Sunday, April 10, 2011

Still Functioning (Barely)

I think our federal government is pretty clearly a dysfunctional mess right now and that eventually the mess that is the congress will manage to screw things up so royally that we will actually be living with catastrophic consequences.

Unfortunately (or maybe the opposite), this is not a 10k word post on how or why I think that might happen or even if I think there is any hope (maybe a little, but I'm fairly pessimistic).  One day I might have the time for that, but right now I'm trying to make sure I graduate and also trying to become employed again in the near future so my priorities are elsewhere.  The near shutdown of the federal government though (the parts that actually do all the real work, not the ones where blowhards argue with each other without understanding the issues) deserves some sort of comment (that is what I do here after all).

I mainly pay attention to Ezra Klein and Paul Krugman on these types of things and they seem to be in agreement on the ramifications of the compromise and why it's pretty sucky. 

Krugman has the short summary...

It’s one thing for Obama to decide that it was better to give in to Republican hostage-taking than draw a line in the sand; it’s another for him to celebrate the result. 
And Klein has a little bit of a longer rundown and more on the economic context of it all...
The Democrats believe it’s good to look like a winner, even if you’ve lost. But they’re sacrificing more than they let on. By celebrating spending cuts, they’ve opened the door to further austerity measures at a moment when the recovery remains fragile. Claiming political victory now opens the door to further policy defeats later.
Bottom line, once again we've got a mess on our hands and we're screwed because no one is actually doing anything to make it better.

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