Published: Friday, Feb. 22 2013 12:00 a.m. MST
Sequestration epitomizes the political insanity today. It's something
neither side wants, but both sides are willing to use as "scorched
earth" tactics to prevent the other side from getting what it wants. It no
longer matters if one's side doesn't win as long as the other side
loses. And many average folks are going to pay the price for politicians'
"The House repudiated Simpson-Bowles, 382 to 38, a vote that was a slap at
Obama and a warning to Boehner."Simpson-Bowles may not be
perfect, but it is far better than any plan the house or senate may hatch.Why such a landslide defeat? Cause it contained Tax increases and
spending cuts. And, in the end, both of those things are unpopular. I am very disappointed that Obama did not make a tour, urging its passage.
When you spend like there is no tomorrow on things you don't really need,
the time eventually comes when you can't afford to pay for things you DO
According to recent polls a clear majority of the people favor a deal that cuts
costs and increases taxes by eliminating some sacred cow tax loopholes that
mostly favor the wealthy and corporations. But the Tea Party caucus just
can't bring itself to compromise. The Tea Party's failure to
undertand how a representative democracy resolves conflict is at the root of the
failure. It isn't the absenteeism of the congress nor the president though
neither of those helped.
Res Novae,Exactly. The era of Pyrrhic victory.
The Republicans are busy trying to lay the blame for sequestration on Obama so
that when it occurs they won't take the political hit. But Congress, not
Obama, writes and passes legislation. The majority of voters support
Obama's call for more revenue. On a side note, supposedly there is an
exellent article this month in Time magazine on our healthcare system.
Sequestration will wreak far more havoc than it will help. We should not be
trying to cut government spending now! The economy is still far too fragile.
If people really want to see a double-dip recession, by all means go ahead and
cut government spending. But it will hurt a great many people in the meantime,
especially the generation of younger people who have already had a hard time on
the job market for the past 4 years.We are on a slow recovery from
the worst financial crisis in 70 years. We haven't really fixed the
problem with proper regulation of banks, and we've made it worse by not
doing enough deficit spending. The time to curb government spending and take in
excess money to pay down the debt is when the economy is good, not when it is
teetering on the edge. This has been proven time and time again, but
Utah's politicians will never learn.
Before the Bush tax cuts we were running a budget surplus, ever since we have
been running a deficit. What needs to be done seems pretty clear to me. The Bush
tax cuts were sold by the Republicans as a temporary way to stimulate the
economy, they promised it would be temporary so it would not run up the deficit
to much. When they were in power, the Vice President said "deficits dont
matter". As soon as Obama was elected they started singing a different tune.
The "sequester" that automatically kicks in on March 1 was an agreement
reached between Congress and the White House. Before it kicked in, which it
originally was supposed to do last December I believe, Congress and the White
House were supposed to agree to budget cuts and revenue increases. The budget
cuts and revenue increases did not come timely, so a temporary fix was made.
Obama got his tax increases earlier this year. The budget cuts have not
materialized, so the automatic cuts, agreed to early last year, now kick in. So
be it.And for the record, the budget cuts are not as drastic as the
press and the White House portray them. We have a 7% cut for the Defense
Department and a 5% cut for all other federal agencies. How the various federal
agencies deal with the cuts is not mandated (and Congress in process of passing
legislation clarifying that) but rather it is up to the agency directors.
Finding ways to cut bloated budgets should not be that tough and it clearly
should not equate to personnel cuts or layoffs.
@Truthseeker "But Congress, not Obama, writes and passes
legislation."And Obama, not Congress, signs legislation into
law. Which he did, after coming up with the idea of the sequester in the first
place.The truth (since you're seeking it) is that they both
kicked the can down the road, and we're now down the road.
re:NateIt is pathetic that we have to have these crisis every couple
of months instead of a longer term solution. Republicans control the House.
But they don't control the Senate (theoretically speaking although they
have liberally used the filibuster) or the Presidency. What needs to happen is
a bill that will garner enough moderate Republican and Democratic votes in the
House and Senate. Obama has proposed a plan to avert the cuts that combines
closing tax loopholes with cutting federal spending; Republicans have offered
their version with only spending cuts. The Republican Party--and the
country--is being held hostage by its most extreme elements. Many Republicans
in Congress want the sequestration to occur in order to cut spending.
Fitz, I'm involved in sequestration planning and preparation
for a living right now (I wish I wasn't, my apologies for the tax dollars
you spend for me to focus on things that aren't part of my normal duties).
By its very nature, the sequestration cuts tie the hands of many agencies in
terms of where they can take the cuts. That was the point that both sides
agreed to a year and a half ago -- mandated cuts taken in a way that would hurt
so badly that they would force a more sensible compromise.I assure
you, they will hurt precisely because they do not allow department secretaries
or directors to focus on bloated programs. There will be some lucky ones who
work where cuts can be taken out of the fat. There will others (800,000 people
in DOD alone) taking a 20% pay reduction. And there will be "reductions in
force" (a lovely euphemism) for federal employees and contractors. With an
economy in the middle of lethargic recovery, the ripple effects are likely to
affect all of us.
@TruthSeeker "It is pathetic that we have to have these crisis every couple
of months instead of a longer term solution."Amen, and amen,
although I may be that extreme element you were referring to. I don't mean
to hold y'all hostage, but I keep noticing that we get tax increases, and
never spending cuts. I'd like to know the details on these spending cuts
which you say Obama has proposed. This is the first I've heard of them. I
hope they're substantial enough to make a real difference."What needs to happen is a bill...."I agree again. We need
a bill which is created out in the open, and follows normal legislative
procedures through both the House and the Senate, including reconciliation. No
more back room deals driven by manufactured crises.I'd say a
big part of our current economic difficulties come from the fact that potential
employers don't know what they're going to get slammed with next.
We need to get serious about the conflagration runaway spending spree . . . or
we're doomed. Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland once thought
everything was ducky in their countries, too. But when reality does finally
hit, it can hit very hard.
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