Adrienne BoettingerTuesday,30 April 2013

The Snap:

Once upon a time, a merry band of feds decided the time had finally come to slay the budget dragon. They knew this was a perilous quest and feared the weaker among them would quake at the thought of seeming to listen to or compromise with “the enemy.” To compel those scurrilous scoundrels, the feds dug a vast moat known as Sequestration and stocked it with beasts poisonous to both sides: massive cuts to defense and domestic spending sure to take down conservatives and liberals alike. Fast forward to the present day: the same merry band has plunged the country into the moat, deciding to throw life preservers only to the powerful aviation industry and middle class air travelers.

The Download:

Don’t get me wrong, I’m flying in a month and I wasn’t looking forward to spending precious vacation hours in an airport or on a tarmac when I could be sipping Hurricanes with my niece and sister in the Big Easy. But I am fortunate in that the airlines and those of us who can actually afford air travel are intense whiners and have the ears/deep pockets of Congress. Not so much for the rest of those who will be affected by Ginormous Jackassery (aka Sequestration), like Head Start, schools on Native American reservations, cancer treatment and other scientific research, Meals on Wheels, unemployment benefits, emergency response, mental health care, and programs to end homelessness.

So I think it’s high time for our nation’s leaders to sit down and learn a little remedial history. First, they created this cluster; this wasn’t some unavoidable act of nature or tragedy that befell the nation. Second, Republicans and Democrats share in the blame and need to work together to solve this hot mess. Third, voters will (hopefully) remember who actually governs and who just holds press conferences and (for the dear sweet love of God) will vote out the asshats who fall in the latter category.

Next up, a brief remedial geography and economics lesson for the same leaders. If you—along with governments throughout Europe—are going to base massive austerity cuts on an economic study, make sure the numbers add up. Maybe it’s not the best idea to use a study of the relationship between debt and growth that excludes five major countries which seem to disprove—or at least undercut—your theory that countries with excessive debt cannot grow their economies. The lesson is that it’s probably better to rely on the Harvard Economics department for making “Call Me Maybe” videos than for using Excel spreadsheets or remembering that Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada and Denmark really are countries.

To be fair to our leaders, their geography ignorance is representative of that of many of their constituents who bitterly attacked the Czech Republic after the Boston bombing, not realizing/caring that Chechnya and the Czech Republic are two different entities.

p.s. The Harvard video is totes awkwardly adorable and doesn’t feature the two Excel wizards.

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Hat Tips:

Huffington PostWashington PostTimeThe Colbert ReportBloomberg Business WeekWall Street JournalHarvard Economics DepartmentEmbassy of the Czech Republic, Image Credit: Flickr

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