The Sequester: Whatever the fuck that is.

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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I swear, they make up new terms every year to scare us with. "Well, Fiscal Cliff didn't scare them enough, lets try a sequester."

President Obama, Republican Leaders to Meet As Sequester Cuts Look Likely
By DEVIN DWYER, MARY BRUCE, SUNLEN MILLER and JOHN PARKINSON | ABC OTUS News – 15 hrs ago

The budget ax is about to fall, and there's little lawmakers in Washington are doing to stop it.

Despite a parade of dire warnings from the White House, an $85 billion package of deep automatic spending cuts appears poised to take effect at the stroke of midnight on Friday.

The cuts – known in Washington-speak as the sequester – will hit every federal budget, from defense to education, and even the president's own staff.

On Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats and Republicans each staged votes Thursday aimed at substituting the indiscriminate across-the-board cuts with more sensible ones. Democrats also called for including new tax revenue in the mix. Both measures failed.

Lleaders on both sides publicly conceded that the effort was largely for show, with little chance the opposing chamber would embrace the other's plan. They will discuss their differences with President Obama at the White House on Friday.

"It isn't a plan at all, it's a gimmick," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said today of the Democrats' legislation.

"Republicans call the plan flexibility" in how the cuts are made, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "Let's call it what it is. It is a punt."

The budget crisis is the product of a longstanding failure of Congress and the White House to compromise on plans for deficit reduction. The sequester itself, enacted in late 2011, was intended to be so unpalatable as to help force a deal.

Republicans and Democrats, however, remain gridlocked over the issue of taxes.

Obama has mandated that any steps to offset the automatic cuts must include new tax revenue through the elimination of loopholes and deductions. House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP insist the approach should be spending cuts-only, modifying the package to make it more reasonable.

"Do we want to close loopholes? We sure do. But if we are going to do tax reform, it should focus on creating jobs, not funding more government," House Speaker John Boehner said, explaining his opposition to Obama's plan.

Boehner, McConnell, Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will huddle with Obama at the White House on Friday for the first face-to-face meeting of the group this year.

"There are no preconditions to a meeting like this," White House spokesman Jay Carney said today. "The immediate purpose of the meeting is to discuss the imminent sequester deadline and to avert it."

Even if the leaders reach a deal, there's almost no chance a compromise could be enacted before the deadline. Lawmakers are expected to recess later today for a long weekend in their districts.

What will be the short-term impact of the automatic cuts?

Officials say it will be a gradual, "rolling impact" with limited visible impact across the country in the first few weeks that the cuts are allowed to stand.

Over the long term, however, the Congressional Budget Office and independent economic analysts have warned sequester could lead to economic contraction and possibly a recession.

"This is going to be a big hit on the economy," Obama said Wednesday night.

"It means that you have fewer customers with money in their pockets ready to buy your goods and services. It means that the global economy will be weaker," he said. "And the worst part of it is, it's entirely unnecessary."

Both sides say that if the cuts take effect, the next best chance for a resolution could come next month when the parties need to enact a new federal budget. Government funding runs out on March 27, raising the specter of a federal shutdown if they still can't reach a deal.

"As we anticipate an across-the-board budget cuts across our land, we still expect to see your goodness prevail, O God, " Senate Chaplain Barry Black prayed on the Senate floor this morning, "and save us from ourselves."
http://news.yahoo.com/president-oba...1lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QDVGVzdF9BRkM-;_ylv=3


Good. I say we cut fucking everything. All of it. Burn it all down and start from scratch. It couldn't hurt at this point.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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And now, somebody with an opinion.

The sequester: How a poison pill became a delicious blue-plate special

By Walter Shapiro

The most ominous sign in Washington this week? The speechwriters have simply given up.

There is nary a new argument, thought or metaphor to emerge from the White House or Capitol Hill as the dreaded sequester—D.C.’s version of a slasher movie—is slated to take effect late Friday night. With the indiscriminate slice-and-dice power of a Veg-O-Matic, Congress will chop $85 billion from the current federal budget, affecting everything from the Pentagon to the Centers for Disease Control.

