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View Diary: There's one foolproof plan to avoid the looming budget sequester: repeal it (66 comments)

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  •  Austerity. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKinTN, Cugel, cactusgal, quill, twigg

    I keep being reminded of the summer camp where we got four ounces of orange juice and a half a slice of toast for breakfast.
    It's a fancy word for abuse, that's all.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 06:49:47 AM PST

    •  Only One Who Can Force Austerity Down Our Throats? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quill

      President Obama in his endless obsession with his idiotic "Grand Bargain". Here's what he keeps insisting is "still on the table":

      On the spending side of the ledger, Obama offered $800 billion in cuts, plus $130 billion in savings from adopting a new, less generous mechanism for adjusting Social Security benefits for inflation, the so-called "chained consumer price index" (CPI). To soften the blow to liberal Democrats like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has warned against any roll-back of benefits, the White House proposed unspecified "tweaks" that will protect "the poorest social security recipients," the source said. Obama gets another $290 billion in interest payment savings.

      The president's proposed savings include $400 billion in health outlays, $200 billion in mandatory spending in other areas, and $200 billion in discretionary cuts — including $100 from the Pentagon. As described, it does not include a Republican push to raise the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67

      This is still "on the table" while Republicans want MORE, which means since Obama STARTED the "negotiations" in the middle of the road, any deal will have to be MUCH WORSE than even these unacceptable cuts.

      And every Democrat will be pressured into supporting this insanity.

      OUR ONLY HOPE IS REPUBLICAN INTRANSIGENCE and no deal. Hence, McCain's waffling is REALLY HORRIBLE NEWS. If this signals a GOP fold on "no new revenues" then Obama will jam this garbage down our throats as "painful but necessary medicine."

      And all we have to do is look at Britain to see what will happen next: Austerity = double dip recession.

      •  the problem with that is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nextstep, VClib

        "no deal" means the sequester cuts happen in three weeks.

        The President is in a position of needing a deal in order to prevent the "austerity" that Democrats do not want.  

        The President put himself in this position when he proposed the sequester in 2011 -- where the sequester is now the default position.

        •  But, if the President would take back his "veto (0+ / 0-)

          threat," why couldn't it be repealed?

          I've heard Rep Chris Van Hollen, of all people, say that there is no reason that the sequester cannot be repealed (IOW, no law precludes the Congress from taking action to repeal the sequester.)

          The "austerity" you refer to is trading tax loopholes (which according to Bowles-Simpson will primarily fall on the lower and middle classes) for draconian cuts to Social Security and Medicare.  

          If I may ask, exactly what do you mean by preventing "the austerity that Democrats do not want?"

          It is beginning to appear that Democrats have decided to get on board with Pete Peterson's demands (see excerpt and link, below), and cut the social insurance programs, in order to funnel money to him and other billionaires, via a 'private infrastructure bank,' etc.

          Otherwise, why don't Democrats (and the White House) allow, and push for, military spending cuts?  Having worked with DOD for over twenty years, I can vouch for the fact that there is A LOT OF FAT TO CUT.

          I went through repeated RIFS and furloughs during my career.  These mechanisms are simply "budgetary tools," and have been used for decades. The "end of the world" scenario is ridiculous, at best.

          Bottom line, for the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone in Washington believes that the effect of temporary, short-term furloughs (mainly), could be any worse than the effect of cuts to seniors' pocketbooks, which will surely hamper their ability to participate in the broader economy.

          Why did you start the Peter G. Peterson Foundation?

          I think of my life as one of those great, only-in-America stories. And I want to do all I can to make sure that my own grandchildren and future generations of Americans benefit from a growing economy that provides abundant opportunities for success. This will require investments in areas such as education, research and development, and infrastructure that give rise to innovation and new jobs.

          Here's the link to the entire Q&A.

          IMHO, we need to cut military spending, not social programs, in order to "free up" money to spend on infrastructure, R&E, etc.

          BTW, don't mean to be contentious.  I agree with you on a lot of matters.  :-)

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

          "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

          by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:38:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The way to free up money is for Congress to loosen (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            musiccitymollie

            the purse strings.
            The idea that dollars first have to transit through banks and the bond market before the Congress can spend is ludicrous. All it does is remunerate a permanent class of middlemen who have grown accustomed to getting a cut of every public dollar spent. They're like highway men of old, except their holdup is enshrined in the laws. The outlaws are now inlaws. The illegal is not legal.

            We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

            by hannah on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:04:10 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The sequester is a promise to engage in (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musiccitymollie

          self-abuse. You are welcome to define that anyway you like.

          Cutting off your nose to spite your face is an old saying and, apparently, not without relevance.

          Sequester is also a fancy word for hoarding and rationing. Like austerity is sounds better, but the basic object is still abuse.

          And we wonder how come domestic abuse is so prevalent.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:58:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Great Depression II (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        twigg, musiccitymollie

        Was only avoided during the Bush II, [the war criminal] recession of 2007, because of Social Security.

        Imagine if 55 million elderly and disabled people had not had SS to protect them from the ravages of that recession.

        I am being somewhat redundant, but the solution to SS is not cuts of any kind.

        The solution is to remove the cap on FICA taxation for the wealthiest earners and include dividend and capital gains income for FICA taxation just like labor income.

        Bernie Sanders, [I], Vermont introduced such a bill in 2012. It sits in committee unable to make it to the Senate floor for a vote.

        Contact YOUR US Senators and urge them to bring the Sanders bill to the floor for a vote.

        BTW, sequestration is no something either party wants to avoid. It is part of the effort to consolidate the power of the MIC under privatized corporate power dominated and controlled by the wealthy elite.

        Neither party wants to stop sequestration.

    •  There is only one problem with austerity. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musiccitymollie

      It only ever hurts the poor and lower paid. I'll extend that to much of the middle class, who are all wage-earners of one sort or another.

      Austerity NEVER affects anyone who votes for it, or their families, or anyone with sufficient resources to ride it out.

      They do not share the sacrifice, they simply demand it of us.

      When austerity can be made into a shared sacrifice, then I will support it but I rather suspect that it wouldn't be necessary.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      Who is twigg?

      by twigg on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:15:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It doesn't really matter whom abuse affects. (0+ / 0-)

        Even the abuser is reduced in stature when he gets away with depriving his own kind of the necessities of life. If s/he's been tasked with actually providing, then the offense is double.

        We have to reject the notion that humans have to deserve to live. If they have a right to life, then they are entitled to live and somebody has an obligation to see that they do. In the interest of efficiency, we have delegated those obligations to representatives assembled in Congress. So, if they don't carry out their obligations then, like the unjust steward in the Bible, they have to be sacked.
        The Congress has jurisdiction over all national natural resources and public assets, including the currency.  If they can't manage, then they need to, like Ratzinger, resign.

        The Congress seems full of extortionists.  What do they want to extort? Votes. How do they mean to accomplish that? By visiting deprivation on everyone who has voted on wrong so next time they'll vote right and the less-deprived can say to themselves "there but for my Republican vote, go I."
        Or, think how much the dead-beat dad is loved when he comes home from the pub without a dime and doesn't take it out of the children's hide, after all. What a good dad!

        We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

        by hannah on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 11:16:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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