Sequester will test GOP’s cut/cut/cut strategy

Unless Congress comes to an unlikely and very quick agreement, most domestic federal spending must by law be slashed by an immediate 8.2 percent on March 1, with only Social Security, Medicaid and veterans’ benefits exempted.

According to estimated from the Office of Management and Budget, defense spending will have to be cut by 9.4 to 10 percent, depending on the category. Payments to Medicare providers — doctors, hospitals, etc. — will be cut by 2 percent.

And because the law dictates that the cuts be across-the-board, rather than targeted, the impact is some areas could be severe. Agency directors have very little if any leeway in trying to protect particular programs.

James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, has warned that “the sheer size of the cut will create an immediate national security crisis situation” in the CIA, FBI and other agencies. Border Patrol agents will be laid off, as will federal prosecutors and airline security officers. (If you’re flying, you might want to double the time needed to get through security.)

On the social-spending side, to cite just a few specific examples, some 10,000 Americans will be cut off from the AIDS drugs that keep them alive; 70,000 children will be pushed off Head Start; 373,000 seriously mentally ill people will no longer have a means of treatment. The list goes on and on.

The overall economy will likely suffer as well. According to the Congressional Budget Office, that reduced federal spending will dampen growth and cut job creation by some 750,000 through the end of the year.

Unfortunately, there appears to be little to no hope in Washington that such cuts can be avoided, at least at first. Our leaders have come to the conclusion that no matter how much pain these reductions cause the American people, the political pain they themselves would suffer by having to compromise would be greater still. So instead of acting, they are preparing to blame each other when the outcries come.

The Republicans are basing their PR strategy on the claim that the sequester was actually President Obama’s idea, and they are correct: The Obama White House did propose the idea of a sequester back in 2011, believing that if the required budget cuts were painful enough, both sides would be compelled to compromise in order to avoid them.

However, the sequester — or “Obamaquester”, in the GOP’s strained terminology — was made necessary in the first place because House Republicans had made it quite clear that without a mandatory mechanism to slash spending, they would refuse to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, potentially sending the country into a disastrous default. That was back before the election, when House Republicans were so full of themselves that they seemed fully capable of doing just that.

(Just to refresh your memory — these artificial fiscal crises do tend to blur into one another by now — this particular confrontation in 2011 is the one that convinced Standard & Poors to lower the nation’s bond rating.)

In other words, the record shows that Republicans forced the crisis, and now want to blame Obama for proposing an escape hatch. I don’t believe the tactic is going to work, in large part because once again, the GOP has put itself into a position of trying to sell a hard argument. In this case, after stomping their feet, holding their breath and generally making public fools of themselves demanding harsh spending cuts, they are going to try to put the blame for spending cuts on Obama?

Good luck with that.

Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee and the GOP’s spending guru, is on record back in 2011 as lauding the sequester, and his fellow House Republicans voted 174-66 in favor of it. (House Democrats split right down the middle, with 95 supporting it and 95 voting against it). In addition, Ryan has promised House conservatives that he will soon produce a budget that will balance the budget within 10 years, and do it without new taxes. The magnitude of spending cuts required to make that happen will dwarf those being implemented under the sequester.

The sequester, in other words, can be seen as a mini test drive for the GOP’s overall fiscal policy. What happens to government services when we implement just a fraction of the massive spending cuts that the GOP is demanding? What happens to the economy when federal spending falls by a relatively minor $85 billion between March and the end of the fiscal year in October?

By already trying to put the blame on Obama, the GOP is in effect predicting that the results won’t be pretty.

– Jay Bookman

897 comments Add your comment

Christian Conservative

February 19th, 2013
9:25 am

Since it was obama’s idea the ball is in his court….

Joe Hussein Mama

February 19th, 2013
9:25 am

It seems that the GOP argument, distilled down to its essence, is that the two-sided Obamaquester spending cuts somehow threaten the ability of the GOP to get the one-sided spending cuts they want.

As you said, Jay, good luck with that, GOP.

USinUK - former Girl Scout

February 19th, 2013
9:29 am

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand CC illustrates Jay’s point.

well, done CC … go get a cookie

ATL Tiger

February 19th, 2013
9:29 am

When is the Senate going to discuss this and propose anything? The House pushed this to the Senate to act first since they really haven’t done anything in forever.