In a rare show of political unity, no major figure in either party believes that this complete abdication of priorities (federal meat inspectors are treated the same as tourism planners at the Commerce Department) is a sane way to do budgeting. And in a typical show of Washington paralysis, no one seems willing to do anything about it.

Instead of round-the-clock negotiations, we get round-the-clock talking points. In his opening statement at his Wednesday briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney sang nine times about the virtues of a “balanced” plan to reduce the deficit. In a Wednesday night speech to the Business Council, Barack Obama warbled about, yes, “a balanced approach to deficit reduction.”

John Boehner is equally culpable in abandoning any attempt at originality. In his press conferences and TV appearances, the House speaker keeps harping on the same argument that he used with reporters on Tuesday: “Where’s the president’s plan to avoid a sequester? Have you seen one? I haven’t seen one. All I’ve heard is that he wants to raise taxes again.”

Wow. An oratorical choice worthy of Churchill: “A balanced approach” versus “Where’s the plan”? Small wonder that Washington is far more riveted by journalist Bob Woodward’s exaggerated claim that he felt threatened by a White House economic adviser than the debate over the looming budget sequester.

Beyond the well-deserved ridicule and the pointless suffering (fewer air traffic controllers are a real but over-hyped example), there are serious factors here that are apt to cast a pall over the next four years in Washington. The budgetary thicket seems inescapable. And neither party is likely to gain enough seats in the 2014 elections to cut through the underbrush.

So, what we are left with are these dismal realities:

Both parties have abandoned economic growth: More than a half century ago John Kennedy ran on the slogan we need to revive in 2013: “Let’s get America moving again.” Now, sadly enough, that line sounds more closely connected with Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity initiatives than economic policymaking.

All the tedious green-eyeshade arguments over budget arithmetic totally neglect economic growth. A sharp drop in the unemployment rate would do far more to reduce the deficit than all the current fiscal shell games in Washington.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifying this week before Congress warned that the economy would face a “significant headwind” from the draconian budget cuts, especially since they come so soon after year-end tax increases. Companies like Walmart have already cited the end of the temporary 2 percent payroll tax holiday as a cause of diminished profit estimates. And the consensus of private forecasters is that actions by the government (the automatic spending cuts and the tax increases) could slice as much as 1.5 percent from 2013 economic growth projections.

It would be bad enough if Washington (the Federal Reserve aside) were doing nothing to aid the sputtering economic recovery. But what is actually happening is far worse—the deadlock of democracy pitting the White House against Congress is destroying jobs rather than creating them.

In truth, the blame falls more heavily on congressional Republicans than it does the White House. Peddling tax cuts as a solution for all human maladies including writer’s block, the GOP has thwarted every effort by Obama since the 2010 elections to stimulate the economy. Oddly enough, the Republicans were happy to join with the White House in jettisoning the one tax break that helped all working Americans—that 2 percent payroll tax cut that expired at the end of 2012.

But Obama does not deserve a free pass, either. Too often the White House has appeared more interested in scoring political points than in negotiating. The president is also complicit in accepting the idea that a grand bargain on long-term spending cuts is somehow necessary before the economy gets back on its feet.

The result is a bipartisan doctrine of austerity that has enshrined budget cutting as a major activity of government. Too often the political argument is over what to cut rather than whether such slash-and-burn tactics are appropriate at this moment. The problem with austerity is that it creates an austere future for millions of Americans. It is tragic that the unemployment rate remains at nearly 8 percent four long years after the financial meltdown.

Democrats are from Jupiter, Republicans are from Saturn: The sequester was calibrated with the precision of jewel thieves constructing an explosive charge to blow up a bank vault. The theory was that there were enough ticking time bomb provisions in the legislation to make both parties recoil in horror. Democrats supposedly would agree to anything to prevent the cuts in domestic spending from taking effect while Republicans would wave the white flag before sacrificing the Pentagon budget.

