Skip to comments.Spending cut debate casts pall over Obama's second-term agenda
Posted on 03/03/2013 5:01:07 AM PST by SkyPilot
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Just hours after across-the-board spending cuts officially took effect, President Barack Obama pressed Congress on Saturday to work with him on a compromise to halt a fiscal crisis that threatens the economy and his broader domestic policy agenda.
The failure by Obama and Republicans to agree to halt the $85 billion 'sequester' cuts virtually guaranteed that fiscal issues would remain center stage in Washington for weeks, crowding out Obama's proposals to reform immigration, tighten gun laws and raise the minimum wage.
The economic effects of the spending cuts may take time to kick in, but political blowback has already begun and is hitting Obama as well as congressional Republicans.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll on Friday showed neither Republicans on one side nor Obama and his fellow Democrats escaping blame.
Obama's approval rating dropped to 47 percent in a Gallup poll on Friday, down from 51 percent in the previous three-day period measured.
While most polls show voters blame Republicans primarily for the fiscal mess, Obama could see himself associated with the worst effects of sequestration like the looming furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal workers.
He signed an order on Friday night that started putting the cuts into effect.
In his weekly radio address, Obama appealed for Republicans to work with Democrats on a deal, saying Americans were weary of seeing Washington "careen from one manufactured crisis to another."
But he offered no new ideas to resolve the recurring fiscal fights, and there was no immediate sign of any negotiations.
"There's a caucus of common sense (in Congress)," Obama said in his address. "And I'm going to keep reaching out to them to fix this for good."
(Excerpt) Read more at ca.news.yahoo.com ...
It’s not “unprecedented” by your the chart you posted until 2018 or 2019. Plenty of time to get serious about real cuts (e.g. Joint Strike Fighter). The whining from the usual suspects in my area has been immense and music to my ears. I could lose my job later this year. But cuts are absolutely necessary because the alternative is losing the economic race to China. Defense work, as currently configured, is a net negative for the economy. Far too much useless crap is being built at incredibly high overhead costs (i.e. paying for useless people).
If that is your answer to me, then that is my answer to you.
It is an interesting tactic you adopt - you refuse to acknowledge something as simple as a PDF letter signed by seven 4-star Generals to the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (Rep "Buck" McKeon) back in January of this year, but then you want me to detail line by line the justification for four military services, hundreds of missions, and millions of personnel.
The military is completely answerable to Congress. The House and Senate Appropriations bills have to justify everything. If there are systems to be cancelled or troop strength taken down, it is in there. Currently, the Army must draw down 179,000 troops, the Marines some 25,000, and the Air Force some 36,000 before Sequestration.
In the same vein that you demand answers from me, I would like to you detail the justification for Entitlement spending in the same vein, starting with the houses that begin with the letter "A." I would like a breakdown of how much is spent on eating out at restaurants, how many EBT cards are spent on luxury items, and how much alcohol and cigarettes are purchased with Social Security money, and how much is spent at casinos.
The military will be forced to operate with a lesser budget - it already is. But the Sequester is NOT the way to go about it.
So? I read lots of things that are not true, especially when it comes to this sequestor debate.
Wait until people figure this out.
Apparently you think you have it all figured out. I for one am willing to take the risk that this is 95% hype (maybe even more), and perhaps 5% reality.
Sequester cuts get real for unemployed Americans
So too does uncontrolled spending by the Federal government, and it affects every one of us.
The children we have in power better get this resolved - with NO MORE "CLIFFS" like the next one we have approaching in just 24 days now.
I know of no children in power, just poiliticans, and politicians only worry about being re-elected. So don't hold your breath for them to resolve anything.
We are going to crush 2 million jobs, layoff hundreds of thousands of people, gut the Defense Dept, and there will be 3rd and 4th order effects of this that have not even been realized yet.
I can see you have bought into the hype that 85 billion removed from a 3.8 trillion budget is going to wreak untold havoc. Sorry I don't buy it. I guess we will see who is right.
Here is what both sides should do: Accept the lastest Simpson-Bowles plan that has a combination of real Entitlement reform with tax reform, and be done with it. Both sides can take political cover by pointing to the plan.
