The Republicans’ budget roulette
August 15, 2012
Commentary by: David Ignatius, Future of Diplomacy Project fellow
Topic: Budget sequestration
“The politics of ‘sequestration’ illustrate the talent of congressional Republicans, led by Rep. Paul Ryan, for being on both sides of the budget issue: They play a game of ‘chicken’ with federal outlays, demanding a balanced budget without tax increases, and then insist that it’s the Democrats’ fault if there’s a crack-up.
This fiscal impasse will be a dramatic backdrop for the fall presidential campaign: As Election Day approaches, the clock will be ticking on across-the-board cuts of about 10 percent for the Defense Department and 8 percent for the rest of the government that will take effect Jan. 2 if nothing is done. Each side says it wants a compromise, but the voters will have to decide who can deliver a bipartisan solution that avoids a fiscal catastrophe and gets the country moving again.”