Sequestration isn’t all that bad

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Matthew Yglesias argues that “while sequestration is hardly optimal budget policy, it really isn’t all that bad in the scheme of things and really going through with it would be better than repealing it.”

“The key reason is that fully half the cuts are cuts to ‘defense’ spending…  and yet nobody from either party is seriously trying to maintain that America will be left defenselessin the wake of this reduced military spending… That’s half the cuts with basically zero real public policy harm.”

“So then you look at the domestic side. Your basic transfer payments to poor people are spared, your transfer payments to the elderly are basically spared, and then everything else gets cut willy-nilly. That leads to some real policy harms… But obviously there’s somewaste and fat in this domestic discretionary spending.”

Josh Barro argues that this view is “wrongheaded.”

“Yglesias underestimates the magnitude of the negative economic impacts of the sequester, which hurts in two ways. One is that deficit reduction is destimulative, a fact that would be similarly true of any sequester replacement with the same deficit impact. The other, unique to the sequester, is that it is haphazard and unpredictable.”

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.