How Will Congress's New Budget Murder You And Your Children? A Wonksplainer!
Hey Congress, watcha doing? Making laws and working hard, ahahahhaha, yeah right, pardon us and our humor. The House has already skipped town to go home and await the arrival ofWhite Santa, and the Senate just finished voting on the two-year compromise budget resolution, which passed 57-33. A COMPROMISE?!?! Yep, it seems that Sen. Patty Murray (D-Sneakers) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-P90X) came together on a very small budget deal that will maybe possibly prevent a government shutdown. Congress has been fellating itself all week because that’s what you do when you accomplish ONE GODDAM THING. We bet you want to know what is in this budget, don’t ya? Let’s wonksplore.
Democrats and Republicans are working together because neither side likes all the automatic cuts that sequestration demands. But both sides have different ideas of how to deal with it. Democrats want to tax the living fucknuts out of the rich (who can afford it, because rich), while the Republicans want to slash any benefit that might possibly help a poor person, because poor people are so poor and unloved by Jesus and awful and clearly did something bad to be so poor, because ewwww poverty.
Rather than even try for a grand bargain to replace sequestration, both sides decided to play small ball and minimally accomplish something for the next two years. So what does the deal entail? Washington Post lays it out like this:
- Spending in 2014 will be about $45 billion higher than under sequestration;
- Savings are from increased airline fees (technically a ‘fee’ and not a ‘tax,’ because that is important to no one except Republicans);
- Other savings are from screwing over federal workers – both of the military and civilian variety – in their retirement. Haha – suck it, olds; and
- No changes to entitlement programs, and no new taxes.
Know what else didn’t happen? No extension of unemployment benefits that expire on Dec. 28. So a few days after Christmas, which celebrates a baby born into poverty, Congress has decided to help more than a million people truly appreciate what that kind of poverty is like. If that isn’t keeping the Christmas spirit in their hearts all year long, we don’t know what is!
But that is just what namby-pamby libruls are complaining about. The GOP has other issues with the budget deal. It seems that Congress has done a Very Bad Thing. We all know that the military in this country is sacrosanct, and there must never be any cuts at all to any military program or military personnel because they are all patriots, peace be upon their uniforms. But this budget deal dares – DARES – to try to cut military pension benefits for some folks.
The cuts seems reasonable, via The Hill:
The budget agreement saved $6 billion by reducing the cost-of-living adjustment for working-age military retirees under the age of 62. The deal reduces the rate to 1 percent below inflation.
So the pension that military people who are retired from the military but less than 62 years old is getting trimmed by just a little? And that requires an outcry from several senators, who are already lining up legislation to replace this cut just as soon as Congress returns in January? Okeydoke.
But what about the federal, non-military employees? You know, the ones who have foregone a pay increase for the past three years? Fuck those guys, amirite? The deal requires new federal employees to cough up more for their pensions, but who cares about that, because some Americans serving their country are more important than others that choose to serve in a different capacity. It is fine to slash food stamps, screw over the unemployed, deny health care to the poors, and oppose even the smallest tax increase, but even a slight cut to retired military personnel means WAR. Glad our priorities are in line, Senators.
But despite all these awfulnesses, this means that there won't be a government shutdown, right? Well, that's the hope. But don't get your hopes up too high, because the deal did nothing to raise the debt limit, which technically will be reached in early February. And before the Senate even took a vote, Paul Ryan was on the Sunday talkshow circuit stirring up trouble, via HuffPo:
"We as a caucus -- along with our Senate counterparts -- are going to meet and discuss what it is we’re going to want out of the debt limit," Ryan said. “We don’t want nothing out of this debt limit. We’re going to decide what it is we’re going to accomplish out of this debt limit fight.”
Is it a pony? Because we will give you a pony. All the ponies in the world.
[WaPo / The Hill / Huffington Post]