Thursday, March 07, 2013

And Lazy, Too

(Editorial cartoon by Jim Morin / Miami Herald (March 6, 2013) and featured at McClatchy DC.  Click on image to enlarge and then return.)

Not much seems to be happening on the sequester front.  The press reports that there are talks between the President and rank and file Republicans in an attempt to get things moving, but that's about it.  Of course, not much else is being accomplished in Congress, so this should come as no surprise.  An editorial in yesterday's Los Angeles Times took dead aim at that lack of activity over-all, especially when it comes to the House of Representatives.

House Republicans often complain that Senate Democrats have been lax on fiscal matters because they haven't approved a budget resolution since 2009. But those resolutions are largely symbolic; the real spending decisions are made in the dozen appropriations bills that Congress is supposed to pass by Oct. 1, the start of the new fiscal year. And on that score, the House GOP leadership failed miserably last year, and is about to do so again.

This week the leadership plans to bring up a bill to fund the federal government's operations for the final six months of fiscal 2013. The measure would update the spending priorities for the military and veterans but leave the rest of the government on autopilot, with the funding for individual programs left exactly where it was set in 2011. Those funding levels would then be reduced by the mindless across-the-board cuts of the "sequester" that went into effect March 1. As a result of the outdated allocations and meat-cleaver cuts, some valuable programs would receive too little funding while low-priority projects would receive too much. ...

The bigger problem is that House Republicans have been reluctant to follow their leaders, even when it means failing to perform some of the basic functions of government. Lawmakers have missed deadline after deadline in the last two years to update and reauthorize such major federal projects as providing aid to farmers, supporting airports and air-traffic control, and building highways and mass-transit systems. And on the fiscal front, the same Republicans who rail against excessive spending can't seem to handle the responsibility of deciding annually where tax dollars should go.   [Emphasis added]

When combined with this sequester mess, the failure of House Republicans to do even their most basic job essentially puts Congress and the federal government in complete gridlock.  What is so maddening about all of this is that no one seems to particularly care on that side of the aisle.

Maddening and frightening.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home