Despite cries of doom since the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration surfaced in Washington in 2011, the Pentagon has seen few actual reductions, and there is no indication that will change any time soon.
While Illinoisians rang in the New Year with family and friends, a little-noticed new forecast released by the Governor's Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) on the first of the year leaves no room for celebration.
It's not over -- they still have to appropriate their new top-line spending numbers down to all the agencies -- but it looks like the budget deal that quite handily cleared both chambers will soon be enacted. But I've got a few lingering thoughts
As the fiscal picture has improved, both through actions we've taken already and the improving economy, it's much tougher to make the hair-on-fire urgency case that drove this benighted debate in recent years.
If the Washington Post wants to restore some credibility on this issue, they need to get real about the economic vulnerability of most retirees and start emphasize raising the "tax-max" -- the salary cutoff for payroll taxes -- as part of the fix here.
Hagel is considered a "realist" and so when it comes to such cuts, this is undoubtedly the best we're likely to get out of Washington for a long time to come. Unfortunately, it turns out that the best is pretty poor stuff.