Meanwhile, our supreme leader took some time to play golf with a couple of billionaires in FL. Life must be good!

King of Planet Kolob

February 19th, 2013
9:29 am

Cut, cut, cut is just a way to tank the economy to see if that will bring them back to power. I never believe any Republican who voted along party lines for all of GW Bush spending really cares about the deficit. The same way I never listen to any Republican who is a beneficiary of student loans or Medicare or Social Security profess how we need to cut those programs, or how someone who inherited wealth tell me about working hard!

Christian Conservative

February 19th, 2013
9:29 am

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 19th, 2013
9:30 am

“On the social-spending side, to cite just a few specific examples, some 10,000 Americans will be cut off from the AIDS drugs that keep them alive; 70,000 children will be pushed off Head Start; 373,000 seriously mentally ill people will no longer have a means of treatment. The list goes on and on.”
.
Says another mis-guided soul who confuses a peaceful, loving society with a violent, coercive Federal government.

ATL Tiger

February 19th, 2013
9:31 am

I’m actually hoping for this to go through the more I think about it, coupled with the SS tax increase, most people will be directly impacted and realize that we have serious issues and everything is not all hunky dory.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

February 19th, 2013
9:32 am

this particular confrontation in 2011 is the one that convinced Standard & Poors to lower the nation’s bond rating.

For the record, S&P can eff off and die.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2009/10/18/77244/how-moodys-sold-its-ratings-and.html

Yeah, the article specifically names Moody’s, but S&P was in on it too.

Peadawg

February 19th, 2013
9:32 am

“be across-the-board”

Which is what it should be. Stop picking-and-choosing your pet agencies and programs. The simple fact is that we can’t keep spending the way we are. Obama got his tax increase. Now let’s see him follow through on the cuts.

USinUK - former Girl Scout

February 19th, 2013
9:32 am

CC – since your reading skillz seem to be selective:

However, the sequester — or “Obamaquester”, in the GOP’s strained terminology — was made necessary in the first place because House Republicans had made it quite clear that without a mandatory mechanism to slash spending, they would refuse to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, potentially sending the country into a disastrous default.

USinUK - former Girl Scout

February 19th, 2013
9:33 am

Kam – 9:32 – well, there is that.

Jay

February 19th, 2013
9:33 am

ATL Tiger, Senate Dems have proposed to avoid the $85 billion in cuts with $55 billion in more targeted cuts, matched with $55 billion in tax increases, for a total fiscal impact of $110 billion.

The House GOP refuses to consider anything with taxes, and Senate GOP will probably filibuster the Dem plan anyway.

F. Sinkwich

February 19th, 2013
9:33 am

So what’s O’bozo’s solution to all this?

Tax increases?

St Simons - he-ne-ha

February 19th, 2013
9:34 am

if they touch the SS or Medicare age, there will be riots.

however, the top speed of a hoveround is only about 3mph

Maximum

February 19th, 2013
9:34 am

Republicans love the deficit (see Cheney) but don’t want to pay their bills. They are deadbeat politicians who should have their elections repossessed.

Itchy Finger

February 19th, 2013
9:34 am

The House has passed a bill to avoid the sequester. What’s obama and the Senate dems waiting on?

http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/2/hr6684

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 19th, 2013
9:35 am

And we have the golf claims early in the thread. :roll: I am sure that Boehner can explain how the President remains in contact because of things know as phones, emails, staff.

But the blame Obama for the failures of the GOP dance continues.

Peadawg

February 19th, 2013
9:35 am

“The House GOP refuses to consider anything with taxes”

To be fair, Obama and the Democrats got their tax increase back in December/January.

godless heathen - owner of many things he does not need

February 19th, 2013
9:36 am

I wish they would let the heathen wield the hatchet. I could cut 10% before lunch.

Li'l Aynie

February 19th, 2013
9:36 am

Just goes to show that the Republican Party is defined, totally and exclusively, by President Obama. Whatever Obama favors, Republicans oppose. Whatever Obama does, Republicans “investigate”. Whatever Obama accomplishes, Republicans disparage.

Hatred of Obama determines Republican policy, and holds together an improbable alliance of the greedy rich and the excitable rabble.

