2013 budget debate
One of my most enduring memories from the first government shutdown in 1995 was the report about it on the network evening news the first day. While those of us inside the beltway were focused on the extraordinary political spectacle, the report showed a video of cars, vans, and campers not being allowed to get into a national park -- I think it was Yosemite -- because, like other federal offices not deemed essential, the park was closed.
As I remember, the video showed two things.
First, the lines were long because, even though the shutdown was widely reported, many people didn't realize that national parks would be affected. Many of those shown said that they didn't know the national parks were federal facilities.
Second, to put it mildly, the people shown on camera were irate. The government shutdown that was just an abstraction to most people up to that point immediately became very real and personal.
When I was much younger, I helped start a monthly breakfast meeting for a handful of inside-the-beltway budget wonks.
From my column in today's Roll Call, here are my predictions for what's ahead next year after we deal (or possibly don't deal) with the fiscal cliff.
A Budget Crystal Ball for 2013
Don’t expect Congress to tackle a tax overhaul anytime soon
For the third year in a row I am not writing a year-in-review column because, honestly, they’re boring and unnecessary. If you’ve been interested enough in the federal budget to read my column in 2012, you already know what happened and probably don’t want to be reminded. If you didn’t care during the year, you don’t need to know now.
Besides, what’s to come in 2013 is definitely more interesting.