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View Diary: Cancer Clinics Stop Treating Cancer. Sequester Brings New Meaning to 'Die Quickly!' (40 comments)

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  •  Sequester History (8+ / 0-)

    Why Obama Refuses to kill Sequester

    Both sides seem remarkably confident in their contradictory views, which suggests that there is more here than meets the eye. Notice how Bowles and Simpson have been hauled out of mothballs, and how the bipartisan plutocratic Fix the Debt messaging has ratcheted up? As the Democrats and Republicans play Punch and Judy with each other, the real effort will be to come up with a backroom deal on cutting Social Security and Medicare enticing enough to get the Republicans to persuade their recalcitrant members to accept some token tax increases to secure a much bigger prize.

    But unless both sides get lucky and the sequester produces serious bad photo images (airport lines? parents stuck due to the cessation of federally funded daycare? noise about tax refunds arriving later than usual? slashing of support for low income groups, like rental assistance programs and Head Start? ) it likely be at least a month before there is any economic effect (which means at least another three weeks beyond that before a deal is agreed upon).

    Even then, the blowback may not support the political classes’ desire for a middle-class fleecing deal. For instance, in the extract above, the Republican strategists seem to believe the public thinks reducing military spending is bad. In fact, polls show the public overwhelmingly favors curbing military spending over cutting Social Security and Medicare. And ironically if the armed forces cut the use of contractors (which is where reductions are expected to fall most heavily) those might also fall on overseas activities, which would blunt the domestic economic impact. And what if, mirabile dictu, the public starts realizing that government provides programs they like (this was one of the ironies Matt Taibbi tore into with Tea Partiers, that they were against government yet firmly dependent on it, with many members on Medicare)? If that idea began to dawn on more of the public, it could have meaningful long-term ramifications.

    Bill Black looks under the rug.  It is ugly!

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