Whatever will become of the Republican Party when Obama finishes his term of office, when Obama no longer sets the Republican agenda and calls the shots? Any suggestions?

F. Sinkwich

February 19th, 2013
9:36 am

No way will Republicans trade spending cuts for tax increases. No way.

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am...I think.

February 19th, 2013
9:37 am

Real Clear Politics!!?? :lol: :lol: :lol:

Granny Godzilla

February 19th, 2013
9:37 am

CC

read it and saw the interview as well…..

Did ya miss the part where Woodward smacks Rove with “the gop ’s fingerprints are all over this?”

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

February 19th, 2013
9:37 am

Well, things is looking up! These cuts don’t have nothing to do with the way I live. I don’t fly, so they can lay off all the air marshals, far as I’m concerned. I don’t cross the border, so I don’t care how many border patrol agents they put in the sh*t-can. I don’t work for the federal guvmint, so it don’t matter to me how many of the lazy guvmint bums they furlough. Matter of fact, maybe the IRS won’t have enough people to steal money from my paycheck. I ain’t a Dr., so they won’t be cutting my pay none.

Looks like the perfect budget cut to me. And a message to all the people out there that will be getting laid off: drink beer. It’s good for your digestion and it’ll help you dull the pain. Besides, it’s good for my job and good for my 401k.

Have a good Tuesday everybody. Like I said before, things is looking up!

Joe Hussein Mama

February 19th, 2013
9:38 am

I. Finger — “The House has passed a bill to avoid the sequester. What’s obama and the Senate dems waiting on?”

Clearly, you’re not getting the idea that the cuts and tax increases need to satisfy *both* sides in this discussion, not just one.

A cut-happy alternative is exactly what the GOP’s been proposing all along, and that’s why we’re still stuck where we are.

Aquagirl

February 19th, 2013
9:38 am

No way will Republicans trade spending cuts for tax increases. No way.

And that’s why the current shrieking Tea Potty madness is destined for the toilet bowl of history.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

February 19th, 2013
9:38 am

Meanwhile, our supreme leader took some time to play golf with a couple of billionaires in FL. Life must be good!

George Bush says, “What? Now, watch this drive.

St Simons - he-ne-ha

February 19th, 2013
9:39 am

for all it has ‘done,’ the Republican pahhty will be remembered as

the party that died abusing the filibuster.

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am...I think.

February 19th, 2013
9:40 am

St Simons – he-ne-ha

February 19th, 2013
9:34 am

I’m getting my knee replaced this April, just so I can kick a little GOP ass, if I have to… :)

TaxPayer

February 19th, 2013
9:40 am

The Republicans can sell their constituency on anything. They are the stupid party after all.

Granny Godzilla

February 19th, 2013
9:40 am

The Republican controlled House is currently in recess……

Anybody surprised?

Steve

February 19th, 2013
9:41 am

So, how is austerity working in Europe, folks?

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 19th, 2013
9:41 am

And no……………..Georgia Representatives to the Federal congress DID NOT beg for FEMA funds for the latest squall that hit North Georgia.
.
Much to Bookman’s chagrin.

ATL Tiger

February 19th, 2013
9:41 am

“ATL Tiger, Senate Dems have proposed to avoid the $85 billion in cuts with $55 billion in more targeted cuts, matched with $55 billion in tax increases, for a total fiscal impact of $110 billion.

The House GOP refuses to consider anything with taxes, and Senate GOP will probably filibuster the Dem plan anyway.”

Jay,

Well thats great and all, but you forgot to mention that the Sen. Dems are also just kicking the can down the road to the end of the year when we can go through this dog and pony show once again. They aren’t serious about sequestion, they’re just preparing to point the finger again.

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-02-14/business/37095105_1_tax-hikes-senate-democrats-cuts

j

February 19th, 2013
9:42 am

May I make a suggestion? I may? Thank you. I would like all the employees at the AJC take one day a week off to help the impoverished, the children in need, schools in need and a plethora of other issues that will no longer be paid for if the automatic cuts in spending go into effect.
Ask not what this great country can do for you, ask what you can do for the country.

