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Mark Trahant: There's no shortcut to avert the budget sequester

Filed Under: Opinion | Politics
More on: barack obama, democrats, economy, mark trahant, republicans
     

There is no shortcut to end the sequester. It's here because there are real, deep divisions about the nature of the problem. Those divisions will not be resolved by compromise, they'll be resolved when one side or the other folds.

Republicans believe that the federal government spends too much money (actually, they see it as Obama spending the money) and so are keen on deep spending cuts right now.

The president, and most Democrats, largely see the federal spending challenge as a long-term one. The president said it clearly today: It's about aging and health care.

So the debate is only beginning and it will not end by locking leaders into a room, cutting congressional or presidential pay, or a typical half-a-loaf exchange. (Although: The ever favorite "kicking it down the road" is always a possibility.) This sequester, and the idea of austerity, will end when there's consensus about the nature of the problem and then alternative solutions.

As the president put it that might mean a lot of pain ahead before we get to a reasonable solution. (Adopting the austerity experiment that's failing across the globe.)

Mark Trahant is a writer, speaker and Twitter poet. He lives in Fort Hall, Idaho, and is a member of The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. Join the discussion about austerity. A new Facebook page has been set up at: www.facebook.com/IndianCountryAusterity

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