The Intransigent Conservative
Sunday, February 24, 2013
View the story "Sequester Sunday (2/24/13)" on Storify
Sequester Sunday (2/24/13)
· Sun, Feb 24 2013 08:51:11
Contrary to popular belief (and Ghostbusters), if we accept the sequester, we
heading for a disaster of biblical proportions...
, executive director of
, a nonprofit group focused on the economy and how government policy affects Americans' financial well-being, writes that Obama’s White House is in denial on the federal government’s spending problem – but sequestration, though imperfect, would help as “
a step in the right direction toward fiscal responsibility, absent offsetting spending cuts
“The shameful shift from honest concern about spending to denial is more than political opportunism — it reflects an unwillingness to confront the most serious economic challenge facing our nation…
The result is an ongoing series of budget crises, short-term ‘fixes’ and emergency deadlines
“The White House has been on the offensive recently outlining how devastating those cuts will be,
but has failed to provide offsetting cuts elsewhere in the budget
“And how much would they have to find to offset the sequester for this year? About $85 billion. Based on spending last year of $3.6 trillion,
that means cutting roughly three cents out of every dollar the federal government spends
“With the White House's stubborn insistence on another round of tax increases,
(the sequester) might be the best worst option
… The budget restraint that sequestration would bring would forestall long-term damage to the economy, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.”
“A January poll conducted by the Tarrance Group for Public Notice found that
almost 75% of respondents agree that federal spending is too high
, with 79% saying government spending is the biggest problem holding back economic growth.”
So, let's get this straight - Washington can't find 3 cents in every dollar to cut? http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-viewpoint/021513-644708-spending-cuts-of-just-3-would-put-budget-back-on-track.htm #ShowUsYourCuts #ThisWeekgretchen hamel
Aaron Blake reports that recent polling shows that Republicans “would bear more of the blame for a failure to reach a deal” and compromise on the sequester, but
most Americans “are tuned out of the debate and many don’t oppose allowing the cuts to go into effect.”
“This isn’t all that surprising… Obama is much more popular than both Congress and the Republican Party, which means he’s likely to come out on top in the blame game.”
Just 27 percent of Americans say they have heard ‘a lot’ about the cuts
, while 43 percent have heard ‘a little’ and 29 percent have heard ‘nothing at all.’ Because Americans aren’t paying attention, they revert to their overall impressions of the two sides.”
“The poll suggests many Americans
don’t see the cuts as being so bad
, which means there might not be a huge amount of blaming going on — at least initially.”
GOP losing sequester blame game - The Fix http://wapo.st/XOOcw3Aaron Blake
Scott Rasmussen writes that the sequester was intended to cause voters to “rise up and protest the automatic spending cuts with such vehemence that it would force Republicans and Democrats to work together.
But it hasn't happened
“The president proposed replacing the across-the-board spending cuts with a combination of tax hikes and specific spending cuts. Only 39 percent favor that proposal.
Forty-two percent oppose it and prefer the automatic spending cuts, instead
“When the sequester gimmick was first proposed, just 29 percent thought it would be a good idea to have such arbitrary cuts implemented. But after watching the nation's elected politicians perform for the last year and a half, while voters still see the automatic cuts as bad policy,
they see them as less bad than the other options
The last time spending went down from one year to the next was 1954
. Voters are now catching on. Only 17 percent believe the March 1 cuts will really reduce government spending.
Fifty-eight percent correctly recognize that they will merely reduce the growth of spending
“As for the reports spilling out of the nation's capital about the harm that the automatic cuts will do to the economy, they're unlikely to resonate with most voters.
After all, 68 percent believe that cutting government spending is the best thing the government could do to help the economy
Read my latest commentary: Sequester Puts Elected Washington on Trial... http://tinyurl.com/b5s9mksScott Rasmussen
Consequently, Molly K. Hooper reports that
House Republicans do not fear political blowback
if Congress fails to prevent the sequester from triggering next week.
“Rank-and-file Republicans say they’re not worried their leverage could be cut once the spending cuts are triggered, though they acknowledge Obama is a tough political adversary.”
“It’s hard to compete with the bully pulpit that the president has,” acknowledged Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.,
The bigger concern is what is good for the country
“Republicans are also getting ready to battle by reminding voters
it was the White House that conceived of the sequester
— the $1.2 trillion in deficit reductions, including lower interest payments, that were included as part of the deal in 2011 to raise the debt ceiling.
