Skip to comments.The Idiocy of Sequestration
Posted on 01/31/2013 6:06:42 AM PST by SkyPilot
With all feel-good talk about immigration reform, fans of conflict and dysfunction may fear the arrival of genuine bipartisanship in Washington.
Not to worry! Another budget crisis is almost upon us! This time its not the dread fiscal cliff or the debt ceiling, but rather the sequesterthe extremely crude cutting mechanism that essentially nobody favors but that seems likely to happen anyway. Itll drag down the economy, impair the functioning of the government across the board, and do nothing to improve Americas fiscal sustainability over the long run.
Heres what you need to know.
What is it? Sequestration is broad, automatic, across-the-board cuts to most categories of government spending. These are scheduled to take effect on March 1. Social Security, Medicaid, targeted anti-poverty programs, military pay, and the operational cost of ongoing wars are exempted. Benefits for Medicare patients wont be touched, but payment rates to providers will. Everything else is getting the ax. And its not a small ax. Affected military programs will be cut by 16.3 percent, and domestic discretional programs will be cut by 9.2 percent.
How did this happen? It all goes back to the bipartisan disaster of the 2011 debt-ceiling talks. Historically, the occasional need for the executive branch to request congressional permission to borrow money had been an opportunity for grandstanding. But flush with victory, House Republicans decided to attempt to extract substantive policy concessions in the form of spending cuts. Rather than stare them down as Obama did successfully earlier this year or avert the crisis by exploiting the platinum coin loophole, Obama chose to negotiate, seeking a grand bargain to reduce the deficit. What emerged was the sequester.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
"Also, Republicans on Jan. 1 passed legislation that included income-tax rate increases for top earners. That contrasts with the deal on the table in 2011 before deficit-reduction talks between Obama and Boehner fell apart. Obama had tentatively agreed only to revenue increases by targeting exemptions and credits instead of tax rates. He was considering $250 billion in cuts to Medicare and changing the formula for Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, for about $125 billion more in savings. Republicans should have struck a deal at that point, said Alan Viard, a former economic adviser to Bush and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Thats the gamble you always take if you dont take a deal at a particular time.
I am disgusted by our Republican "leadership." They have decided to abandon what is best about America, and I in turn will abandon them.
Time and time again, they make the wrong decisions. They never should have agreed to this Faustian "bargain" of sacrificing our military while exempting Food Stamps, Medicaid, TANF, and "free" checks to people for 99 weeks. But they did.
They could have acted during the Fiscal Cliff negotiation and ended the Sequester. Instead, they caved on taxes, raised them, and then spent that entire tax increase on ONE bill - the pork laden Hurricane Sandy "relief" bill.
The could have tied to the Sequester to the debt ceiling, but they abandoned Defense....again.
Now, they are cheerleaders for massive cuts that hit our military, and leave illegals, takers, abortionists, and lawyers unscathed.
There is one institution this nation (Constitutional by the way) that does not deserve to be gutted like this. And it is the one institution that is about to get royally screwed, and Boehner and Ryan clap their hands.
I am done with these useless, feckless so-called "Conservatives." They could have shown courage in 2011 and shut the government down. They were so deathly afraid of someone not getting their Social Security check on time that they agreed to this horrible "Budget Control Act" that exempted ALL entitlements from future cuts.
The GOP has been walking around like a blind beggar since them, pleading with Obama and the Democrats so reform entitlements, but they lost their chance.
Now, they are torturing and holding Defense hostage, and have decided to let the hostage get shot to prove their point.
Let the GOP feed and protect the welfare state. That is all they have agreed to protect, and that is all they are good for.
These days, on both sides of the aisle, politics isn’t about governing anymore - it’s exclusively about winning elections and enjoying the trappings of power. Absolute corruption is what absolute political power brings. Every time.
Sounds good to me --
Republicans were not willing the default on the spending that was already in law (by holding out on debt limit to the end), and they were not willing to raise everyone’s taxes Jan 1 because taxes on some income (upper) was going up and they didnt have the power to stop it.
