Comments about ‘In our opinion: Washington's sequestration scare-tactic fail’

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Published: Tuesday, March 5 2013 4:50 p.m. MST

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Durham, NC

Now you are just being silly.

!) the effects of sequestration haven't even gone into effect - so making any judgement on its impact, or lack there of is truly premature. I do think there was an element of over hype on this issue. But to claim any final analysis is like claiming hoax the second day after a diagnosis of cancer. May be easily treatable, or it may cause a cascading series of events we can not yet see.

But I get it. You have inches to fill. Ads to sell.

2) The stock market has nothing to do with sequestration... at least today's results. It is a barometer of business activity... and that is pointing to positive things looking forward. But linking these two events show a real lack of understanding in the dynamics in play right now.

Hayden, ID

Shame on Obama and the Democrats! Perhaps they have proven who they really are to the American people!

Murray, UT

It would be nice if the American people opened their minds to the truth about Obama and his agenda, but I think too many of them look at the Obamas only with their eyes, and like what they see so much that they don't want to know anything else.

Copy Cat
Murray, UT


"...The stock market has nothing to do with sequestration... at least today's results."

So the stock market will only be reacting to the sequestration if it goes down? LOL!

Now YOU are just being silly.

Barstow, CA

The effects of the sequestration will be felt in the weeks and months to come as furloughs will cut paychecks by a 800 - ? a month. And while the government worker is trying to figure out how to put food on his family's table come April our government generously gives food and other aids to Egypt and Syria. Local economies will suffer even more than they already do and the ripples will be felt all over. Let's look at what the stock market does...oh let's say 4-6 weeks from now. I guess then we'll find out who is silly.

Durham, NC

Copy Cat.... no..... the stock market is a reading of business in the future. It is looking 6 months, a year, or more out on the prospects of these select companies. A lot of these companies don't have business that are dependent of government business - therefor won't have any material impact on their financial results in the near team window.

I am sorry some people let political fever influence their ability to understand how the equities markets work... but that is just me being silly again I guess.

To the other silly bits - if you think we are already feeling the full impact of sequestration.... you haven't been paying attention. It will be months until the cuts fully take their bite. Hopefully the adults in Washington will have their acts together by then.

Durham, NC

@ mountainman.... what has this to do with Obama... your fixation is a bit odd. Washington does not = Obama.

"Now it appears some serious growth is underway, with new orders and import orders surging. Sequestration hasn't slowed this down a bit. That ought to give Washington a clue."

The author is pointing out that they have no clue about manufacturing or production planning. This isn't done in a matter of hours, days, or even weeks in many cases. Production is forecasted and planned weeks and months in advance. If the government has curtailed purchasing, this decrease in demand will be felt in the factory shop floors weeks from now. The ripple effect takes a while to get through the chain. I am sure most production planners were hoping/expecting our government to have gotten its act together before sequestration. They were wrong.

The net effect is largely still unknown. It depends on how department heads - largely nonpartisan people - decide to absorb the cuts. But saying that today's numbers are any kind of indication of the net effect of sequestration, that is just silly.

Sorry mountainman.... we only have the question, no answer yet on the effect.

Unreconstructed Reb
Chantilly, VA

A rather short-sighted editorial.

Sequestration hasn't even been implemented because Office of Management and Budget is establishing the budget baseline before distributing instructions to individual agencies for their share of the cuts. That will happen this week or next. At that point formal 30-day furlough notices will be issued as required by law to affected federal employees, with furloughs to begin in mid-April. Starting in the next 2 weeks, the process of cancelling or descoping contracts will begin. Several contractor companies I work with are beginning to issue 60 day notifications under the WARN act to inform employees that they will be laid off. More will follow with increased certainty of the impact to spcific contracts.

Understanding how the nuts and bolts of sequestration work would be helpful before declaring the whole thing a bust a mere 5 days after Obama signed the order to implement it. The immediate impacts haven't even begun, much less the economic ripple effects that will follow. Let's see where we are in 6 months.

In the meantime, the market is strong. But that is not translating into jobs or middle class gains.

Burke, VA

I'm not sure what it means but it is interesting to note that in this morning's news it was reported that the the top thirty performers in the now record high stock market have not added one job to the economy in over three years. Just sayin'.

Pleasant Grove, UT

@UtahBlueDevil "The stock market has nothing to do with sequestration."

That's precisely the point. The Obama administration has been predicting dire consequences in the economy for the reduction of growth in federal spending. They were wrong.

Prosperity doesn't come from government spending. When we spend a federal dollar, it first must be extracted from the economy in the form of taxation. Either it's a complete wash, or we get reduced efficiency from that dollar as it makes its round trip through Washington. Borrow the dollar, and it still must be paid back -- along with its interest payment -- for which we are also taxed.

Prosperity comes from private industry. Work produces wealth. Government only spends it, on items both necessary and unnecessary.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

First, the stock market has had ample time to factor in the sequestration. Failure of the last minute "negotiations" was a given.

Second, the issue here will not be an immediate end of days scenario. It will be a slow grind downward. First a few things here, then a few more there, and then some more. Contrary to what folks think, agencies are generally trying to slow not speed the effects (they have a mission they believe in). But eventually, there will be pain.

How doe can be possibly know this? Because it was DESIGNED to inflict pain. The President and Congress put this in place as something so painful that they would definitely heed the advice of the bi-partisan Simpson-Bowles commission and put in place a long-term fix for the economy.

But, no listening/heeding going on. So, we get the consequences.

My take, come talk to me about mid-summer. Then let's see if things are all just humming along (absent a deal being made in the interim).

salt lake city, utah

Wow. This has to be one of the worst editorials the DN has ever done. Two key points; budget cuts are phased in so it's not yet certain which ones will take place and which ones wont. Second the stock market is always forward looking and and baked in the first weeks of sequestration weeks ago, so to jump up right now and say look look nothing happened is beyond silly, it's plain uniformed. You, DN should be embarassed by this.

