Note: All of this wrangling by Democrats and Republicans is over $61 billion or so in spending cuts. That pencil's out to about 3% of the $1.5 trillion deficit we will run this year.
And we're going to shut down the government because of these minuscule cuts?
Some senior Republicans, after relying on House Democrats to help pass the most recent short-term measure, are also uneasy about having to team up with Democrats again to pass any compromise that dips too far below the $61 billion in spending reductions endorsed by the House for the current fiscal year. Senate Democrats want to wring some of the savings out of mandatory spending programs like Medicare, an approach Republicans are resisting.The politicians are having a cow over $61 measly billions while the country goes down the tubes. How on earth are we ever going to make the cuts necessary to put our fiscal house in order?
Aides said that even if myriad outstanding issues were resolved and an agreement struck late next week after lawmakers returned, it would be a challenge to write the legislation and move it through Congress before the current financing bill expires on April 8.
"A deal is still possible, but it would take a real breakthrough," said one senior official, who like others knowledgeable about the confidential budget negotiations would discuss them only without being publicly identified.
The answer is we won't - until the laws of economics cause the entire edifice to come crashing down and force us to deal with the mess. At that point, all this bickering over pennies will seem even more ridiculous.