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Forum Post: The GOP's Hostage Crisis ~ Sequester ~ Class War on the Budget Front

Posted 7 years ago on Feb. 28, 2013, 10:23 p.m. EST by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

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

REMEMBER: http://occupywallst.org/forum/attn-amnesiacs-both-samers-bsers-bookmark-12-dirty/



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[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

How to get out of the current Great Depression http://www.prairie2.com/2013/04/how-to-get-out-of-current-great.html

Before you can do any of these things you will need public campaign financing so that Congress actually reflects the will of the people. State government would need the same. A Constitutional Amendment could enforce this at all levels and guarantee the right to vote.

1 - Immediately raise the minimum wage to the level set in 1938, adjusted for inflation, about $11/hour. Over the next five years raise it to reflect real worker productivity of about $22/hour. Increase all government benefits to reflect the true cost living. Repeal all 'right to work' laws.

2 - Ramp up infrastructure spending until we reach full employment.

3 - Reinstate tariffs on anything we still make here and gradually reintroduce them on everything else.

4 - Make all higher education free and forgive all outstanding loans.

5 - Nationalize the Federal Reserve & seize all the 'too big to fail' banks. Establish a plan to replace all commercial banks with credit unions.

6 - Begin enforcing anti-trust laws. No national chain stores, period. No conglomerate companies. Make 80% of what Wall Street does illegal. Ban retirement money from being 'invested' in Wall Street Ponzi markets.

7 - Ban 'for profit' energy production. Put big Agri-business companies out of business. Introduce land reform and government support of small sustainable farming operations. Require farmers to join organized price contracting groups and put real teeth in them.

8 - A one time wealth tax on estates over a billion dollars. Reinstate inheritance taxes. Ban paying CEOs in stock, require boards to include workers.

There are a lot of other things to be done of course, but a real Congress that is elected by the people, not by lobbyists and big money donors could easily tackle these problems. When enough people know what the real questions are, then we can get real answers.

[-] 1 points by Middleaged (5140) 7 years ago

If you want to look at Federal Budget Data a little. I need some help from someone that knows Congressional Staff Members to ask Budget Question below. It is a little fishy, but maybe be a normal data presentation problem ... Like what happens when you "Roll up all the Data under one Heading". Congress would have to call Treasury to get the Answer, but I may try calling them tomorrow just doubt any answers.

Sort of afraid that Funds for education paid by the federal government are getting funneled off to a corporation or to indoctrinate our kids. I'm looking at 2 Treasury Statements a Daily (see 1st page) and a Monthly Treasury Statement (see page 9)

https://fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/viewDTSFiles?dir=a&fname=12092800.pdf (Daily Treasury Statement, 28 September 2012)

https://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0912.pdf (monthly Treasury Statement End of Year September 2012)

Hey maybe you could check with your congressman's staff for explaination of the Difference Between Withdrawls on the Daily Treasury Statement for Education Department Programs $226 Billion for the Year 2012... and the Monthly Treasury Statement for 2012 which shows Total Education department Outlays of $57 Billion on page 9.

https://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0912.pdf (end of year, September 2012, Monthly Treasury Statement)

The Question is about if trust Funds, Personnel benefits, or tuition Loan programs are rolling up to the Daily Withdrawls... but are not considered part of Department of Education in the Treasury Monthly Statement. Like outside programs confuse the issue...

The thing is the federal Department of Education should not really have a lot of employees. The Department of Defense & State Department would have some Teachers, administrators, and payroll deductions, health benefit deductions, pension deductions, ... The only other thing that is as expensive as employees ... is Tuition.

But if we have Increased Federal Budget Lines in the Department of defense because we have family dependents overseas, and Increased Teacher Payrolls, increased teacher benefit deductions ... this is kind of a hidden cost of Defense in some ways.

