Today is Sequestration Day, but it feels more like the movie “Groundhog Day.”
And the American public is growing as weary as Bill Murray, the movie’s main character, with the same old threats, the same old lines drawn in the sand, the same old incapacity to think beyond party lines for the good of the nation.
In case you’ve missed it, sequestration is that package of across-the-board federal spending cuts devised by a deadlocked Congress that are so stupid, so ridiculously foreign to any notion of good governance that only ... well, only this particular U.S. Congress would be dumb enough to actually implement them.
We’ve been here before. Several times, in fact, since tea party candidates gained control of the House in the 2010 mid-term elections with only one thought in mind: chop federal spending. Congressional showdowns have taken us from one fiscal cliff to another.
No one seems to remember that President Barack Obama took his balanced mix of spending cuts and tax increases to the electorate last fall and won. Voters rejected the tea party approach.
But for House Republicans, it’s as if Election Day 2012 never occurred.
Even Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson returned last week to update their original plan, developed by a bipartisan commission on fiscal reform. Their plan consists primarily of health care cuts and revenue increases through tax reform that mirror the broad middle ground staked out by Obama.
It’s maddening that House Republicans can’t fathom the concept of compromise. They are fiddling while America burns.