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Lord of Lust

az-mo-day-us
14079 Posts
10/01
Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 4:11AM
Actually Lindi, all of Fox News thinks she was faking her illness. But since she was hospitalized with a blood clot, they haven't said shit about her. So she needs to be at death's door for Repugs to take notice. And they say liberals are heartless assholes...
Edited by - Asmodeus on 1/4/2013 4:12:54 AM

Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 4:13AM
And Paul Krugman muses about death panels.
Speaking of Krugman...
That's new.
And even better, his wariness about how President Obama is not FDR/Stalin/Mao is growing.
And I have to say, of course, GOOD.
The president huffs and puffs that he won't negotiate over a critical self-imposed deadline which acts as trigger to avoid negative economic consequences just minutes after he negotiated over a critical self-imposed deadline that acted as trigger to avoid negative economic consequences. Of course he'll cave, after he slow-walks the whole process to gain slightly more leverage. And Krugman will call him a "wimp."
But after being faced with "tax hikes on some" or "tax hikes for all" it sounds like some of my party want to put the shoe on the other foot. Failing to raise the borrowing limit would establish a "huge spending cuts" or "huger spending cuts" premise. I'll wait for the business community to weigh in on that, but I'm sympathetic.
But he was always there.
Paul Ryan, on the other hand, used to avoid such talk but now, "I don’t believe we’re going to default on our bonds. I believe that we can do things to prevent that from happening."
Last time Boehner got ahead of us, and these notes are going unnoticed, but it sounds like conservatives are trying to get ahead of the Speaker this time.
For their part, the Democrats are claiming they won't negotiate, and that any future deficit reduction plans will, surprise, require even more revenue. No fucking way. The "fiscal cliff" was unique. Unless that situation presents itself again, I see no chance of tax increases while Republicans control the House. So, yes, the "grand bargain" is dead, because revenue is clearly off the table. I don't even think it will be brought up in rhetorical flair among the right.

Lord of Lust

az-mo-day-us
14079 Posts
10/01
Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 4:20AM
Sorry Cody, but your boy John Boehner is the most ineffectual leader in congressional history. Even tho he was re-elected, he's been literally rendered impotent. In other words, he's the limpest Boehner ever in Congress.

Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 7:00AM
It's very lonely here on John Boehner's bench.
I just want to say that I'm glad I reread this thread. I was really, really was far outside the mainstream, and there's an entire conservative echo chamber out there that is difficult to escape from once you go into it. I had a chance to reread or first read some of the older op-eds that were quite informative and nothing to dismiss. Douthat and Brooks, and even Nate Silver really were trying to help us. I resolve to be a far less knee jerk reactionary going forward. I'm sorry.
And this thread, which really did start with a discussion of the Path to Prosperity, was unfortunately taken so far off the rails on political talking points, much of which was, uh, solely my doing. Didn't realize it then, regret it now.
That all said, I'm also glad to having some of my old and now future talking points in order for the next debt limit fight, discussion of which which I believe we should limit to this thread. It's already begun.
To first stipulate, I'm still o.k. with "hostage taking." I know that isn't how this "household chore" has traditionally been done, but the numbers are daunting, and huge promises for future spending and borrowing need to be scaled back. .
In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to attach our agenda to a debt ceiling. But it isn't perfect. I think the leverage is in the fact, the FACT, a mandatory agreed-upon first premise, that the debt ceiling has to be raised. In that sense, attaching some reasonable spending reductions should not be seen as threatening default but using the nation's borrowing power to extract spending cuts just as the Democrats just used the "fiscal cliff" to extract tax revenue.
No one called them hostage takers, but they had a red line. Why can't we? We only control 1/3 of government but that doesn't mean we have to acquiesce to whatever Harry Reid demands. For that matter, he and his colleagues could send over another round of tax increases. The media is biased, so I shudder to think of that case, but I doubt it. They act like they're going to push for more tax increases, but they have to see that a political and rhetorical tool to beat up on their opponents is unhelpful, at best. If the want revenue increases, then it would have to be in "grand bargain." And off of that, the "fiscal cliff" choice was tax hikes or bigger tax hikes, the debt ceiling choice would be spending cuts, or bigger spending cuts?
I say do it, but have the strategy, and don't let the back-benchers call the shots. That echo chamber has power in plenty of circles but it just proved itself a paper tiger. If the Speaker has to appear more reasonable and back off the "greater spending reductions than the debt ceiling increase" promise and let the intransigent party reveal itself, then conservatives need to let the quarterback call his play.
Americans want spending cuts. On the premise that Obama had a mandate to raise taxes, in actuality he campaigned on "a balanced approach" and by the standard set in 2011, a 3-to-1 spending-to-revenue deal, he's got another trillion or so in spending cuts to achieve. That said, the "grand bargain" is dead. There is never going to be an affirmative vote for tax revenue in the House, never. And the president might try to exploit that, and again, the media might help him. He's gotten his tax hike; now it's time to give on spending.
I still think openly musing about default or suggesting there's some alternative is counter-productive crazy talk. But there is leverage, and it needs to be employed. And let's not forget the politics - the 2014 primaries, like 2010, will be dominated by conservatives who will have no patience for excuses, explanations, and lectures. They're visceral. They propose no ideas of their own, but they lash out at "the establishment" and its defenders. Making a deal in that environment is difficult, and could prove impossible. I think they need to understand that it's the same as the "fiscal cliff" except this time the choice is between spending cuts and bigger spending cuts but they probably won't listen. This could get ugly.
The reasonable republicans, the pragmatic conservatives should be taking the talk radio fiends out to pasture - they lied us into an election loss after all - but instead they're trying to call the shots. And they've got firepower.
The president must see all this too, and perhaps that is why he is being so huffy about the very prospect of negotiating a deal - those guys will just eat one another. But if we stand united, then we could force a meaningful showdown, on our terms this time.
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Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
1/08
Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 10:48AM
faint couch.JPG
 