This 2011 deal—hammered out against the backdrop of the irresponsible GOP-inspired debt-ceiling crisis—was based on faulty assumptions. Since entitlements like Social Security and Medicare were protected from the budget knife, Democrats have been so far willing to grit their teeth and accept automatic trims in domestic spending. For their part, Republicans have proven less wedded to protecting every line item in the Defense budget than Democrats ever anticipated.

As a consequence, both sides are going through the motions and negotiating only when the cameras are rolling. The no-chance-it-will-actually-happen sequester will have become the law of the land by the weekend. What started out as a poison pill has become the Washington blue-plate special.

The larger implications are that Democrats and Republicans not only disagree but they also completely fail to understand each other. Maybe this is a reflection of the polarization in Washington or the decline of negotiation as a way to pass legislation in Congress. But in a crisis nothing is as potentially scary as misreading the intentions of your opponents.

In the end, the most dangerous implications of the sequester are psychological rather than budgetary. During all economic confrontations in the past four years, there was always a last-minute settlement or, at least, a postponement. When the curtain came down, invariably the debt ceiling was lifted and the government was funded. The preliminaries were often ugly and the economic consequences were sometimes depressing, but there was a semblance of rationality to the exercise.

This weekend, as the government arbitrarily cuts funding for domestic and military programs—regardless of merit or logic—it can truly be said that the inmates are now running the asylum.
http://news.yahoo.com/the-sequester...1lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QDVGVzdF9BRkM-;_ylv=3
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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Eric Holder, a trustworthy person if there ever was one, also has an opinion:

Eric Holder on decision day: the country will be less safe
By Pierre Thomas, Richard Coolidge, and Jordyn Phelps | Power Players – 1 hr 51 mins ago



Attorney General Eric Holder says the country is less safe because of the across-the-board spending cuts that go into effect today and that those who claim the administration has been fear mongering about the cuts simply don't have the facts straight.

"This is something that is gonna have an impact on the safety of this country, and anybody who says that that's not true is either lying or saying something that runs contrary to the facts," Holder told ABC in an exclusive interview, pointing out that F.B.I. agents, ATF agents, and prosecutors will be furloughed because of the cuts. "We are gonna be a nation that is gonna be less safe, and that is a simple fact."

The attorney general got emotional when talking about the Newtown tragedy, saying the day he toured Sandy Hook Elementary School after the shooting was his "worst day as attorney general."

"Walking through Sandy Hook Elementary School and going into those classrooms and seeing the caked blood, seeing the crime scene photos of these little angels, was the most difficult thing that I've ever had to do in my professional life."

While Holder says Newtown was a turning point for the administration in taking on gun violence, he thinks the country hasn't done "nearly enough" to combat gun violence.

"10,000, 12,000 people murdered every year. If we had 10,000, 12,000 people who were dying as the result of some other illness, some other common event, we would...devote resources, research to prevent it from happening. And that's with we need to do with this plague of gun violence," says Holder.

For more of this interview with Eric Holder, and to find out what he calls "the latest civil rights issue," check out this special episode of Power Players.

ABC's Eric Wray, Alexandra Dukakis, Jack Date, Jack Cloherty, Jason Ryan, Chris Carlson, and Gale Marcus contributed to this episode.
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/power-p...decision-day-country-less-safe-123204219.html
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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Spending cuts due to ground Navy's Blue Angels flying team
By Kaija Wilkinson | Reuters – 2 hrs 4 mins ago

MOBILE, Alabama (Reuters) - Blue Angels pilot Dave Tickle said he is focused on practicing maneuvers for an upcoming show in California instead of worrying about how federal spending cuts will threaten performances this year by the U.S. Navy's renowned flight demonstration squadron.