“The cuts were meant to serve as an incentive for a supercommittee of lawmakers to produce a different deficit-reduction plan. If the supercommittee failed, sequester would happen, and it was designed to impose painful cuts on both defense and non-defense spending
so that both Republicans and Democrats would feel political pain
“It was his [Obama’s] idea — we know that there are elections coming in 2014 — we know that the president and the party will be all out to reclaim the House,
but we have acted in good faith
, so the president can put all this on Republicans all he wants,
but that's just not the fact
,” sophomore Rep. Steve Womack (R-Ark.,
) said in an interview with The Hill.
“If [Republicans] don't shy away from this, if they don't run from their own shadows and they don't [buckle] at the last minute, I think
it's a battle they can win
,” conservative Heritage Action spokesman Dan Holler (
Who's afraid of the sequester's ax? Not us, say Republican lawmakers http://j.mp/XsQtiX by @mollyhooperThe Hill
Speaker Boehner reiterates that Obama invented the sequester in the summer of 2011 during the debt limit negotiations. Instead of continuing to avoid facing up to the federal government’s obvious spending problem, Obama should let the country know what spending he is willing to cut to replace the sequester,
because the tax debate is closed
For the record,
the Budget Control Act of 2011
passed the House by 269-161 and the Senate by 74-26, before it was signed by Obama. In Congress, 70% of Republicans and 58% of Democrats supported the bill.
“Most Americans are just hearing about this Washington creation for the first time: the sequester. What they might not realize from Mr. Obama's statements is that
it is a product of the president's own failed leadership
“By law, the sequester focuses on the narrow portion of the budget that funds the operating accounts for federal agencies and departments, including the Department of Defense.”
“With the debt limit set to be hit in a matter of hours, Republicans and Democrats in Congress reluctantly accepted the president's demand for the sequester, and a revised version of the Budget Control Act was passed on a bipartisan basis.”
Both parties today have a responsibility to find a bipartisan solution to the sequester
. Turning it off and erasing its deficit reduction isn't an option. What Congress should do is
replace it with other spending cuts
that put America on the path to a balanced budget in 10 years, without threatening national security.
“Having first proposed and demanded the sequester,
it would make sense that the president lead the effort to replace it
. Unfortunately, he has put forth no detailed plan that can pass Congress, and the Senate—controlled by his Democratic allies—hasn't even voted on a solution, let alone passed one.
By contrast, House Republicans have twice passed plans to replace the sequester with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect national security
“The president's sequester is the wrong way to reduce the deficit, but it is here to stay until Washington Democrats get serious about cutting spending.
The government simply cannot keep delaying the inevitable and spending money it doesn't have
In @WSJ, the real story of Pres Obama's sequester & #GOP efforts to replace it http://j.mp/W9VURQ #obamaquester #spendingistheproblemSpeaker John Boehner
Matt Purple, assistant managing editor at The American Spectator, writes that the Republicans are “
” cutting spending, and warns not to give them too much credit.
“Washington, after years of talking about its budget problems, will finally set aside short-term political concerns and slash spending. At last some backbone – some gumption – from our elected officials.
Huzzah, gentlemen! ... If only it were that dramatic
“Sequestration amounts to $1.2 trillion in shrinkage over the next nine years – or an average of $133 billion per year. Further
they aren’t even real cuts
, as Sen. Rand Paul pointed out in his State of the Union response, since they only slow the rate of spending growth, not actual spending.”
“Spending reductions are finally going to take effect and the major players in Washington are treating them like a hacky-sack, frantically kicking the sequester to the next person in the circle.”
“The House GOP’s budget guru, Rep. Paul Ryan, has taken to bashing President Obama for the sequester, even though he previously praised it and voted for it.
Ryan should be out there explaining how sequestration doesn’t even skim the surface of our problem. Instead he’s heading for the hills
None of this bodes well for the spending battles looming in the future
. Already House and Senate appropriators are working quietly to avoid another high-profile government shutdown fight in March when the current stopgap budget expires. The debt ceiling will have to be raised again in May. If Republicans are queasy about sequestration,
will they really stand up and demand serious cuts in coming months?
“The more you look at the sequester,
the more trivial it seems
. And yet both sides of the aisle are running around in circles, screaming and pointing at each other.
How can anyone with this mentality be trusted
to raise the Social Security retirement age, or turn down the higher education faucet?”