USinUK - former Girl Scout

February 19th, 2013
9:42 am

Kam – 9:38 – golf … the new teleprompter

SBinF

February 19th, 2013
9:42 am

“Just goes to show that the Republican Party is defined, totally and exclusively, by President Obama. Whatever Obama favors, Republicans oppose. Whatever Obama does, Republicans “investigate”. Whatever Obama accomplishes, Republicans disparage.

Hatred of Obama determines Republican policy, and holds together an improbable alliance of the greedy rich and the excitable rabble.

Whatever will become of the Republican Party when Obama finishes his term of office, when Obama no longer sets the Republican agenda and calls the shots? Any suggestions?”

Freaking brilliant. And true. And yet, some people look to Obama and wonder why he isn’t doing more to work with the GOP.

комиссар (Occupation)

February 19th, 2013
9:43 am

“On the social-spending side, to cite just a few specific examples, some 10,000 Americans will be cut off from the AIDS drugs that keep them alive; 70,000 children will be pushed off Head Start; 373,000 seriously mentally ill people will no longer have a means of treatment”

We’re becoming Greece.

Jay

February 19th, 2013
9:44 am

Did you take the time to see what that bill did, Itchy:

Cuts food stamps, cuts heating aid for the poor, cuts job training, cuts nutrition assistance, abolishes health-insurance exchanges, cuts public health, cuts health insurance for poor people ….

I understand that each and every one of those cuts will thrill you to death. For the rest of us, however, it doesn’t exactly spread the pain around, now does it? Instead, it concentrates that pain on those already most helpless. You know, family values and all that….

Christian Conservative

February 19th, 2013
9:44 am

USinUK – former Girl Scout

CC –

However, the sequester — or “Obamaquester”, in the GOP’s strained terminology — was made necessary in the first place because House Republicans had made it quite clear that without a mandatory mechanism to slash spending, they would refuse to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, potentially sending the country into a disastrous default.

since your logic skillz seem to be sorely lacking:

Again the GOP gets blamed for obama’s failure… LOL… The sequester was his idea and I’m glad you admit that so it lies squarely on his shoulders…

ATL Tiger

February 19th, 2013
9:45 am

“Meanwhile, our supreme leader took some time to play golf with a couple of billionaires in FL. Life must be good!

George Bush says, “What? Now, watch this drive.”

And the Press Corps (who was kept out of his golf outing) first ask Obama when he gets back “Did you beat Tiger?”

The ‘Watchdogs’ have definitely turned into ‘lapdogs’

http://washingtonexaminer.com/reporters-to-obama-did-you-beat-tiger/article/2521890

Get Real

February 19th, 2013
9:45 am

As opposed to the democrats Spend Spend Spend strategy…

I forgot, we don’t have a spending problem….rrrrrrright

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

February 19th, 2013
9:45 am

Kam – 9:38 – golf … the new teleprompter

It’s like Frank’s Hot Sauce — they put that sh*t on everything.

Saw your recipe this a.m. Too bad you didn’t use pancetta, as I just pick up a lb. from DeKalb Farmer’s Mkt.

Itchy Finger

February 19th, 2013
9:45 am

obama spends the weekend with his boyfriend and El Tigrow….. How sweet…..

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-talks-record-press-flight-home_701429.html

F. Sinkwich

February 19th, 2013
9:46 am

“Clearly, you’re not getting the idea that the cuts and tax increases need to satisfy *both* sides in this discussion, not just one.”

Hey genius, it was pointed out earlier that O’bozo already got his tax increases this year.

curious

February 19th, 2013
9:46 am

The majority of Republicans voted for it, so they own it.

Anyway, it may be what the Doctor ordered.

tm

February 19th, 2013
9:46 am

All these dire claims about the impact. I have yet to hear how it impacts the ones who passed and signed the law. I guess they don’t have to cut their budgets.

Uh Huh.......The GOP are like angels dancing on the head of a pin

February 19th, 2013
9:47 am

The GOP are always wasting time debating things which have very little practical value.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

February 19th, 2013
9:47 am

The ‘Watchdogs’ have definitely turned into ‘lapdogs’

The smoking gun is the mushroom cloud.

We will be greeted as liberators.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 19th, 2013
9:47 am

ATL Tiger — “Well thats great and all, but you forgot to mention that the Sen. Dems are also just kicking the can down the road to the end of the year when we can go through this dog and pony show once again. They aren’t serious about sequestion, they’re just preparing to point the finger again.”