With $85 billion in automatic cuts due to take effect on Friday, millions of fans across the country will likely miss out on the precision flying team's thrilling shows this year.

Blue Angels shows scheduled in more than two dozen cities between April and September are expected to be canceled as part of the cuts, said the team's spokeswoman, Lieutenant Katie Kelly. Some shows featuring the Blue Angels already have been called off in the face of budget uncertainties.

The grounding would be a sentimental loss for fans but not as serious as other reductions to defense spending, which President Barack Obama said could threaten Navy readiness. The Defense Department said the cuts would slash ship and aircraft maintenance, curtail training and result in 22 days' unpaid leave for most of the Pentagon's 800,000 civilian employees.

Programs such as the Blue Angels would take a back seat to "making sure ships are seaworthy and planes are airworthy for the war fighters who are operating overseas," said Lieutenant John Supple, spokesman for the Chief of Naval Air Training in Corpus Christi, Texas.

The news has saddened longtime fans, disappointed city leaders and sparked an online petition to the White House to save the Blue Angels' season. About 1,200 people had signed as of Thursday.

"They're an American icon, and they really resonate in a military town," said Ashton Hayward, mayor of Pensacola, Florida, home to the naval air station where the Blue Angels are based.

Pensacola's Blue Angels beach show each July pumps an additional $2.5 million into the local economy, according to a 2012 study.

"People plan their annual family trips around the shows and the impact on business is phenomenal," Hayward said. "If the Blue Angels end, it's going to be a sad, sad day for not just us, but for millions of people all over the country."

SHOWS CALLED OFF

Air shows scheduled for May at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina, and for June in Indianapolis, already have been canceled, organizers and U.S. Air Force officials announced in recent weeks.

The Air Force said its Thunderbirds exhibition flying team also is expected to be grounded if the so-called sequestration cuts happen.

The budget cuts will affect cities from Seattle to North Kingstown, Rhode Island, where the Rhode Island National Guard Air Show draws thousands of visitors to the small town each year.

The city's Quonset Air Base closed in the 1970s, but a sense of military pride still runs deep. Losing the Blue Angels would deal a huge blow for the show in late June, said Elizabeth Dolan, North Kingstown's town council president.

"Everybody looks forward to when they come," she said. "They fly right up over my house, and it's amazing and emotional to watch."

The Blue Angels program began in 1946 and costs about $40 million a year. Cancelling the bulk of the performing season would save about $28 million, according to Navy officials.

Because of the timing of the cuts, the Angels will still perform in March at the El Centro Air Show in southern California and the Southernmost Air Spectacular show in Key West, Florida.

The 130-person team, which includes seven pilots, consists of members who have served in high-level tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Should the budget cuts go into effect, the team would be reassigned until there is enough money for them to take to the skies again, Supple said.

Tickle, a 32-year-old from Birmingham, Alabama, said he was inspired to become an expert naval pilot after watching Blue Angels performances during family vacations to Pensacola when he was a child. He is now a lieutenant commander in the Navy and the Blue Angels' lead solo pilot.

"I remember looking up at these shining blue and gold precision aircraft and thinking, 'I want to do that.' It gave me a feeling of amazement and pride," he said.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Nick Zieminski)
http://news.yahoo.com/spending-cuts...1lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QDVGVzdF9BRkM-;_ylv=3
 
May 24, 2004
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The establishment media (ABC, CBS, FOX "News," etc...) love lying to and scaring uninformed and ignorant people. So do politicians. A match made in political heaven. Complex things that can be manipulated and assigned a single word provide a tool to let people talk about it to their friends:

"You hear about the sequester?"
"Yeah they're saying it's bad and that Obama is doing his best to fix it but Boner is being stubborn."

Until the next crisis comes and it repeats all over again.
 

Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
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#6
All that fearmongering...

Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan:

“It just means a lot more children will not get the kinds of services and opportunities they need, and as many as 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs. ... There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can’t come back this fall.”
— Education Secretary Arne Duncan, CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Feb. 24, 2013

“Yes, there’s a district where it’s happened. But, again, it’s just because they have an earlier union notification than most, so Kanawha County, West Virginia. … In that district, to be clear, it’s Title I teachers and Head Start teachers, so it’s these funding sources that are being cut. Whether it’s all sequester-related, I don’t know, but these are teachers who are getting pink slips now.”
— Duncan, White House briefing, Feb. 27
4 Pinocchios For Arne Duncan's False Claims of Pink Slips For Teachers

There were no news reports of pending layoffs. The school board was facing a $4.5 million shortfall, but just last week had landed a big victory worth as much as $3 million when the state Supreme Court ruled it no longer had to help fund the county’s library. The big issue at the moment was a push by the schools superintendent to crack down on teacher absenteeism — not the pending layoffs that the education secretary had announced on national television.
In fact, no one in the county seemed to know what Duncan was talking about, including the education reporters who cover the school district for the Charleston, W.V., newspapers. “There’s very little sequestration-related panic, at least on the education side of things,” one reporter said.
Our colleague Lyndsey Layton helped unravel the mystery.
She discovered that these were not layoffs, but rather “transfer notices” sent to 104 Title I teachers for reasons unrelated to the sequestration cuts. (West Virginia is considering requiring counties to set aside 20 percent of their budgets for their lowest-achieving schools.) Pam Padon, director of federal programs and Title 1 for the Kanawha County public schools, told Layton that ultimately, five or six jobs might be lost though the state-mandated change. But in the meantime, the notices only mean that teachers might end up with a new assignment.
Communist Maxine Waters:

“We don’t need to be having something like sequestration that’s going to cause these job losses — over 170 million jobs that could be lost — and so he made it very clear he’s not opposed to cuts but cuts must be done over a long period of time and in a very planned way rather than this blunt cutting that will be done by sequestration.”
Obama Interior Secretary Ken Salazar:

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the money crunch means the national parks system will be hit with a "perfect storm."
My favorite though, is Obama's "I didn't build that (sequestration), the Republicans made that happen" bold-faced lie he keeps telling over and over and over.

 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#7
Communist Maxine Waters:
“We don’t need to be having something like sequestration that’s going to cause these job losses — over 170 million jobs that could be lost — and so he made it very clear he’s not opposed to cuts but cuts must be done over a long period of time and in a very planned way rather than this blunt cutting that will be done by sequestration.”​
It should be noted that there are only 150 million people employed in this country.
 
Feb 5, 2003
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#8
It should be noted that there are only 150 million people employed in this country.
That's ok. To make the lie work they'll just give 20 million shiftless and lazy people double-unemployment. 2X the money, but still zero effort! It's what they call a Win-Win situation.
 

NuttyJim

Registered User
Feb 18, 2006
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#10
For the President and others to come out and say the economy is getting better is baffling to me. I've never been told that I should spend my entire savings, max out my credit and go bankrupt for me and my family to get ahead. I don't get where the mentality of "We've got to keep spending" comes from. It makes no sense to me. The "system" is broken. There needs to be an overhaul of how we operate and a honest and tough look at how money is spent.

You can't go ahead and tax everyone hoping that will solve the problem. It will get to the point where taxes will be so high that it will drive people out of this country (people are already moving out of certain states because taxes and how it affects retirment is ridiculous).

I am completely disgusted by the lack of honesty and fear mongering that is going on. I am also disgusted by the lack of responsibility taken by either side of the aisle.
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#11
In a rare show of political unity, no major figure in either party believes that this complete abdication of priorities (federal meat inspectors are treated the same as tourism planners at the Commerce Department) is a sane way to do budgeting.
This is retarded. Congress hands out money based on who has more political pull, not based on what's important. The reason why tourism planning and the Commerce Department got taxpayer money to begin with is because it's a good way for politicians to get votes, campaign donations and bribes.