If you paid attention you would know that the "scare" tactics are not centered on the 85 billion but where those cuts are coming from. Estimates of job losses over the course of the fiscal year are between 1 and 2.5 million..that does not equate to a "few" government jobs.

Lastly, you applaud the cuts to government to free up capital in the private markets to spur economic growth. Folks a record stock market means there is all ready massive capital in the
private markets and where is your growth? It's in the pockets of the CEOs. Since 2009 the top 1% have reaped 123% of wage increases.


Why the bull market for stocks, a bear market for workers?

"First, productivity gains. Corporations have been investing in technology rather than their workers. They get tax credits and deductions for such investments; they get no such tax benefits for improving the skills of their employees. As a result, corporations can now do more with fewer people on their payrolls.

Second, high unemployment itself. Joblessness all but eliminates the bargaining power of most workers -- allowing corporations to keep wages low. Public policies that might otherwise reduce unemployment -- a new WPA or CCC to hire the long-term unemployed, major investments in the nation's crumbling infrastructure -- have been rejected in favor of austerity economics.

Third, globalization. Big American-based corporations have been expanding and hiring around the globe where markets are growing fastest.

Finally, the Fed's easy-money policies. They've pushed investors into the stock market because bond yields are so low. "
(Robert Reich)

Orem, UT

Government spending needs to be cut. There is waste, fraud, abuse, and general lack of efficiency everywhere in government. Obama wants to direct ANY attempts to stop the runaway train to areas where it will impact the American public the MOST. He is hoping that the pain he inflicts on regular people will be blamed on Republicans.

It's kind of like your daughter in college who just spent the $20,000 you gave her to make it through the year, even though you thought it should only cost $15,000. A quick audit of her expenses revealed lavish spring break trips, pizza parties for all her friends, expensive trips to the spa, and other perks you don't think she needs. So you threaten to cut her allowance to only $19,600 (still way more than she really needs). She screams at you that your "painful cuts" will result in no baby formula for your new grandson, no critical books for her math class, and she won't be coming home for Christmas.

Barstow, CA

@Unreconstructed Reb
At least some agencies have already sent out the notices. For DoD the furloughs will begin 23 March.

Orem, UT

Actually my analogy was flawed. Instead of threatening to cut her allowance from $20,000 to $19,600, you just threaten to only give her $20,300 next year instead of the raise to $20,500 she was expecting so she calls that a "cut".

...there, now it is more accurate.

Durham, NC

Joe... your still wrong.

It is as if you have 3 kids, and you need to cut their allowances by 7%. Yes, they are scheduled to get a 3% raise next year... this is very much true. But here is the difference. To make the math simple, lets say your kids get $100 each. But two of the kids allowances' are off limits for cuts.

Your goal is to cut 7% of $300. That would be $21 savings. Since you can only cut that $21 dollars from one child, what will happen is the two kids exempt will have $103 dollars next payout, but kid 3 will have their $100 cut by $21 to $79, then get their 3% back leaving them with $81.40. The net impact to the one kid is a loss of about 18%, while the net effect to the others is a 3% increase.

Now in the grand scheme, the 7% probably makes sense. But it is how that 7% is dirstributed that is causing the problems. Things like TSA, FAA, EPA, FDA are being hit much harder - as is the civilian side of defense due to how cuts are being distributed.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00


One of the WORST Deseret News Editorial letters ever.

WallStreet is not the economy.
GDP is.

I work at Hill AFB.
Hill AFB pumps over $1 Billion into the Utah economy every year.
20% cuts will have a HUGE impact on the Utah economy, but the cuts will not take effect for 40 days - and then will increase over the summer.

Do you think the State can just pony up another $200 million to make up for that economic loss?
And the residual economic impact with all the service businesses will be 3-4 times that much.

Miss Piggie
Pheonix, AZ

"Shame on Obama and the Democrats! Perhaps they have proven who they really are to the American people!"

They have... They're called 'Uncle Sugar' or 'Santa Claus.' Why? Because their leader, Obama, uses tax dollars as give-aways to his constituents for their vote.

"...but I think too many of them look at the Obamas only with their eyes, and like what they see..."

Well, I look and get queazy... feels like morning sickness.

"The effects of the sequestration will be felt in the weeks and months to come as furloughs will cut paychecks by a 800 - ? a month."

How could that be? The sequestration cuts increases. How could cutting increases in out-years be a cut in current paychecks?

"I am sorry some people let political fever influence their ability to understand how the equities markets work..."

If you have insights on how the equity market works, I'd be interested in hearing same.

@Unreconstructed Reb:
"At that point formal 30-day furlough notices will be issued as required by law..."

Why would furlough notices be needed for existing employees since the sequester affects only budget increases?

Pheonix, AZ

"When we spend a federal dollar, it first must be extracted from the economy in the form of taxation."

About half (57 cents on each dollar) comes from taxation. The rest (43 cents) comes from borrowing... usually from China or Japan, the countries who have money to lend.

"Borrow the dollar, and it still must be paid back..."

Correct, but 'paid back' is in the future... which will affect our kids, grandkids, etc., for generations. In other words... go into debt today to keep our economy running and the heck with what will happen to future generations when the debt must be paid.

"Why the bull market for stocks..."

Simple... Investors have moved to equities because interest rates are either low or non existent. If/when interest begins to rise the equity market will be negatively affected... sans another economic disaster such as the real estate fiasco. If another disaster is on the horizon it likely will involve, in some fashion, our obscene national debt used to feed an ever growing and inefficient federal government.

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