“Boehner and the current crop of House Republicans have fought harder for spending cuts than any Congress since Newt Gingrich accepted the gavel. So why is it that now, when a few measly ‘cuts’ (
and they are measly
) are finally about to take place, they speak in portentous tones and point the finger at President Obama?”
“Politics is life in Washington.
But this particular round is worrisome
. The GOP has spent years proposing hypothetical spending cuts that haven’t actually happened. Now we have an actual round (however diminutive and poorly targeted) of cuts in the hopper, and the Republican reaction is to fret and blame the president for how people will be affected. But people will be affected by any set of cuts.
Will a GOP that reacts thusly to the sequester really have the stomach to reform entitlements?
Even after the interest groups start complaining?
It’s one thing to propose cuts; it’s another to actually implement them
#Sequestration: The Requisite, Incremental, Autopiloted, Politically Safe, Fake Spending Cuts We Deserve #tcot http://bit.ly/VvtbK0American Spectator
More #Sequestration Depression: the @johnboehner op-ed http://bit.ly/11VcGfeAmerican Spectator
spending without-with sequesterBrian_Empric
David Limbaugh writes that Republicans must hold to their guns this time, because “
if we don't start cutting fast… we won't have the money to support a military at all, much less anything else
demagoguery and fear-mongering
on his sequester cuts are breathtaking, even for him… Obama's ordinary MO is to stir people against one another, to stoke the flames of envy among some against others in lieu of rational argument to rally support for his causes.”
Obama will not offer any plan to reduce spending, especially entitlements
. He just keeps going back to his crusade against the rich, from whom he's already extracted a higher tax rate and eliminated personal exemptions and deductions. He promised he wanted a balanced approach, but he refuses to balance his punitive tax hikes with spending cuts and entitlement reform.”
“Obama and his Democratic senators
will not pass a budget
, and they will not participate in entitlement reform. Instead, Obama is back railing against the Republicans for their alleged unwillingness to further tax the rich, whom they have already reluctantly agreed to discriminatorily tax.”
“Now he complains about (the sequester’s) draconian cuts -- not about cuts to the military but about cuts to his sacred domestic programs.
But in fact, even with the sequester cuts, we will be spending more in fiscal year 2013 than we have in any other fiscal year in American history, save 2011
. He is simply misleading the public because he wants to further punish the rich -- even if it means holding hostage our military and accelerating the nation's imminent bankruptcy.”
“He believes that only he and his central planners in the omniscient federal government can cause economic growth and that from that high mountain of government largesse will trickle down economic activity for the ignorant, impotent private sector and the economy at large.”
Shame on me. In a brief departure from my customary self-absorption, I forgot to post a link to my latest tirade: http://townhall.com/columnists/davidlimbaugh/2013/02/22/gop-must-not-cave-to-the-bully-on-his-sequestration-n1517767David Limbaugh
Rich Lowry writes that Obama has spun a lurid fairy tale, resorting to scare-mongering instead of proposing mutually acceptable alternative solutions.
“Prepare for the end of food safety as we have known it. For a breakdown in public order. For little children languishing in ignorance. If only
were here to chronicle the devastation.
On March 1, the fabric of our civilization begins to unwind
“In Hans Christian Andersen terms,
Obama is the princess and the sequester is the pea
. Over the next 10 years, the sequester amounts to a $1.16 trillion cut, or roughly 3 cents on every federal dollar. If we can’t squeeze a couple of pennies out of every dollar,
we might as well begin our great national bankruptcy proceedings right now
“Even with the sequester, nondefense discretionary spending will still be up almost 10 percent since 2008. Even with the sequester, federal spending is projected to be a robust 22.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2023. Even with the sequester, the debt will hit 100 percent of GDP just two years later than it would otherwise, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.”
(The sequester) is a classic instance of Washington coming up with a stupid kick-the-can compromise and then proceeding to have an even stupider debate over what to do next
“Ideally, Congress and the president would agree on more targeted and intelligently crafted savings.
But the President insists on more tax increases
. The other day he said a cuts-only replacement for the sequester would be as absurd as a taxes-only agreement on overall deficit reduction. Yet he exacted a taxes-only agreement from Republicans over the fiscal cliff, with nary a concern about making the deal more ‘balanced.’”
"The Great Sequester Panic." http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/the-great-sequester-panic-87880.html?ml=po_rRich Lowry
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