They were not willing to take the blame for blowing the economy up. They were not willing to shoot the hostages.
So using those as hostages was not effective.
Now we have the sequester...DA_DA_DA
I like the Paul Ryan dopey pictures above, seems just like yesterday he was considered the next Reagan by many here.
Stoically legless marines? Are you serious? “Defense,” which actually has little to do with defense whatsoever, may not be the worst Big Government offender. But the idea that it can’t stand 50 billion or so fewer dollars, even if they come in meat clever cuts is a killer to our movement. It makes us welfare for thee but not for me hypocrites.
Stoically legless marines? Are you serious? “Defense,” which actually has little to do with defense whatsoever, may not be the worst Big Government offender. But the idea that it can’t stand 50 billion or so fewer dollars, even if they come in meat clever cuts is a killer to our movement. It makes us welfare for me but not for thee hypocrites.
There isn’t really any way to fix anything without blowing the economy up. That’s how deformed and unjust we’ve allowed our economy to become. Still, it’d only be temporary. What’s waiting is like a million Hirishimas in comparison.
Yep. A lot more than 50 billion goes to defend, not the US, but other countries that ought to step up and defend themselves.
THAT is where ALL the cuts need to be (Obamaphones, WIC, etc.)
Oh; but that's The Mulatto Messiah's voterbase......
Except no-one in the Speaker's chair is going to be the one to do that. No-one. And I posted here for years that Bohner was a weak leader as fat back as 2009, so I have no love for him.
Yep, we had lots of drama about what Republicans will and wont do (from them) to get those cuts out of Obama, then when the inevitable turns out and they wont shoot the hostage, there is lots of wailing and whining drama here about it as if its a big surprise.
And the talk about ‘if Bohner was just replaced.... bla-bla-bla’ but the pure evidence that this is just fantasy is that not one stood up to replace Bohner and volunteeer to be the one that does is demanded of him, to blow it up.
Lou Gohart TX is my favorite because he voted symbolically against Bohner but for no one actually running,
Lou: it is obvious you are not willing yourself to be the man that blows it up, you wouldn't think of running for Speaker, your silly symbolist votes are all 100% safe for you.
Obama and the Dems are going to be twisting in the wind over where their cuts will come from. Defense hawks are already at work making sure the cuts don't impact vital defense programs; the libs will scream and squeal until it's too late to come up with a smooth transition; their base will be on them for the mess they end up having to resort to on the domestic side.
Also, yes the top 1% got a tax hike because we are never going to get 100% of what we want...naive to think that will happen. Meanwhile 99% of Americans got PERMANENT tax cuts extended. Plus a PERMANENT AMT fix which was a constant problem for years. These are things that the Dems never wanted. Their dreaded Bush tax cuts are now law for the vast number of Americans.
The GOP has been unsuccessful in getting any entitlement reform. I understand their frustration: they don't have the White House or Senate. With neither of those playing ball, the game is dead and we are in big trouble.
But the Republicans are making a huge mistake by splitting the party between pro-defense "hawks" (as you call them) and the tea party "burn it all down then" (as I will call them) members.
Even liberals and liberal media now acknowledge that the economy suffered serious setbacks last quarter because of Defense cuts. I have news for everyone - those cuts were BEFORE Sequestration. They were part of the $450 Billion over 10 year cuts that started in 2011.
Google this subject and find out that I am not exaggerating when it is predicted that between 1 and 2 million jobs may be lost next year due to Sequestration.
Do we need cuts? Yes. Should Entitlements be cut? Yes. Are Entitlements exempt under Sequestration? Yes. Is Defense unfairly targeted by Sequestration? Yes (17% of budget yet 50% of the cuts).
Defense hawks are already at work making sure the cuts don't impact vital defense programs; the libs will scream and squeal until it's too late to come up with a smooth transition; their base will be on them for the mess they end up having to resort to on the domestic side.
