Posted 6 years ago on Feb. 28, 2013, 10:23 p.m. EST by WSmith
from Cornelius, OR
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Day Number 1509 of the GOP ~ America Held Hostage ~ Hostage Crisis! The Sequester!
Bucking Responsibility: GOP’s History Of Demanding Obama Identify The Spending Cuts They’d Support By Travis Waldron on Feb 28, 2013 at 9:40 am
Senate Republicans unveiled their plan to avert sequestration this week, and though they are still demanding that the looming budget reductions be offset totally by a different set of budget cuts, they are refusing to say what new budget cuts they prefer. Instead, they want to give President Obama the authority to choose which programs would face cuts as part of the $85 billion plan.
Republicans have, at times, offered specific spending cuts. The House GOP budget decimated Medicare and Medicaid while cutting taxes for the rich, and the GOP offered to replace sequestration in 2012 with a plan that protected defense while shifting all the cuts to domestic programs that have already faced steep reductions. But these proposals have been unsuccessful at brokering a spending compromise with Democrats and deeply unpopular with the American people, who largely want to protect the social safety net. To avoid that problem, the GOP has often turned to demanding spending cuts without actually naming specific cuts they want, as they attempt to extract painful cuts without taking any of the blame:
1.) BUSH TAX CUTS: In 2010, when Republicans wanted to extend the Bush tax cuts, they refused to name actual spending cuts they would support to offset the $4 trillion cost. Instead, Republican lawmakers only detailed programs that were off-limits and said cuts would have to be across-the-board.
2.) FISCAL CLIFF: During negotiations to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” at the end of 2012, Republicans again struggled to specify exactly how they would cut spending. GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, asked to detail specific spending cuts, could only offer that the GOP was “looking at the spending” and “the growth in government.” The House GOP’s plan to avoid sequestration that time around ultimately made deeper cuts to popular programs so that they could protect the defense budget.
3. DEBT CEILING: Republicans again demanded spending cuts to increase the nation’s borrowing limit last month, and again they had a hard time saying exactly what spending cuts they wanted. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) offered the most honest response yet, saying the GOP couldn’t offer specifics because that would be unpopular. “[A]s soon as a specific is put out there, it is attacked by the spending piranhas on the other side,” King said, ignoring that the “spending piranhas” also include the American people.
4. ENTITLEMENTS: Throughout these budget battles, Republicans have blasted Obama for not putting forward plans to cut entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security, ignoring that Obama’s health care law cut Medicare (a fact the GOP was eager to remind Americans of during the November election). But even as Democrats made it clear that they would not support further cuts to entitlements, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) held a press conference to beg them to take the lead. Boehner’s party, perhaps learning from the backlash it has faced when it offered plans to cut Medicare in the past, refused to specify how, or by how much, it would cut entitlement programs. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/02/28/1650571/four-times-the-gop-has-demanded-spending-cuts-but-refused-to-name-specifics/
Congressional Progressive (Dems) Caucus: “Just cancel the sequester” 2/26/2013 10:00am by Gaius Publius
A small but increasing number of people have voiced the obvious solution to the “sequester” — the meat-axe budget cuts that Congress foisted on itself last year. As it stands, the sequester is supposed to kick in on March 1, this Friday. The result in DC is both consternation and quiet.
All you need to know — this is one more manufactured emergency. Who wanted it? By many accounts, Barack Obama himself. Read this good piece by Yves Smith and Bill Black at Naked Capitalism on that. I’ll have more about the Smith piece later; it deals with the causes of the present problem. Here I want to focus on the solution. How to fix the sequester? Cancel it.
If Congress cannot come up with a replacement to the sequester before the end of the week, we should eliminate the sequester entirely. One million working Americans should not be forced to pay the price for Republican stubbornness. If this goes into effect, it will be one of the most irresponsible legislative failures in the history of the Republic.
The consequences of more massive budget cuts are real. Economic growth will slow, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost, and more people will have to rely on government assistance to meet their basic needs. In 2013 alone, seventy thousand children will be kicked off Head Start. More than one million kids will see their schools lose education funds. Emergency responders will lose their jobs, meaning slower response times and weaker disaster preparedness. Layoffs and furloughs for Social Security workers will cause delays and hassles for millions of seniors who depend on Social Security to put food on the table. Cuts to air traffic controllers and airport security agents will mean longer waits and travel disruptions. CONTINUED: http://americablog.com/2013/02/congressional-progressive-caucus-add-its-voice-to-just-cancel-the-sequester.html
Everybody Listen Up! The Deficit Is Actually Shrinking, Despite Beltway Propaganda
94 percent of Americans don't know the deficit is falling. There is no deficit problem. The deficit is down 50 percent as a share of gross domestic product just since President Bush’s fiscal year 2009 deficit and is falling at the fastest rate since the end of World War II. Yet the Washington debate is about how and where to cut us back into recession. Why?
Congress should just repeal the sequester – we don’t need it. We have 10 years to fix the long-term deficit situation. We should not be stampeded by deficit-scare propaganda and instead take the time to carefully consider the right approach. That way we won’t make the mistakes that Europe is making. CONTINUED: http://www.alternet.org/economy/everybody-listen-deficit-actually-shrinking-despite-beltway-propaganda
It’s 1948 Again - Wake Up!
Thursday, 28 February 2013 14:39 By Thom Hartmann
Business Insider magazine recently polled a group of registered voters, asking them for their preferences on three different Congressional plans that have been floated to help the nation avoid damage from the looming sequester.
The poll found that when the voters didn't know which plan was whose, the policies that most voters preferred were those offered up by the Progressives (Dem) Caucus in the House of Representatives. CONTINUED: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/14860-its-1948-again-wake-up