Budget cutting is a nasty business and no politician wants to be in the middle of it. No politician thinks they can cut programs without losing significant portions of their constituency.
You can see the perils of this situation for politicians every time that local schools must be closed within a school district. Board members and administration get roasted by the press, but only because they are the ones charged with decisions.
In budget cutting there is no “right” decision. That is, there is no decision that will make everyone happy. There are only bad choices among worse ones. Happily ever after only happens in fairy tales, never in the business of balancing deficit budgets.
So the politicians did the childish thing. They set up a scenario that allowed them all cover. They knew they had to cut and they knew they did not have the stomach to compromise.
What a pathetic and cowardly way to run our government.
But as some wise person said once, “The people have the government they deserve.”
So shame on us all.