All-Star Member

Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
1/08
Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 10:57AM
Nobody else wanted the headaches that come along with him. The guys who are supposed to be his backups, Cantor and McCarthy, have repeatedly set him up to fail, making themselves look better in the process.
It's kind of like that Simpsons episode where Milhouse gets a plum role in the "Radioactive Man" movie, and Bart (who originally wanted the part) sponges off him, realizing that just hanging around the guy who's a star gets you just as many perks without the stress.

Senior Member

2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 11:15AM
Yes and no.
- scroll down to ABC News/Washington Post Poll from Dec. 13-16
When you ask people about cutting spending, from 30,000 feet, there is strong support. But when you get specific and ask about the Big 3 - Medicaid/Medicare, Social Security & National Defense, there is strong opposition. The problem is many people have no clue as to what we spend our money on. Ask them to make a pie chart of our budget and it is comical. Some think 10% is spent on Foreign Aid.
Neither side wants to be the party to get specific. They are doing this long slow dance. The big problem for the Republicans is that Medicare & Social Security is most important to their strongest voting block. They try to avert self inflicted political wounds by stating that any changes won't effect anyone over 55, but many people 35-55 are not even close to being on track to have any substantial retirement savings and they know how much they will be dependent on these programs. For the last 30 years wages and salaries have flatlined for 80-90% of the people. Trickle Down Economics became Trickle Up Economics, and most piled up large amounts of personal debt just to keep up.
Edited by - rlankford on 1/4/2013 12:45:09 PM

Senior Member

12345
12200 Posts
9/02
Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 12:22PM
Cody wrote:
Oh. My. God.
Zarinafan [=Smiler Grogan], you beat me to it. Pass the smelling salts.
Respect, Cody. Respectful props.
edited for Smiler's name change.

Edited by - lindi on 1/7/2013 6:57:15 PM


Senior Member

12345
12200 Posts
9/02
Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 12:35PM
Cody said:
Well, here you're on shaky ground. All that spending was voted for by both houses of Congress. Now the bill comes due, and they say, "We aren't going to pay it unless someone gives us something."
The debt ceiling is raised periodically, giving periodic opportunity for the minority--whose ideas were rejected by the voters--to sulk and demand stuff. I think that the president is right to say he won't negotiate with terrorists.
Congress voted to spend the money. Congress needs to vote to raise their credit limit to the amount they already voted to spend. As Harrison Ford said to Glenn Close in Air Force One, "If you give a mouse a cookie..."
Cody said:
Interesting.

 
All-Star Member

SAMCRO
17126 Posts
8/00
Posted - Jan 4 2013 : 2:21PM
^
Saw a video clip of him and Hannity basically saying she was faking it. Total dicks.

Lord of Lust

az-mo-day-us
14079 Posts
10/01
Posted - Jan 5 2013 : 12:20AM
Well The Five finally mentioned Hillary Clinton being released from the hospital but of course they didn't mention any of the despicable comments they and everyone at Fox News made in the last week regarding her condition. Is it any wonder why the left have so much hatred for assholes on the right?
 