Really?

‘Cause, with the caps on malpractice claims that are in the GOP ‘compromise’ legislation, I was getting the impression that it was the Republicans who weren’t serious.

You know, since they’ve been trying without successto get malpractice award caps written into Federal law for over 10 years now, I’d think they would realize that writing them into a *budget* bill would be a sure way to PREVENT that bill from being taken up by the other house or signed by the President.

Besides, what do caps on malpractice awards have to do with the Federal budget, anyway?

USinUK - former Girl Scout

February 19th, 2013
9:47 am

“So, how is austerity working in Europe, folks?”

if you like a recession, it’s FAAAAAAABULOUS

Itchy Finger

February 19th, 2013
9:47 am

Jay:

Yes I did Jay. And everyone needs to sacrifice… Ain’t that what your dear leader said… Seems to me the takers in society haven’t sacrificed one thing while the working middle class continues to suffer…..

Steve

February 19th, 2013
9:47 am

Americans are not going to blame Obama for this, let’s be clear. The GOP controlled House is going to be blamed. When we start slowing job growth, due to this, Americans are going to blame the GOP. Americans aren’t as stupid as some of the Confederates in here.

[...] timeNBCNews.com (blog)How Do You Solve A Problem Like The Sequester? (The Note)ABC News (blog)Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -Los Angeles Times -Washington Timesall 128 news [...]

Joe Hussein Mama

February 19th, 2013
9:48 am

Sinkiewicz — “Hey genius, it was pointed out earlier that O’bozo already got his tax increases this year.”

Hey, Fishy, answer the question in my 9:47. And then siddown and shaddup.

Itchy Finger

February 19th, 2013
9:48 am

curious:

So did the Senate dems…..

USinUK - former Girl Scout

February 19th, 2013
9:49 am

Kam – 9:45 – love pancetta … but I love my mister more :-)

barking frog

February 19th, 2013
9:49 am

The Republicans evidently do not realize that by calling
for the elimination of sequestration, the President has
preempted his ownership of the program and dumped
it into their laps.

Granny Godzilla

February 19th, 2013
9:49 am

CC

Yes, the sequester was President Obama’s idea.

and the Republicans FELL hook, line and sinker for it.

This will not go well for the GOP.

Steve

February 19th, 2013
9:49 am

I would bet my house that when the economy slows, due to this, Confederates and conservatives will forget about the sequester cuts that the Democrats do not want (and the Republicans do want), and then start whining about how Obama’s policies are hurting the economy. I guarantee it. However, most Americans won’t buy it. Game over, GOP. The Dems take back the house in 2014.

TiredOfIt

February 19th, 2013
9:49 am

Republican’s are great at playing the blame game, but as I recall, they voted for this too.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

February 19th, 2013
9:49 am

Seems to me the takers in society haven’t sacrificed one thing…

Haliburton says, “What?”

[...] press for stopgap sequester fixWashington PostObama agenda: Sequester crunch timeNBCNews.com (blog)Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -ABC News (blog) -Los Angeles Timesall 130 news [...]

[...] press for stopgap sequester fixWashington PostObama agenda: Sequester crunch timeNBCNews.com (blog)Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -ABC News (blog) -Los Angeles Timesall 130 news [...]

Common Sense is Uncommon

February 19th, 2013
9:50 am

Across the board cuts is exactly what is needed. Don’t tell me the government can’t get along with less money, a lot less money. We could save a fortune by making Obama and Michelle pay for their own vacations.

Itchy Finger

February 19th, 2013
9:51 am

Gas prices rise for 33 straight days… Great job obama making more people poor… Ain’t that the goal???

USinUK - former Girl Scout

February 19th, 2013
9:51 am

“Seems to me the takers in society haven’t sacrificed one thing…”

the zombie lie

Itchy Finger

February 19th, 2013
9:51 am

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

Seems to me the takers in society haven’t sacrificed one thing…

obama voters says, “What?”

Soothsayer

February 19th, 2013
9:52 am

комиссар (Occupation)

February 19th, 2013
9:52 am

Great analysis, Jay Bookman.

Just one wrinkle you left out — and it’s a crucial one.

It’s not just the GOP that are happy to have the “blame” put on Obama for hurling us off the austerity cliff. It’s Obama himself who thrives on it, too.

