The Washington Post took Capitol Hill’s temperature over the sequester this morning, and found resigned optimism:
Adding to the sense of inevitability is the belief that the cuts, known as the sequester, would improve the government’s bottom line without devastating the broader economy. Though the cuts would hamper economic growth, especially in the Washington region, the forecast is far less dire than with other recent fiscal deadlines, and financial markets are not pressing Washington to act.
But that was before we knew GDP took a hit last quarter, largely thanks to deep cuts in defense spending. The sequester requires a further 9.4% reduction in military programs. Will there be further economic damage from such a significant reduction in military spending?
The cold answer may be, yes, but too bad. Ultimately we may need to suffer stymied economic growth in the short term to prevent a greater debt crisis in the long term. Congress won’t cut spending on its own, so the sequester is only way.
No doubt we’ll be hearing a lot of debate on this in the coming days. Our own G. Tracy Mehan delved into it yesterday and concluded: “Maybe it is time to start loving the sequestration.”
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