Might help, but only Democrats would get cover. Republicans would be held responsible as they are in this sequestor. After all it was Obama;s plan, but now it is Republicans who are taking the heat. Because after all they voted for it. Neither party though has the courage to actually do something as it will cause pain for someone, and no politician wants to be held responsible for being responsible. It is much easier to point fingers and lay the blame on the other guy, or kick the can further down the road for someone else to deal with.
Even the Canadians (of both parties) are telling American politicians they have gone insane.
I think a lot of Americans think this too, for various different reasons.
“It is an interesting tactic you adopt - you refuse to acknowledge something as simple as a PDF letter signed by seven 4-star Generals to the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee (Rep “Buck” McKeon) back in January of this year, but then you want me to detail line by line the justification for four military services, hundreds of missions, and millions of personnel.”
It’s pretty simple to say what you “Can Do” big picture-wise. The complex part is what the JCS is doing by saying what we “Can’t Do”
CANT DO ($45B)
- deploy carriers
- train troops
- employ civilians 5-days a week
- etc. etc.
I’d rather say:
CAN DO ($500B++)
Defend the country per constitutional requirement
See how this works? The JCS, God Bless ‘Em, are behaving like a bunch of bureaucratic hacks. They focus on “Can’t Do” rather than saying “Gee, there ought to be SOMETHING we can do with a $500B++ budget”
So spare me the whining of Generals.
Lead or resign. That’s the job of the JCS. I don’t care about anything else.
And you are actually thinking this is a BAD thing?
The extension and availability of unemployment is what keeps millions on the dole. If unemployment was harder to get there would be a whole lot more people pounding the pavement and willing to take the jobs being offered without complaining about higher pay or more benefits.
People GRATEFUL for work is what we need. And lavish unemployment benefits will always keep that from happening.
I think unemployment has been massively used and abused for years.
There are people who need it, and have needed in this Depression (and that is what it is). However, too many have taken these "benefits" and stayed on them far too long.
During the "Fiscal Cliff" negotiations, the Republicans caved on extending unemployment to 99 weeks (again) to the tune of Billions.
If we had that money back, we could pay for the entire DoD Sequester cuts this year.
That is yet another reason the Sequester is such a terrible idea.
It punishes hundreds of thousand of Americans who are working for their living - including low paid blue collar workers who don't take Food Stamps or ObamaPhones.
So why do you bring it up as an aspect of the sequester as though it's a negative?
Who cares if "people figure it out" as you say?
We need more of this kind of thing not less.
Me, as a volunteer triage interviewer at a food bank to an unemployed mega taker looking for free food, “Are you looking for a job?
Taker, “Why should I? I’m livin’ on my unemployment checks.”
Unsaid by the Taker, “And all the free stuff I can get from places like this.”
Also unsaid, “And when my unemployment gets close to running out, I’ll apply for disability. Free money for life.”
Note: I did not make this up to make a point. This conversation happens on a regular basis.
I saw a poll that 30% of Americans said they had even heard of the term "Sequester", and of that I would guess less than 5% really understand the magnitude of what we are dealing with.
Hannity is a bore - he mocks it with music from the "Omen" and repeats constantly that it is "2.4% of all spending" about 1,390,0954 times each program. The problem with Hannity is that he knows he is being disingenuous - the Sequester doesn't touch 2/3rds of all spending, but I imagine all Hannity really cares about is protecting his own wallet. Good for him, but he needs to stop being truthful about how hard this hit Defense. I am an engineer, if he needs basic math lessons he can e-mail me.
For the rest of the nation, when Joe or Shaniqua find out their unemployment check is down 10%, they are going to scream bloody murder.
If you can't cut unemployment even 10% because you're afraid of what "people" will think you are weak.
There's plenty of other "people" who will be happy unemployment is cut...this means those on unemployment might get the idea they can't live off Gov't forever and others' tax burdens might go down as a result.
For God's sake don't be a baby.
I posted that - Lol!
I talk about my math skills, and that was an appropriate typo!
OK - time for me to step away from all computers and go work on the classic car.
And if the Government doesn't stop spending money it doesn't have, everything is going to stop-period.
Republicans should be FOR spending cuts across the board.
What the Gov't doesn't want to do is make decisions on how to spend their money, so they want to take whatever they want and just spend it.
This government needs to be chopped down 90%.
But the fact is the Defense Dept is as bloated as the rest of the Government and needs drastic downsizing.