All-Star Member

Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
1/08
Posted - Jan 5 2013 : 1:45AM
We'll support efforts to cut spending and reform entitlements, but the political result will be far worse if Republicans start this fight only to cave in the end. You can't take a hostage you aren't prepared to shoot. Do the two GOP leaders have a better strategy today than they did in 2011, and do they have the backbench support to execute it?
I will tell you why. In fact I'll let Coultergeist explain it:

coulter.jpg
"Sean...we lost the election!"
Business Insider writer Henry Blodget had this to say about the Debt Ceiling "Crisis" and the Magic Trillion-Dollar Coin:

The "trillion-dollar coin" is a ridiculous idea.
It is an absurd legal gimmick that would ordinarily be the furthest thing from the minds of serious, responsible people who have been elected to lead this country through a challenging period.
But the problem is that some of the people who have been elected to lead this country have revealed themselves to be unserious, irresponsible people.
How?
By threatening to turn the United States of America into a deadbeat nation that refuses to pay its bills.
That's right.
A handful of Republicans in Congress are threatening to refuse to allow the United States Of America to pay the bills and fulfill commitments that the United States Of America has already promised to pay and fulfill.
Why?
Not because the United States of America can't pay these bills.
Just because this handful of Republicans don't want the United States of America to pay these bills.
In other words, a handful of Republicans in Congress are threatening to turn one of the most financially respected and responsible countries in the world into the equivalent of, say, Zimbabwe.
Why are these Republicans threatening to do this?
Because the Republicans, rightly, point out that the United States Of America is currently spending way more than it takes in and that this behavior cannot go on indefinitely.
On that point, the Republicans are being clear-eyed, reasonable, and responsible. And clear-eyed Democrats agree with them.
But then the question becomes "how should the United States address its long-term budget challenge?"... and that's where politics comes in. And the Republican view is that it should be their way or Armageddon.
The Republicans want the United States to cut spending on government programs that provide money, health care, and food to poorer and older Americans.

Yes, the "trillion-dollar coin" is a ridiculous idea. But no more so than threatening to force default.
And they want that spending cut now.
And if that spending isn't cut now, well, then, the Republicans will just throw the United States Of America into default.
That is not a reasonable or responsible position. It's an outrageous and irresponsible position. But this country has become so polarized and dysfunctional that it's actually being treated as a reasonable position by many responsible people who should know better.
Importantly, this country does have a long-term budget problem, and that problem is going to require discipline, hard choices, and economic growth to solve. Those hard choices are going to include reducing the growth of some popular government spending programs, as well as the increase in some unpopular taxes. And the United States government absolutely, positively has to begin to make these hard choices in the next couple of years, or the U.S. really is going to become Zimbabwe.
But these hard choices should be made responsibly, by serious, reasonable people. They should not be made by threatening to put the country into default — or, for that matter, by minting trillion-dollar coins.
If the Republicans persist in their irresponsible, outrageous threat to hold the whole country hostage, reasonable people will have a choice:
* They will have to accede to the Republicans' demands (which, it is only a little stretch to say, is akin to negotiating with domestic economic terrorists),
or
* They will have to fight outrageous tactics with an outrageous tactic of their own.


Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Jan 5 2013 : 2:23AM
Well, it may just be that rational, reasonable Republicans will first have to surrender to the "irrational, irresponsible" wing before the rest of Washington follows us. But, as I pointed out, I was genuinely surprised to hear Paul Ryan say, "I don’t believe we’re going to default on our bonds. I believe that we can do things to prevent that from happening." So it must not be too irrational. Likely, Paul Ryan's not talking about prioritization, but doing what I've always wanted to do - just raise the limit bit by bit, month by month or maybe even week by week, with commensurate spending cuts. If Harry Reid and Obama want to veto "short term fixes" and default, or try prioritization, then they'll always have that option.

Member

605 Posts
6/06
Posted - Jan 6 2013 : 10:17AM
^^ Ah yes, Operation Rolling Tantrum.
But I'm also curious why you think Republicans can claim any sort of mandate to behave this way. They lost the presidency by 5 million votes and lost seats in both houses of Congress. They lost the popular vote in the Senate races by a landslide, and also lost the popular vote in the House, even though they maintained their majority.
Their views have been clearly and emphatically rejected.
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Golden Age Classic

13495 Posts
5/01
Posted - Jan 6 2013 : 11:18AM
Hopefully you never came out against Romney's 47% that don't matter quote since you just stated that 48% of the voting population doesn't matter.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Jan 6 2013 : 1:38PM
Mandates are not relevant to them, unless you count what happens in restrooms. With diminishing demographics, they have limited time to work on their agendas, especially when some of their members suddenly quit or are just too lazy to get valid signatures on their campaign petitions. The bums are out and the hardcore believers are left to run the show.