Do you really think that Obama does not want to ultimately implement drastic cuts, too? He talks about it constantly, forever chiding his liberal base with the reminder of the need to accept ‘responsible’ cuts to social programs. His replacement for Wall St. yes-man Tim Geithner is a DLC, Robert Rubin clone whose every third word is about cuts, cuts, cuts.

Amazing the gullibility of liberal analysts who persist in buying this narrative of the Obama with his hand forced, when it’s perfectly clear that Obama is party to the general thrust of what’s being done just as much, only with minor tactical differences here and there.

sanjay lal

February 19th, 2013
9:53 am

So Thomas, do we have you on the record as saying our peaceful, loving society will take care of all of those currently receiving this kind of government help once the sequester happens? Don’t repubs want us to think that those receiving such help really should just take personal responsibility and it is their own fault they are in the situation they are in?

Steve

February 19th, 2013
9:53 am

Itchy – which takers? Corporate welfare recipients? CEOs of failed companies that receive bailouts yet the CEO’s walk away with millions? Companies that don’t even pay taxes?

Those takers?

USinUK - former Girl Scout

February 19th, 2013
9:53 am

“Gas prices rise for 33 straight days… Great job obama making more people poor”

never ceases to amaze me how those on the right have eff-all clue on how the market works.

TaxPayer

February 19th, 2013
9:53 am

Itchy is whining about the impact of higher gas prices so that one must be hitting him. Good.

alex

February 19th, 2013
9:54 am

the Gop will pass a temporary budget, but in doing so will repeatedly kep the public aware of the spending problems in Washington, this willbe used to make the deficeit a GOP driven issue in the next congressional elections and will benefit GOP candidates. The GOP will not keep the govt. hostage but will keep the economics on the front burner, the dems do not want that…..Smart move, if they do it.Uh HUH–there’s your practical value, it’s called politics and the sausage is delicious!

curious

February 19th, 2013
9:54 am

Itchy Finger
“Gas prices rise for 33 straight days… Great job obama making more people poor… Ain’t that the goal???”

I thought the goal was to make oil companies more money, so they could survive without tax breaks and sibsidies.

USinUK - former Girl Scout

February 19th, 2013
9:54 am

“obama voters says, “What?””

if you’re going to steal someone else’s gig, at least be grammatically correct, ya numpty.

Peadawg

February 19th, 2013
9:54 am

Itchy Finger
February 19th, 2013
9:51 am

Bless your heart.

Steve

February 19th, 2013
9:55 am

Soothsayer – your data clearly displays the “starving the government” tactic that got us into this mess (along with rampant spending).

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

February 19th, 2013
9:56 am

USinUK

Can I assume that I brown the pancetta, remove with slotted spoon and then saute veggies in remaining oil adding pancetta later?

I just recently started cooking with pancetta. Got two recipes from Cook’s Illustrated that require it: Farfalle with pancetta, mushrooms and sage, and a Chicken Canzanese

barking frog

February 19th, 2013
9:56 am

The President can have an effect on gas prices ascending
but not on gas prices descending. How tricky is that ?

Christian Conservative

February 19th, 2013
9:56 am

Granny Godzilla:

Nothing goes well for the GOP because of the Obama loving lapdog media. I hope they hold out and shut down the gov by not raising the debt ceiling too. They can’t win either way so doing what is best for the country to curtail the enormous waste by Obama and the Dems is what they must do….

Recon 0311 2533

February 19th, 2013
9:56 am

No mention of course that Obama has failed to lead once again and has not put forth any plan of his own. The House sent a bill to the Senate but as usual Reid won’t bring it up for a vote and the hastily crafted bill by the Senate Democrats didn’t get a vote because they were too anxious to get out of town on their break. Meanwhile there will be more theatrics from this president when he gives a speech today warning of dire consequences and blaming Republicans with first responders as his backdrop. Also Erskine Boles and Alan Simpson unveiled a proposal this morning to avoid sequestration but appears according to Simpson to include entitlement reform. Simpson said that Obama will have a failed presidency if he refuses an entitlement reform component. The proposal is similar to the one crafted by the Erskine Boles commission and rejected by Obama. This action may put Obama between a Barack and a hard place.