I don't know what headlines you are reading, but I see none of this transpiring. I see the exact opposite.
As for the taxes, there was some positives there, but all in all a negative because Congress has already spent the entire year's tax hikes on one pork bill (Sandy).
That is obscene.
No, you don't see the left squawking yet because Obama has not yet addressed his part of the sequester. But he has nowhere to go now because Defense is taking the plunge...i.e. they can't blame Defense anymore.
There's a reason Forbes published that article the other day about the benefits of increasing the debt ceiling until May. Obama has to now face the sequester front and center for the next many weeks and now the DEMOCRATS will have to find cuts. Yes, they will try to dance around entitlements but the fact that Democrats will have to even be talking about cuts is territory that we want them to be on. And we now have Reid forced into a budget. They are weakening, not getting stronger. Yes, we will have to deal with some obscenities (as you put it) and we will continue to lose some battles...but I think we are winning the war.
We are 29 days from the Sequester that guts our military (every Joint Chiefs general officer used that word, not me), and I am supposed to place hope and joy in the fact that the the GOP that caved in 2011 on the Sequester, caved on the Fiscal Cliff, caved on the debt ceiling extension, but schemed to steal an additional $10 Billion from the DoD budget two weeks ago to give to New Jersey beach house repair is going to outmaneuver the Democrats - this time?
Let me tell what the military community is facing. Military families will suffer under these cuts, so will veterans, no what rhetorical BS is being shoveled around that it won't. Defense firms are going to lay off piles of highly educated and motivated workers, and we may not be able to recover from this brain drain for decades. Up to 800,000 patriotic, middle class DoD employees will face an immediate 20% pay cut under draconian furloughs (that save a whopping $5 billion). How would you like a 20% pay cut for the rest of the year? No? Neither do they. Operations and Maintenance will be gutted in all services, probably by 35%.
Our flipping government spends $11 Billion per day, most of it on unconstitutional crappola, and the GOP is applauding these Defense cuts?
Give me a break.
Notice the liberals are not asking for more from Defense for once in many, many decades because they see the cuts the military is making. And they know their own time is coming.
How would you like a 20% pay cut for the rest of the year?
I have had more than that cut from me over the last several years while Gov't has grown. This is only one of the reasons I feel it's time to make the hard decisions in order to get the private sector moving again. The faster the private sector grows, the faster the loss of jobs on the Gov't side (including military) can be absorbed by new job creation.
You're kidding, right?
People will "ask" for more sacrifice out of the other guy to save their own bacon, just about every time.
The difference here is a question of morality. I am serious. It is immoral to gut our military while we spend ourselves into oblivion and give away "free" money to every squatter who has their hand out.
I have several family members who have little yellow "I Support Our Troops!" magnets on their cars. The were the first to shout "Then cut the military some more, not my Chained CPI Social Security COLA increases!" during a debate we had during the Christmas holidays as the Fiscal Cliff talks were ensuing.
Our Federal government is approaching 70% of all spending being direct payments to individuals.
There is supposed to be an adult in the room, and that adult is supposed to be the Republican party that stands up for the US military. The generation of Americans who volunteered for service after 9/11 has endured more sacrifice, pain, loneliness, and affliction than anyone else. Their families have suffered. Many service members have endured 5 or 6 deployments, some of them over a year each, in service to their nation.
Yet, never I have seen the military treated so shabbily by both parties as I have in recent years. Our military's health care (TRICARE) has been a prime target for cuts and huge increases in fees. Really? We are giving away money hand over fist to illegals, Food Stamp recipients, and welfare collectors at the highest rate in US history, and yet when the military health care system was attacked, who defended it?
Not your "Support Our Troops!" yellow magnet crowd. I can guarantee you that.
If the Republicans don't put their foot down, and stop these draconian cuts to our military, they will never step up.
If they fail on this issue, it will split the party and conservatives in two.
Well, the squatter side is going to have to come up with 600 B of cuts as well.
And this is what is going to be fun to watch.