Oh the terrible catastrophe of sequester

Obama’s weekly radio address today:

Doom and gloom is just around the corner. Oceans will rise. Planets will fly out of their orbits, if Congress allows the sequester to take place. Children and senior citizens will be fighting over scraps of garbage in the streets.

This I know for Obama tells me so:

“If the sequester is allowed to go forward, thousands of Americans who work in fields like national security, education or clean energy are likely to be laid off. Firefighters and food inspectors could also find themselves out of work – leaving our communities vulnerable. Programs like Head Start would be cut, and lifesaving research into diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s could be scaled back. Small businesses could be prevented from getting the resources and support they need to keep their doors open. People with disabilities who are waiting for their benefits could be forced to wait even longer. All our economic progress could be put at risk. …

“Right now, most Members of Congress – including many Republicans – don’t think it’s a good idea to put thousands of jobs at risk and do unnecessary damage to our economy. And yet the current Republican plan puts the burden of avoiding those cuts mainly on seniors and middle-class families. They would rather ask more from the vast majority of Americans and put our recovery at risk than close even a single tax loophole that benefits the wealthy.”

Never mind that clean energy and Head Start have been multibillion-dollar black holes, let’s see just how big those drastic cuts really are.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute has crunched the numbers in that recent CBO report and comes up with a chart that illustrates the depths and breadth of the cuts over the next decade:

After the dreaded sequestration, the federal government expands by $2.4 trillion instead of $2.5 trillion.

Mitchell calls everything Obama says about the consequences of sequestration “utter bunk,” and concludes, “So let’s not just have a sequester. Let’s joyfully embrace it.

As for damaging the economy, The Wall Street Journal recently stated in an editorial titled “The Unscary Sequester” that:

“The most disingenuous White House claim is that the sequester will hurt the economy. Reality check: The cuts amount to about 0.5% of GDP. The theory that any and all government spending is ‘stimulus’ has been put to the test over the last five years, and the result has been the weakest recovery in 75 years and trillion-dollar annual deficits. …

“The sequester will surely require worker furloughs and cutbacks in certain nonpriority services. But most of those layoffs will happen in the Washington, D.C. area, the recession-free region that has boomed during the Obama era.”

Here is Mitchell on CNBC:

Charles Krauthammer has advised the GOP to call Obama’s bluff:

“The Republicans finally have leverage. They should use it. Obama capitalized on the automaticity of the expiring Bush tax cuts to get what he wanted at the fiscal cliff — higher tax rates. Republicans now have automaticity on their side.

“If they do nothing, the $1.2 trillion in cuts go into effect. This is the one time Republicans can get cuts under an administration that has no intent of cutting anything. Get them while you can.”

Everyone bemoans the fact the cuts would be indiscriminate across-the-board. Yes, selective cuts would be better, but there is no chance this Congress can agree on selective cuts. So, take whatever cuts we can get and run with it.

10 comments on “Oh the terrible catastrophe of sequester

  1. Vernon Clayson says:

    Members of the Congress will fold as they have since Obama entered their world, he may not be our messiah but he sure is theirs. With the caveat that we’ve seen Obama throwing a baseball girlie style, his use of the sequester threat is a high hard fastball in his tether ball game. He and they will delay and obfuscate until another issue comes up, sequestration has replaced Benghazi as the media plank and none shall mention a formal budget when sequester looms over us. Who among those that voted for him have any idea or even care what the word means?

  2. Steve says:

    Here comes yet another CR.

  3. Steve says:

    Continuing resolution.

  4. nyp10025 says:

    Paul Ryan on sequestration:
    “Sequestration would have a crippling effect on our Armed Forces. Sequestration could break the back of a military stretched thin by three years of cuts and ten years of war.Sequestration would force the greatest Armed Forces in history to its knees, resulting in the smallest Army since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1916, and the smallest Air Force in our history. We would risk ceding our special role in world affairs to countries such as Russia and China, who are both vastly expanding their military power.We would risk breaking faith with our all-volunteer military, reneging on sacred promises made to care for the health and well-being of our troops and our veterans. We would risk the gains made against global terrorism and risk our ability to prevent another September 11th attack.And we would tacitly accept what our military leadership calls an extraordinary and unacceptable degree of danger in a strategically uncertain and perilous time. In addition to this threat to our national security, the sequester would also impose deep cuts to programs like the National Institutes of Health and border security, squeezing critical priorities while letting entitlement spending remain on autopilot.”

  5. nyp10025 says:

    Of course, it is comforting that the Wall Street Journal editorial page believes that sequestration is nothing to worry about. That’s good, since the very
    same editorial page published an essay last summer, entitled “The Coming Defense Crack-Up,” that said that we should be very worried indeed:

    ” Barring Presidential leadership soon, the Pentagon will be walloped with another deep and disproportionate funding cut—around 9% across the board, or nearly $50 billion a year for a decade. Some policy train wrecks in Washington are sudden. Then there’s the catastrophe playing out in slow motion known as defense sequestration. …Like an audience at a horror movie, nearly everyone paying attention is yelling “watch out!” into a political and media void. … Sequestration compounds the damage because the cuts would be automatic and indiscriminate. The Pentagon now concedes that funding for the war in Afghanistan would be hit, contrary to past assurances. So would current operations in the Persian Gulf. Training programs, equipment maintenance and military benefits are affected too. Training programs, equipment maintenance and military benefits are affected too. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin says the law obliges it to send layoff warnings as soon as October to most of its 123,000 workers—the kind of manufacturing jobs Democrats claim to love.”

  6. Steve says:

    Surprise. Nyp calling out snippets of hypocrisy.
    Nyps peeps are so good at these things while the other side is just catching on. Give’m time Nyp, they will get as good as you guys are.

    Or maybe they will go in another direction completely. (I hope)

    Gov Christie simply speaks his mind and its infecting governors along the east coast so much, Deval Patrick stood up and laid it on the line yesterday while your guy Cuomo let a bunch of people get stuck on the freeway,,,, again.

    Happy digging!

  7. Obama has four more years to destroy the military. Why wait?


  8. Rincon says:

    Thanks for exposing the hypocrisy of the WSJ, nyp. So much for a level-headed business publication. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen it. You think any defense contractors advertise in it? Paul Ryan and Obama are politicians, of course. We expect them to be highly trained at talking out of both sides of their mouths.

  9. Obama can’t keep his story about the sequester, which was the White House’s idea, straight. He keeps moving the goal post. He said last year: “I will veto any effort to get rid of these automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending,” he said. “There will be no easy off-ramps on this one.”


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