Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Cruel, Irresponsible and Dysfunctional Budget Deal

John Nichols
Common Dreams
 
The trouble with making "functional" government the great aspiration of the American experiment -- as so many pundits and politicians now do -- is that a smoothly operating Congress is not necessarily moral, humane or even economically smart.

It is important to remember this disconnect as we consider the budget deal announced late Tuesday by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and Senate Budget Committee chairman Patty Murray, D-Washington.
“This agreement breaks through the recent dysfunction to prevent another government shutdown and roll back sequestration’s cuts to defense and domestic investments in a balanced way,” said Murray. “It’s a good step in the right direction that can hopefully rebuild some trust and serve as a foundation for continued bipartisan work.”

Ryan was equally self-congratulatory, declaring that -- after a fall the saw a government shutdown, nasty wrangling over the historically uncontroversial task of raising the debt ceiling and general congressional dysfunction – he and Murray had achieved “a clear improvement on the status quo.”

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