Member

605 Posts
6/06
Posted - Jan 6 2013 : 2:38PM
I don't think that's a relevant analogy at all. Romney's comment was offensive not because he implied that the 47% "don't matter," but because he portrayed them, inaccurately, as moochers who parasitize society. In his mind, retired elderly people collecting Social Security who don't make enough to pay federal income taxes are freeloaders.
Anyway, I have no problem with House Republicans standing up for their beliefs, however idiotic and misinformed, in the context of normal political give-and-take. If they have problems with spending, that should be negotiated through the traditional channels of annual budget appropriations. But taking the entire economy hostage and threatening to blow it up is a whole different story. It would be radical and offensive enough if they had more public support, but it is particularly despicable when they don't.
Edited by - hominid_66 on 1/6/2013 2:39:17 PM

Senior Member

5645 Posts
6/08
Posted - Jan 6 2013 : 2:50PM
The whole 47% notion is wrong anyway. There's lots of moochers with a burning passion for bringing about a society based on the psychopathic ideals of Ayn Rand. Romney didn't even have a large portion of "wealth creators" on board.

Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Jan 6 2013 : 6:27PM
I think all politicians should lay off the "mandate" talk ad learn to serve in the system as it is. Yes, the president won an election, but to the good people of the 3rd district of the State of Indiana, so did their representative, and though their "interests" may diverge, each has "mandate" to serve in the best interest of their constituents. They see that "mandate" differently but it's the same mandate. It's in the differences where politics come first.
 
All-Star Member

Your other left
28335 Posts
3/02
Posted - Jan 6 2013 : 11:40PM
This sounds reasonable, but is it still reasonable if the legislature of the State of Indiana gerrymandered the districts in order to create safe Republican seats?
The fact that state legislatures do, in fact, gerrymander districts is what makes Congressional Republican claims of a mandate suspect.

Senior Member

12345
12200 Posts
9/02
Posted - Jan 6 2013 : 11:54PM
gerrymandering.gif
gerrymander.jpg
A lot of work went into this. There is nothing here that looks like common sense, nothing that looks like they are reasonably dividing a state into sections. The ratio of perimeter to area speaks for itself.

Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Jan 7 2013 : 12:01AM
Florida's not too bad of a case - it matches up well with demographics. And as California actually shows, the parameters set by the Voting Rights Act, selectively enforced or ignored by the Justice Department, place an emphasis on demographics. In our state, that made breaking up minority communities nearly impossible, especially with La Raza, the NAACP, and hundreds of bands of Native Americans all submitting maps. So, I actually don't have much faith in efforts to undermine gerrymandering under the current auspices of the Justice Department and it's suspect enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. It's always one of those things that both parties are obviously guilty of doing, reticent to correct, and thus an even push as to who gains more and who should gain more from gerrymandering and attempts to undermine its effects.
 
All-Star Member

Your other left
28335 Posts
3/02
Posted - Jan 7 2013 : 1:33AM
Again, the issue is not who is guilty, or more guilty of gerrymandering, but what the reality means when it comes to claims of a mandate. One can assert that gerrymandering gives representation to minority groups that would otherwise disappear in the sea of the majority, but that claim is suspect when it depends upon a minority group being of one opinion on all matters political.
I would much rather have a diverse group of people who are neighbors sort out their differences, or at least demonstrate that there is no consensus within the group, thus suggesting an adherence to a middle course, than to have a bunch of echo chambers sending one-note Congressmen to the Hill.

Senior Member

12345
12200 Posts
9/02
Posted - Jan 7 2013 : 2:37AM
And I just thought the gerrymandered districts looked interesting, from a google of images of gerrymandered districts. I did not, and still don't, know (nor care) whether the districts are D or R.
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All-Star Member

"You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
6309 Posts
8/10
Posted - Jan 7 2013 : 9:15AM
The gerrymandered districts, resulting from the GOP gains at the state level in the 2010 elections, enabled the GOP to maintain a majority in the House in 2012 -- despite the fact that the Democrats won more actual votes.
Congressional districts are no longer representative of the electorate.
Yeah, "they all do it."
But, with modern technology, today's GOP has turned minority rule into an art form.
As to comments regarding Florida's tortured congressional districts ("Florida's not too bad of a case - it matches up well with demographics."), the poster, again, reveals their absolute ignorance of all things Florida.
THIS is not representative of ANYTHING (except naked partisan gerrymandering).
The borders of this "congrssional district" run hundreds of miles.
Jacksonville realities have nothing to do with Ocala/Gainesville, or Daytona Beach or Orlando.
gerrymandering.gif
 
