Alex Pareene in Salon on Woodward's weird sequester statements Watergate scandal reporter Bob Woodward is having another showdown with the White House, and this time he's accusing the Obama of plotting the sequester himself. But he doesn't have as clear a case against the President this time, argues Alex Pareene. "Woodward's actual position here is insane," Pareene writes. Because of course, the automatic cut in federal spending scheduled to take effect Friday "is a law, passed by Congress and signed by the president. Woodward is saying, why won’t the president just ignore the law, because he is the commander in chief, and laws should not apply to him ... Bob Woodward has lost it, let’s all stop indulging him." Perhaps Woodward will actually come to "regret" this whole thing.
Ezra Klein in Bloomberg View on better budgeting Whoever invented the sequester, they've got voices on both sides of the aisle saying the cuts are a terrible idea. So what could we have done instead to balance the federal budget? Ezra Klein cites 15 ideas collected by MIT economist Michael Greenstone from experts that would be preferable to sequestration. "Perhaps the best and most obvious idea is a carbon tax," Klein writes, also citing an end to fossil fuel subsidies and a move to bundle Medicare payments as viable cost-cutting measures. "The point isn’t that each and every one of the Hamilton Project’s ideas is great," Klein notes. "It’s that each is an attempt to formulate intelligent policy that will make the country better as it makes the deficit smaller. That’s a far cry from sequestration — and the last few years of policy making generally — in which Washington appears to have resigned itself to deficit reduction of almost exclusively bad, dumb ideas."