Matthew Yglesias in Slate on the stupidity of sequestration Is everyone ready for the sequel to December's budget fight, Fiscal Cliff 2: This Time It's Sequestral? Well, it's coming to a 24-hour news channel near you, whether you want to see it or not. And like most bloated Hollywood sequels, this partisan battle is going to be dumb, writes Matthew Yglesias. Sequestration refers to the huge across-the-board budget cuts scheduled to take effect in March unless Congress can reach a deal to avert it. And if they let it go through, Yglesias writes, "It'll drag down the economy, impair the functioning of the government across the board, and do nothing to improve America's fiscal sustainability over the long run."
Caroline Baum in Bloomberg View on Paul Ryan's deficit elimination plan Knowing full well the damage sequestration could do to the economy, some members of Congress are still talking about it as if it's a viable option. Republican House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan has said it'll likely go through if House Republicans can't find common ground with Democrats. And even if it is averted, Ryan thinks he can eliminate the deficit in a decade. Taking a look at his plan, Caroline Baum skeptically writes, "Remember, this is the same crew that had to swallow $1.2 trillion of automatic cuts in discretionary spending because it couldn’t come up with them on its own, and then freaked out when it looked as if those cuts might come to pass. And now they’re going to tackle entitlements?"