Golden Age Classic

13495 Posts
5/01
Posted - Jan 7 2013 : 10:10AM
I do. There was 3% difference between the two major parties. You said that "their views have been clearly and emphatically rejected," but again there was only a 3% difference. It seems to me that America was pretty much split down the line and I think both parties, yes both, need to remember that when going forward and start making concessions on both sides. Otherwise there is no chance of depolarizing our current environment.

Senior Member

2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Jan 7 2013 : 10:10AM

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Jan 7 2013 : 12:56PM
Recent compromises show how very little difference there is between factions of the Democratic-Republican Party. They squabble to maintain the pretense of separate parties. Some players get amusingly stuck in their characters.

Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Jan 7 2013 : 4:41PM
Fascinating.

Senior Member

12345
12200 Posts
9/02
Posted - Jan 7 2013 : 6:06PM

Always hopeful yet discontent

Changes aren't permanent
920 Posts
9/99
Posted - Jan 9 2013 : 11:08AM

PIMCO is one of the largest financier's of US Debt. If Bill Gross is on board with the concept it would not surprise me one bit to see this happen.
I suspect the $10B coin is a legal trick to stay within the definition of "currency". A $10B coin could actually be used as currency, a $1T coin notsomuch.

Senior Member

2605 Posts
12/10
Posted - Jan 9 2013 : 11:24AM
Gross offered no further explanation of why 100 $10 billion coins would be preferable to a single $1 trillion coin.
Well because, it's nearly impossible to make change for a trillion early in the year. duh

Senior Member

2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Jan 11 2013 : 1:28PM

Senior Member

12345
12200 Posts
9/02
Posted - Jan 11 2013 : 3:00PM
And especially funny:
Hmmmm. "Deficit scolds." Bwahahah! &quoton exploiting the alleged fiscal crisis to dismantle social insurance programs." Hmmmmmmmmmm....

Edited by - lindi on 1/11/2013 3:03:01 PM

 
All-Star Member

Woman of the Decade
13913 Posts
1/08
Posted - Jan 19 2013 : 11:31AM
(the bolding is mine)
Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, last week said higher taxes and a “flood of new regulations” will damage an already subpar economy. “In many ways, we’re going backwards,” he said.
Such complaints, echoed by corporate executives throughout President Barack Obama’s first term, obscure one fact: American business has never had it so good.

U.S. corporations’ after-tax profits have grown by 171 percent under Obama, more than under any president since World War II, and are now at their highest level relative to the size of the economy since the government began keeping records in 1947, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Profits are more than twice as high as their peak during President Ronald Reagan’s administration and more than 50 percent greater than during the late-1990s Internet boom, measured by the size of the economy.

Business leaders cite low labor costs in an era of high unemployment, the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies, and their own management savvy for the profit boom. Prosperity has come in spite of the president, not because of him, they say.
“I don’t think he deserves any credit,” John Engler, president of the Business Roundtable, a Washington-based association of chief executive officers, said in an interview.
Economists disagree. In a February 2012 survey, 80 percent of senior economics professors said unemployment was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been without Obama’s stimulus spending. A July 2010 study by Alan Blinder, former Federal Reserve vice chairman, and Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics, said the stimulus, bank rescues and Fed policy “probably averted what could have been called Great Depression 2.0.”

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Jan 19 2013 : 5:51PM
I expect the second great depression is only delayed, not prevented. There is more unemployment, bankruptcy, starvation, and war to experience before we hit bottom and start the recovery period.

Senior Member

2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Jan 21 2013 : 10:23AM

Repeat a lie enough and it becomes reality.
Nothing is more important to democracy than a well-informed electorate.
Edited by - rlankford on 1/21/2013 10:29:39 AM
 
All-Star Member

"You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
6309 Posts
8/10
Posted - Jan 21 2013 : 4:35PM
Or, as Fox "News" demonstrates, a misinformed electorate.
And, as the the extreme tea parties practice, just make the shit up (then Fox "News" gets to "report" that, like they're a real news organization: Today, Louis Buller "Louie" Gohmert, Jr. said...).

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Jan 26 2013 : 2:13AM
Capitalism is destroying America and freedom, so I'm calling the Cold War a draw. We lost. They lost.

Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Feb 16 2013 : 2:45PM

Senior Member

12345
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Posted - Feb 17 2013 : 2:20PM
Someone on Meet thee Press was just advocating for means testing on Medicare, pointing out that the average couple retiring in 2010 had paid into the system $122,000, but would receive on average well over $300,000. The thing is, if the average couple had steadily contributed $122,000 to decent investments over their lifetime, they would surely have made a better return than that.
 
All-Star Member

"You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
6309 Posts
8/10
Posted - Feb 17 2013 : 7:45PM

Editorial
February 16, 2013
DomesticEffects.jpg
In less than two weeks, a cleaver known as the sequester will fall on some of the most important functions of the United States government. About $85 billion will be cut from discretionary spending over the next seven months, reducing defense programs by about 8 percent and domestic programs by about 5 percent. Only a few things will be spared, including some basic safety-net benefits like Social Security, as well as pay for enlisted military personnel.
The sequester will not stop to contemplate whether these are the right programs to cut; it is entirely indiscriminate, slashing programs whether they are bloated or essential. The military budget, for example, should be reduced substantially, but thoughtfully, considering the nation’s needs. Instead, every weapons system, good or bad, will be hurt, as will troop training and maintenance.
These cuts, over the next two years, are the direct result of the Republican demand in 2011 to shrink the government at any cost, under threat of a default on the nation’s debt. Many Republicans say they would still prefer the sequester to replacing half the cuts with tax revenue increases. But the government spending they disdain is not an abstract concept. In a few days, the cuts will begin affecting American life and security in significant ways.
While some departments may have exaggerated the dire effects of their reductions, Congressional budget experts say they have little doubt that the size and pervasive nature of the sequester will inflict widespread pain. Here are some examples from the government departments most affected:
NATIONAL SECURITY Two-week furloughs for most law-enforcement personnel will reduce Coast Guard operations, including drug interdictions and aid to navigation, by 25 percent. Cutbacks in Customs agents and airport security checkpoints will “substantially increase passenger wait times,” the Homeland Security Department said, creating delays of as much as an hour at busy airports. The Border Patrol will have to reduce work hours by the equivalent of 5,000 agents a year.
The Energy Department’s nuclear security programs will be cut by $900 million, creating delays in refurbishing the weapons stockpile, and cutting security at manufacturing sites. Environmental cleanup at nuclear weapons sites in Washington State, Tennessee, South Carolina and Idaho will be delayed.
AIR TRAFFIC About 10 percent of the Federal Aviation Administration’s work force of 47,000 employees will be on furlough each day, including air traffic controllers, to meet a $600 million cut. The agency says it will be forced to reduce air traffic across the country, resulting in delays and disruptions, particularly at peak travel times.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE Every F.B.I. employee will be furloughed for nearly three weeks over the course of the year, the equivalent of 7,000 employees not working each day. The cut to the F.B.I. of $550 million will reduce the number of background checks on gun buyers that the bureau can perform, and reduce response times on cyberintrusion and counterterrorism investigations.
A cut of $338 million will mean more than a two-week furlough for 37,000 prison employees. This will result in lockdowns at federal prisons across the country, increasing the chances for violence and risks to guards, and preventing the opening of three new prison buildings.
Federal prosecutors will handle 2,600 fewer cases, because of furloughs resulting from a $100 million cut. That means thousands of criminals and civil violators will not face justice, and less money will be collected in fines.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION About 70,000 children will lose access to Head Start, and 14,000 teachers and workers will be laid off, because of a $424 million cut. Parents of about 30,000 low-income children will lose child-care assistance.
HEALTH AND SAFETY A cut of $350 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will mean 25,000 fewer breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women; 424,000 fewer H.I.V. tests; and the purchase of 540,000 fewer doses of vaccine for flu, hepatitis and measles. Community health centers will be cut by $120 million, meaning that about 900,000 fewer patients lacking insurance will receive primary care.
A three-week furlough of all food safety employees will produce a shortage of meat, poultry and eggs, pushing prices higher and harming restaurants and grocers. The Agriculture Department warns that public health could be affected by the inevitable black-market sales of uninspected food.
MilitarySecurityEffects.jpg
Several air-monitoring sites will be shut down, as will more than 100 water-quality projects around the country. About $100 million will be cut from Superfund enforcement, allowing companies to evade their responsibilities to clean up environmental disasters.
RESEARCH Nearly 1,000 grants from the National Science Foundation will be canceled or reduced, affecting research in clean energy, cybersecurity, and reform of science and math education.
RECREATION National parks will have shorter hours, and some will have to close camping and hiking areas. Firefighting and law enforcement will be cut back.
DEFENSE PERSONNEL Enlisted personnel are exempt from sequester reductions this year, but furloughs lasting up to 22 days will be imposed for civilian employees, who do jobs like guarding military bases, handle budgets and teach the children of service members. More than 40 percent of those employees are veterans.
The military’s health insurance program, Tricare, could have a shortfall of up to $3 billion, which could lead to denial of elective medical care for retirees and dependents of active-duty service members.
MILITARY OPERATIONS The Navy plans to shut down four air wings on March 1. After 90 days, the pilots in those air wings lose their certifications, and it will take six to nine months, and much money, to retrain them. The Navy has also said the Nimitz and George H. W. Bush carrier strike groups will not be ready for deployment later this year because the service will run out of operations and maintenance money. This means the Truman and Eisenhower strike groups will remain deployed indefinitely, a decision affecting thousands of service members and their families.
Continuous bomber flights outside of Afghanistan will be reduced, and there will be cutbacks to satellite systems and missile warning systems.
TRAINING AND MAINTENANCE The Army, which has done most of the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, says it will be forced to curtail training for 80 percent of its ground forces and that by the end of the year, two-thirds of its brigade combat teams will fall below acceptable levels of combat readiness. Air Force pilots expect to lose more than 200,000 flying hours. Beginning in March, roughly two-thirds of the Air Force’s active-duty combat units will curtail training at their home bases, and by July will no longer be capable of carrying out their missions. Some ship and aircraft maintenance will be canceled for the third and fourth quarters of the fiscal year, resulting in fewer available weapons.

