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Z-Quest: Sequester Zombie Politics

February 26, 2013

Is a Sequester Zombie something you fight during a Z-quest? Are the adventurers called Zequesters?

“Can we kill the Sequester Zombie?” by Jonathan Lansner in the Orange County Register:

Are you afraid of zombie politics, where manufactured fiscal crisis after crisis cannot seem to be killed off?

The latest financial mess — a monster known as “The Sequester” — suggests that a self-inflicted financial wound will sink the U.S. economy.

Forget your personal politics for a moment. Funny how a resilient U.S. economy seems to be shrugging off much of the sky-is-falling claims. Does anybody really think that the full economic force of The Sequester monster will be permanently allowed to unravel?

Note the connection of zombie politics to “sky-is-falling” and recall that the recent James Bond movie was entitled “Skyfall” and that James Bond has connection to zombies.

Note also the “are you afraid of…” opening line. This strikes more of big bad wolves (or Virginia Woolf) than of zombies. And Rachel Maddow likens this week’s sequester crisis to the boy who cried wolf. But the moral of that story is not only for the boy to not fake cry, but also for the village that must learn to come even for those who are known to fake cry — that story ends with the real wolf coming.

Lansner continues:

when lawmakers resolved January’s “fiscal cliff” with several tax hikes and this delay unveiling of The Sequester zombie.

Well ok but, this sequester was part of the fiscal cliff and Congress just kicked this part down the road a bit. The fiscal cliff was more than the Sequester, it also included the expiration of Bush tax cuts. Those tax cuts expired and sequestration was about to kick in. But Congress ‘extended’ tax cuts for most people (not for the top earners and also not extending everything – for example payroll taxes went up) and they kicked sequestration to this week. At least they spread it out some, but it’s not some new problem, it’s still the same fiscal cliff.

This zombie of economic management lives because previous attempts to fix the great fiscal divide — a debate between those who say they want to reduce the federal deficit and another group who says they want to reduce the deficit — created this unfathomable/untenable final motivation to act.

So now they’ll let the Sequestration happen and everyone blames the other side for the cuts and can immediately approve agreed spending bills in areas they agree we need. It’s a crazy dance this politics;

Like the zombie in the horror flick, manufactured waves of pending doom won’t die – and make the very real need for serious fiscal dialogue on important monetary issues just feel like another scare tactic.

It’s just a little off the top, but it’s a big indiscriminate knife – a smaller scissor would be less scary – we can agree that we do need cuts, right?

trim off the top

From → economics, politics

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