to pre-sequester levels. This is the Democrats aggressive ‘bust the sequester’ attempt that is playing to rave reviews among the Left wing faithful. 

After all, that effectively eliminates any of the recent spending cut efforts from last year’s Budget Control Act (i.e. sequester.) And just to prove they can be as benighted as the GOP, this is the Democrats attempt to amend legislation as part of a budget process… the very mistake that sunk the Republicans over the past several weeks.

The sequester cuts were admittedly a very crude, yet nominally effective, means of beginning spending restraint. And that lack of a blank check is just what those on the Left find offensive in the context of ‘honoring our commitments’ (regardless of whether those commitments are at all realistic in the longer run.)

And once again this all has to do at least passingly with Obamacare. For those who are uninformed on its expense, the required premium features of even the baseline policies are also quite a bit more expensive than most folks’ current health coverage.  And in response the Obama administration has assured everyone there will be extensive subsidies through the healthcare exchanges. So who will end up paying for all those additional subsidized health benefits? The government… which of course means the American tax payer.


And while the program is just getting started, does anyone want to make any bets on how much the ultimate cost will be? Our inclination is that it will be beyond eye-popping… and that’s why the Obama administration must eliminate the sequester cuts now to pave the way for even larger increases later.

It all points out just how benighted the right wing Republican effort really was. So GOP, what’s it going to be on your singular budget cutting ‘sequester’ accomplishment going by the wayside to avoid further opprobrium for the shutdown and possible default?

Deal or No Deal?

Thanks for your interest.

p.s. As we are just back to blogging after a lengthy hiatus, some of the information on the blog is a bit dated. We will be clearing that up soon, and all of the current critical information (Calendar, Perspective, Technical Projections) is up to date.

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