Last week, Senate Democrats produced a much better plan to replace these cuts with a mix of new tax revenues and targeted reductions. About $55 billion would be raised by imposing a minimum tax on incomes of $1 million or more and ending some business deductions, while an equal amount of spending would be reduced from targeted cuts to defense and farm subsidies.
Republicans immediately rejected the idea; the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, called it “a political stunt.” Their proposal is to eliminate the defense cuts and double the ones on the domestic side, heedless of the suffering that even the existing reductions will inflict. Their refusal to consider new revenues means that on March 1, Americans will begin learning how austerity really feels.
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dc lambert
nj
How will Congressional salaries, benefits, pension, perks, freebies, kickbacks and cost of living adjustments be impacted by sequestration?
Their hypocrisy is breathtaking and I would really like to see the media call them on it. If they are so eager to slash government spending, if they feel the government size should be reduced, they and their families should be the FIRST in line.
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isos
Midwest
As I see it, we're all going to be punished, especially the least powerful and most innocent among us.
We are a morally bankrupt society.
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Bill Hill
Sunnyvale, CA
Bumper stickers rarely translate into good policy. Cutting spending in this manner is like losing weight by cutting off body parts.
Edited by - Goldstein on 2/17/2013 7:46:52 PM
 
All-Star Member

"You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
6309 Posts
8/10
Posted - Feb 22 2013 : 7:23AM

Editorial
February 21, 2013
Democrats and Republicans remain at odds on how to avoid a round of budget cuts so deep and arbitrary that to allow them now could push the economy back into recession. The cuts, known as a sequester, will kick in March 1 unless Republicans agree to President Obama’s demand to a legislative package that combines spending reductions and tax increases. As of Thursday, with the deadline a week off, Republicans seemed determined to say no to any new tax increases.
“Spending is the problem,” declared the House speaker, John Boehner. “Spending must be the focus.” Reflecting the views of many of her Republican colleagues, Representative Martha Roby said Wednesday that Mr. Obama “already got his tax increase” as part of the January agreement over the “fiscal cliff” and that no further increases were necessary.
Both are wrong. To reduce the deficit in a weak economy, new taxes on high-income Americans are a matter of necessity and fairness; they are also a necessary precondition to what in time will have to be tax increases on the middle class. Contrary to Mr. Boehner’s “spending problem” claim, much of the deficit in the next 10 years can be chalked up to chronic revenue shortfalls from the Bush-era tax cuts, which were only partly undone in the fiscal-cliff deal earlier this year. (Wars and a recession also contributed.) It stands to reason that a deficit caused partly by inadequate revenue must be corrected in part by new taxes. And the only way to raise taxes now without harming the recovery is to impose them on high-income filers, for whom a tax increase is unlikely to cut into spending.
As it happens, those taxpayers are the same ones who benefited most from Bush-era tax breaks and who continue to pay low taxes. Even with recent increases, the new top rate of 39.6 percent is historically low; investment income is still taxed at special low rates; and the heirs of multimillion-dollar estates face lower taxes than at almost any time in modern memory.
On the spending side, Republicans are resisting cuts to defense. That implies brutalizing cuts in nondefense discretionary areas, like education and environment, which are already set to fall to their lowest level as a share of the economy since the 1950s.
As for entitlements, Republicans mainly want to cut those that mostly go to the middle class and the poor, while ignoring nearly $1.1 trillion in annual deductions, credits and other tax breaks that flow disproportionately to the highest income Americans and that cost more, each year, than Medicare and Medicaid combined. Clearly then, there is both ample room and justification to reduce the deficit by curbing tax breaks at the high end, as Mr. Obama has proposed and Republicans have rejected.
Raising taxes at the top is neither punitive nor gratuitous. It is a needed step, both to achieve near-term budget goals and to lay the foundation for a healthy budget in the future. As the economy strengthens and the population ages, more taxes will be needed from further down the income scale, both to meet foreseeable commitments, especially health care, as well as unforeseeable developments, from wars to technological challenges. But there will never be a consensus for more taxes from the middle class without imposing higher taxes on wealthy Americans, who have enjoyed low taxes for a long time.

Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Feb 22 2013 : 12:31PM
EDIT: I was going to post this anyway - I am not stalking the elusive Goldstein.
Edited by - Cody McLarge on 2/22/2013 12:33:00 PM

Senior Member

12345
12200 Posts
9/02
Posted - Feb 22 2013 : 1:47PM
From the article Goldstein posted, this highlight caught my eye:

Senior Member

2709 Posts
6/06
Posted - Feb 22 2013 : 2:07PM


Edited by - rlankford on 2/22/2013 2:11:50 PM

Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Feb 22 2013 : 9:14PM
The Obama plan does not include significant cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security so it is not a serious deficit reduction plan, and it does not stave off the sequester because the sequester exists to force cuts in exactly those programs.

Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Feb 22 2013 : 9:46PM
 
All-Star Member

"You have sacrificed nothing and no one."
6309 Posts
8/10
Posted - Feb 23 2013 : 12:01AM
As usual, you don't know what you are talking about.

"Most mandatory programs, like Medicaid and Social Security, and in particular low-income programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF, or welfare) and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) were exempt from the sequester."

Senior Member

7415 Posts
8/10
Posted - Feb 23 2013 : 2:28AM
The sequester is simply plan B. The debt limit agreement created the so-called "super" committee on deficit reduction, tasked to find at least $1.5 trillion in long-term savings, the kinnd of "grand bargain" we're always supposed to seek. To motivate them, the White House devised and Congress accepted the sequester to trigger automatic reductions of close to $1.2 trillion over ten years. Still following? Plan A (the "super committee failed) and Plan B awaits.
So yes, the sequester exempts Medicaid, TANF, and Social Security (it shouldn't have - that was reason enough to oppose it) so that those and the other mandatory programs, a huge driver of future deficit spending, could be addressed by the "super committee." But despite Republican committee members openly proposing extracting revenue by closing loopholes, and no, not cutting rates instead, the Democrats just folded their arms. Frankly, I know they're to blame for the sequester.
Republicans agreed to the sequester because they felt like it was a good incentive to force Democrats to pledge to cut Medicare benefits. Democrats liked it because they felt like the defense cuts were such an anathema to Republicans that they would agree to tax increases. As usual, neither party read the other right. Taxes matter more than bloated defense budgets to Republicans. Democrats care about Medicare benefits more than Head Start, the CDC, the NIH, public housing, the energy dept, etc.
As for me, I was with the Republicans. I thought that when the president said, "Medicare in particular will run out of money, no matter how much taxes go up" - that he actually planned to do something about it. Or at least I thought that the media or the public, whoever, would call him on that, but on all counts, I was wrong.
When the media still can't admit that , even said he'd veto any attempt to avoid it, when Sen. Max Baucus , "frankly," he even said, " The White House recommended it back in August 2011", when they once again give the Democrats a totally undeserved benefit of the doubt and put their partisan bias on such vivid display, I am ashamed I ever thought I could count on them.
I don't want the defense cuts. They're already cutting into my accounts and will probably hurt some friends and family members working in the defense field and on military bases.
The other cuts, let 'er rip.
Or...back to 2011 levels of spending, still 10% higher than in 2012. Oh, the austerity!
I can't wait. This better go through.
Edited by - Cody McLarge on 2/23/2013 2:29:16 AM
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