Tuesday, February 19, 2013 :::
I remember a couple of - if not actually predictions - thoughts about the future I expressed when today was in the future.
One was when Obama proposed his sequester idea that - in case you've forgotten, as he has - came from the White House, and he included defense budget cuts to give the Republicans a reason to want to cooperate in developing an alternative. I suggested that, while some Republicans would prefer to avoid cuts to the defense budget, there was probably a substantial proportion of the House Republican Conference that was thinking, "Oh, Bre'er Obama, please don't throw us into the sequester patch!" And it does seem that, indeed, many House Republicans consider the sequester, if not ideal (the House has passed a couple of bills to replace it with something else), better than any likely alternative.
I'm sympathetic to the idea of giving agency heads the ability to modify what parts of their budgets get cut; certainly, the sequester is a blunt instrument and was deliberately not well thought out. But I could see a lot of agency heads going for the "Washington Monument" strategy, applying cuts to the most popular, visible portions of their mandates rather than to the less valuable portions and then blaming budget cuts themselves for the effects.
The other comment I remember that I use to make was "2011 is Arabic for 1848," which metaphor was meant to encompass two key features of 1848: one was that much of Europe was in nearly simultaneous revolution, and the other was that there wasn't really much lasting effect. No links, but I have increasingly come to believe that "not much lasting effect" was too optimistic.
::: posted by Steven at 10:58 PM