Budget sequester is a game of chicken some on both sides relish…

Blogger’s note: Well here I had thought I had such a great literary analogy about chicken and “Rebel Without a Cause” and thought I was so clever and I subsequently run across other such allusions, including one from Chicago newspaper columnist Clarence Page. I swear I had not read them, but I still almost feel as if I am guilty of plagiarism. But no matter, I still mean what I say. I guess it is harder to be original than I thought.


My guess is that the dreaded federal budget sequester will not be as bad as predicted and even if it is it is nothing that cannot be undone, as far as I can see it.

At last word before writing this, it was set to go into effect sometime Friday or today, March 1, 2013, the date on this post, and the day most would get a glimpse of what I have to say (in my time zone it is still Thursday as I write).

I’m still using the lame excuse that I have been too busy with my real job to really keep up on the news. But I have heard the headlines.

And really nothing has changed.

It’s the liberals and/or progressives vs. the ultra-conservatives and/or tea partiers locked in a battle, a game of chicken, if you will, to see who jumps out of the car before it goes over the cliff (kind of like James Dean in “Rebel Without a Cause”). The cooler heads on both sides of the legislative aisle are caught in the middle.

(James Dean’s character jumped and the other guy was the hero, but the dead hero, as he went over the cliff and onto the rocks of the ocean shore below.)

Some say that if the sequester comes and nothing happens the Republicans win.

And some are betting things will get so bad, such as flight delays due to, say a lack of air traffic controllers, the public will be so outraged that it will demand higher taxes to pay for necessary services.

I also understand that some expert observers say nothing noticeable will happen in the short run but it will get progressively (not in the political sense) worse.

Now certainly I don’t want to sound like a conservative (I am middle of the road), but the electorate needs to feel the pain to be able to decide what to keep and what to cut and to pressure the lawmakers accordingly.

People are so contradictory about their attitudes, such as keep big government out of my life and do away with entitlements but don’t touch by Social Security of Medicare (take it away from someone else less deserving).

I’m not going to go much further with this, except to say I still think we need legislators who are answerable more to the voters than the lobbying interests of big business and various causes. How we get there, I don’t know.

And really, isn’t productivity that spurs the economy the answer? When the economy is strong people still hate taxes but seem to be able to live with them.

And gosh I sound like a conservative, but the welfare state or the welfare mindset, the entitlement mindset, has weakened us. It is a drain on our productivity. Europe tried the welfare state and it for the most part is not working out so well.

(We do need a strong social safety net, though.)

I think the Scandinavians have a little better time with heavy socialism because they are hard working by nature and accepting of social responsibility — not sure about this.

I say let’s have at it and see what happens. I think both sides relish the thought of it, hoping the strategy will work in their respective favors.


I had been puzzled by the word “sequester”. Heretofore I had primarily heard it in connection with locking juries away from the public (as in you can’t go home until you decide the case). I was going to say I now understand because I looked up the word in the dictionary. Well I did and I kind of see it, but not as much as I thought I did at first glance. I’m sure there are sources on the web that explain. And yes I just called up a few. It just has to do with the term sequester or sequestration used in the legal sense when impounding money (or property). It was first used in the budget context back in 1985. You can look it up if you didn’t already know.

One Response to Budget sequester is a game of chicken some on both sides relish…

  1. Tony Walther says:

    Yes I remember the jacket sleeve getting caught.

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