TaxPayer

February 19th, 2013
9:56 am

I see that more of the takers (hedge fund managers, et al) are starting to shuffle more money to the Caymans and back via bogus reinsurance companies in order to avoid takes.

[...] press for stopgap sequester fixWashington PostObama agenda: Sequester crunch timeNBCNews.com (blog)Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -ABC News (blog) -Los Angeles Timesall 134 news [...]

Bhorsoft

February 19th, 2013
9:56 am

Redneck, Can’t cut the IRS – I haven’t gotten my refund yet. Without that refund, I can’t buy more beer!

Steve

February 19th, 2013
9:56 am

As soon as someone blames gas prices on Obama you immediately know that they probably never made it past sophomore year in a rural high school.

Itchy Finger

February 19th, 2013
9:57 am

barking frog

The President can have an effect on gas prices ascending
but not on gas prices descending. How tricky is that ?

Liberal logic….

ATL Tiger

February 19th, 2013
9:57 am

CBO estimated that the Fiscal Cliff Deal would raise tax revenue by $620 billion and cut spending by $15 billion or a 41:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts

USinUK - former Girl Scout

February 19th, 2013
9:57 am

from NBC:

(AAA spokesman Nancy) White and other experts blamed a series of factors for the uptick that started in mid-January:

– Some refineries are switching over from winter to summer fuel, which is more expensive to produce.

– A Hess refinery in New Jersey that supplies 7.5 percent of the Northeast’s gas is closing.
Advertise | AdChoices

– Midwinter maintenance has led some refineries to go offline temporarily.

– Demand for gas is up, fueled in part by the return of more people to working.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/18/17005861-gas-prices-at-four-month-high-after-32-days-of-hikes-at-the-pump?lite

I guess they forgot to include the Omnipotent and Omniscient Obama …

F. Sinkwich

February 19th, 2013
9:58 am

“Hey, Fishy, answer the question in my 9:47. And then siddown and shaddup.”

About malpractice?

What the eff does that have to do with anything?

Steve

February 19th, 2013
9:58 am

Gas prices increase when the economy turns around. DAMN YOU OBAMA!

Joe Hussein Mama

February 19th, 2013
9:58 am

Recon — “The House sent a bill to the Senate but as usual Reid won’t bring it up for a vote”

Dogspit doesn’t deserve a vote.

Once again, as I asked at 9:47, what do caps on malpractice awards have to do with the Federal budget, anyway?

Moderate Line

February 19th, 2013
9:58 am

The sequester, in other words, can be seen as a mini test drive for the GOP’s overall fiscal policy. What happens to government services when we implement just a fraction of the massive spending cuts that the GOP is demanding? What happens to the economy when federal spending falls by a relatively minor $85 billion between March and the end of the fiscal year in October?
+++
My prediction is the Republicans will take on the chin.

USinUK - former Girl Scout

February 19th, 2013
9:58 am

Kam – 9:56 – yep – I would use a little olive oil to help the pancetta render its fat … and I would include the red pepper flakes at the same time

комиссар (Occupation)

February 19th, 2013
9:59 am

Obama in the State of the Union:

“Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion. As a result we are more than halfway toward the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances”

Now why would someone trumpet this right wing talking point as “progress” if they were backed into a corner with a gun held to their head?

No, Obama, being the right-wing president he is, is perfectly on board with austerity, just with a few minor differences from the Republicans.

Shouldn’t you point this commonality out to your readers here, Jay, instead of leading them to believe that there is a huge substantive difference between them?

Itchy Finger

February 19th, 2013
9:59 am

USinUK – former Girl Scout:

Just copied and pasted… Talk to your lib friend about grammatical are’s sport….

Latrina

February 19th, 2013
10:00 am

The budgetary slash ‘n burn needs to occur primarily in defense.

Congress keeps pushing back against unneeded U.S. base closures because that means lost jobs in the home state.

And for cryin in the beer why do we still need 50+ miliraty bases in Germany, are we expecting a re-emergence of the Third Reich?

SPC

February 19th, 2013
10:00 am

The Greeks never made the hard decisions to turn their fiscal ship from disaster. Look where they are now and the human suffering that has resulted. While I would like to see something a little more rational, reduced spending has to happen, and the sooner the better.