There's no reason to expect that negotiating a deal would result in smarter cuts than cutting spending indiscriminately, across the board. The only thing we know for sure is that a deal would've resulted in an even smaller spending cut, not that it would've been from the less important government projects.

I just wish they hadn't reached a deal three months ago either. That's when much larger cuts would've went into effect. Those would've made a difference. These cuts are nothing.
 

Neon

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#12
This is not a photoshop. Only Obama could be so arrogant as to try and capitalize on a stupid mistake he made.

 

NuttyJim

Registered User
Feb 18, 2006
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#13
ugh...scumbags
 
Feb 5, 2003
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#15
This is not a photoshop. Only Obama could be so arrogant as to try and capitalize on a stupid mistake he made.

What a dummy. He's been promising to create jobs for 4 years now. I don't think it's unreasonable to doubt anything he promises about the economy at this point.
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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#17
This is not a photoshop. Only Obama could be so arrogant as to try and capitalize on a stupid mistake he made.

Doesn't the White House know it's not suppose to do stuff like that to White House photos, as per the White House disclaimer?
 

Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
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#18
What a dummy. He's been promising to create jobs for 4 years now. I don't think it's unreasonable to doubt anything he promises about the economy at this point.
Funny you should mention that...since 4 years and 1 month ago, these same assholes were fearmongering over the same shit. "Teachers are going to lose their jobs. Police officers will get laid off making the streets less safe. Thousands of people will continue to lose their jobs and no one will hire. Streets and bridges will crumble. Hospitals will begin letting people die in the streets because they can't treat them. People will begin taking their own lives because they can't handle the stress of losing their livelihood. Unemployment will skyrocket to 10%-11%, perhaps even higher (ironically, it happened anyway). All of this is going to happen...if you don't call your representatives and senators today and tell them to vote in favor of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act...the most comprehensive spending package in American history!".

It's been bullshit lies after bullshit lies and all we're doing is running up the debt. and digging a deeper grave. Thanks Obama and the progressives.
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
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Aug 26, 2002
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#19
Communist Maxine Waters:
“We don’t need to be having something like sequestration that’s going to cause these job losses — over 170 million jobs that could be lost — and so he made it very clear he’s not opposed to cuts but cuts must be done over a long period of time and in a very planned way rather than this blunt cutting that will be done by sequestration.”​
It should be noted that there are only 150 million people employed in this country.
And the media will ignore that.
She'll never be called out on it.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#20
And the media will ignore that.
She'll never be called out on it.
She already made a correction. She said "I meant 75 thousand." Really?
 

whiskeyguy

PR representative for Drunk Whiskeyguy.
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#21
She already made a correction. She said "I meant 75 thousand." Really?
So now you're going to discount her credibility simply because she was off by 169,925,000 jobs???
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#22
So now you're going to discount her credibility simply because she was off by 169,925,000 jobs???
I'm just not able to reach across the isle.
 

kidconnor

55gallon hog
Mar 16, 2005
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#23
The sequester itself, enacted in late 2011, was intended to be so unpalatable as to help force a deal.
Am I understanding that right?

[genius] Lets pass something that is going to fuck things up so bad that they'll be forced to pass something else to counter it.

[common sense]And if we don't come up with anything else sir? Won't we just wind up fucking things up for a lot of people

[genius]Nah, never happen. We'll make it so bad they HAVE to do something.. Its fucking brilliant... fail-proof I tell ya..
 

Josh_R

Registered User
Jan 29, 2005
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#24
This should help clear up some of the fear of the draconian cuts. Oh and BTW, it's not a "cut" if spending still increases; it's a decrease in the rate of increase.

 

Begbie

Wackbag Generalissimo
Jul 21, 2003
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#25
You guys all holding up ok? These sequester cuts were a bitch! Obama was right. As soon as midnight passed, potholes formed in the streets, there were scary gunfights, and all of my toilets are all backed up. God help us.