Perhaps as an outside chance, DOD Tuition Programs could apply to Veterans & Soliders within DOD Budget Lines for the Monthly treasury Report ... while showing up as Education Department Program Daily Withdrawls.

I hate to think that there is a Financial Scheme for Paying educators to teach school in the USA when we all think they are State Funded - State Controlled Teachers....

[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 7 years ago

This one's going to fall entirely on Obama; they've made him the fall guy.

[-] -1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 7 years ago

The vast right wing conspiracy huh? They sent 250 mil to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and you're saying this is right wing?

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

The usual suspects.


Destroying democracy, one State at a time, for the good of the 1%.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

Paul Ryan, just another lying, 99% hating teabagge(R).

The GreedyOilParty really like him.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Milton-Ayan-Koch disciple. Common American traitor of our times.

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 7 years ago

House repubs must begin by passing a law but claim Senate Dems must start. The repubs are just full of shit.

Repubs don't mind the cuts. They figure they can fix the defense cuts later.

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

None of it makes any difference to them, it's government, as long as their 1% owners are happy, that's all that matters.

[-] 2 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 7 years ago

The House repub tea party has a plan to destroy the govt with these self created crises.


[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Ever since the anti-Bush, Cheney, RepubliCon brand revealed it's toxic nature, people finally realized the Swindle, Dems took Congress back and Obama was elected! Then people got duped and pouted in 2010! And we will be suffering that stupid mistake for years due to GOP gerrymandering!!

[-] 1 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 7 years ago

And don't forget the scotus cu decision that allowed repubs to take control of so many state houses while we pouted in 2010.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

They didn't need the money when sooooo many suckers betrayed the 99% cause and didn't show up.

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

How the Right retorts the obvious | Thursday, February 28, 2013

Initial unemployment claims have moved back down again after spiking up the week before, indicating continued job growth. President Obama has predicted 700,000 jobs will be lost if the Republicans are able to get away with taking the sequester meat ax to the budget.

The problem with simply cutting spending is that most of what the government does is write checks for things Congress has purchased and this has to be done. There is then no alternative but to cut deep into the small segment of the budget devoted to actually doing things. Border patrols cut, FBI agents moved to part time, aircraft carriers parked. In short, run the government badly in order to 'save' money even though many of these moves will cost even more to deal with in the long run. Of course the Republicans want the government to be run badly because it makes it easier for them to steal from the rest of us.

Italy soundly rejected austerity in their Parliamentary elections. That will still need to be translated into walking away from the Euro for them to get out from the clutches of the predatory bankers. Simply put austerity is a negative growth plan, it isn't that hard to figure out that destroying the economy isn't good for anybody who isn't a disaster capitalist.

The right's retort to the obvious is that all jobs are created by the 'job creators' and they just need their confidence built up by the people being willing to destroy their economy to show the job creators how grateful we are. Econ 101: jobs are created by 'demand' for goods and services by people or government spending the money for them. Government is the only entity that can spend money no matter how bad things are otherwise. However, if you don't print your own currency like Eurozone countries (such as Italy), you're screwed. The US doesn't have that problem.

The right constantly chants that we have a spending problem. Yeah, too little spending. Neglected infrastructure, not enough education, too low wages, money hoarding by the rich, and billionaires controlling the dimwits in the Republican Party. Those are the problems.

From the ascendancy of the People's Republic of China stack: their military has embarked on program to build large numbers of 'heavy lifters'. These include cargo aircraft similar in size to the Boeing C17 Globemaster but with 21st century technology. They are also building high speed fleet re-supply vessels capable of keeping their Navy at sea anywhere in the world that they care to 'project power'. Make sure your kids sign up for those Mandarin language courses that our overlords are providing free in US schools. If you can speak the language it's easier to beg for food. http://www.prairie2.com/

[-] 0 points by shadows (-39) 7 years ago

And that font of economic wisdom, Maxine Waters, said the 170 million jobs would be lost. There aren't that many employed people in the USA.