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Goposaur upside down
Here's a simple proposition: Republicans who think it's a brilliant political move to refuse to compromise on the sequester are nuts. Don't ask me, ask former Virginia governor and Republican National Committee chairman Jim Gilmore. He says:
“That’s the biggest problem with the Republicans” on Capitol Hill, Gilmore, a former Virginia governor, said this morning over coffee and a ham-and-egg biscuit in Alexandria. “They think spending is the most important thing. It’s not.”

He says he has urged GOP leaders to back down and compromise to prevent the so-called sequester spending cuts from going through – “I keep telling them, you’re going to lose this” – and he has strong words for congressional leaders’ focus on deficit reduction as their primary economy goal.

“Above all things,” he says, “they shouldn’t be talking about debt and deficits. Because the left’s got an answer for them.”

That answer would be, raise taxes, which Gilmore says is the opposite of what the economy needs right now – and he’s quite critical of Democrats for pushing tax increases. But spending cuts won’t help the economy either, he says.

I'd happily trade no tax increases for no spending cuts—the last thing this economy needs is another idiotic round of austerity. But another idiotic round of austerity is exactly what we're headed toward and it's all thanks to the sequester. If I had my way, we'd just repeal the damn thing, but neither Democrats nor Republicans are on board with that.

Given the choice, the Democratic plan is much better than the Republican plan—they want long-term spending cuts and revenue hikes, while Republicans want the harsh, indiscriminate, and immediate cuts of the sequester. It's not just substantively better, either—it's also politically better. Despite warnings from guys like Gilmore, the Republicans are about to walk into a buzz saw, but they don't seem to have any clue. If it weren't going to be bad for the country, it would be pretty damn entertaining.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:13 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, yeah...... (22+ / 0-)
    “Above all things,” he says, “they shouldn’t be talking about debt and deficits. Because the left’s got an answer for them.”

    That answer would be, raise taxes,

    Fact is, the GOP doesn't care about deficits, it cares about "big government".   "Big government" is crippled by cutting spending with a meat ax.

    That's not even "gun control". It's more like "massacre control".

    by Inland on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:19:44 PM PST

  •  Lose? Lose what, exactly? (17+ / 0-)

    They're all pretty safe and comfortable in their gerrymandered seats - in fact, they crazier they act the safer it becomes for them to appease the super Right Wing base, which is all they care about. And once they do leave office, they're assured of cushy high paying jobs for defense firms, think tanks, and gun manufacturers, so they win there. The Presidency? Seriously, that's too much like work, and it's far easier to be the party of NO and obstruct than to govern - they'd actually have to SOLVE problems instead of creating them. They can happily destroy the social and economic structure of the country, and never be held to account. No, they've got nothing to lose.

    But we are sick and tired of hearing your song/ Telling how you are gonna change right from wrong/'Cause if you really want to hear our views/You haven't done nothing! - Stevie

    by Fordmandalay on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:32:41 PM PST

    •  When the cuts start hitting the GOP (7+ / 0-)

      constituency, the Republicans in congress have plenty to lose, I don't care how red their voters' necks are.

      But Gilmore is wrong too.  Tax increases won't hurt the economy if the people whose taxes are being raised can afford it.  If the people who have garnered the overwhelming majority of all the wealth created in the last 30 years have to pay higher taxes, they may scream and cry that they can't hoard their money away from the tax man anymore, and they'll have to see it taxed away or invested in an enterprise, that's a good thing.  If Wall Street has to be taxed on each transaction that flies through their computers, that's not going to hurt the economy either.

      Raising taxes on those who can afford it will adversely affect the economy a lot less - if at all -  than taking benefits away from people who need them to survive.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:49:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They'll just blame Obama (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Coss, Jeff Y

        And say the Rs weren't conservative enough. If these people haven't learned their lesson after 8 years of Bush/Cheney, and 4 years of the R Party blatantly doing everything they can to actually destroy the country in spite, then they will never learn.

        But we are sick and tired of hearing your song/ Telling how you are gonna change right from wrong/'Cause if you really want to hear our views/You haven't done nothing! - Stevie

        by Fordmandalay on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:53:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Haven't you heard? (0+ / 0-)

      The sequester was the Kenyan Muslim's idea, and the public is totally going to blame him when the cuts hit.

  •  I think they will lose on the issue too, but (8+ / 0-)

    I think the key is the Dems have to pass their plan through the Senate. I dont think it will happen by March 1st, but I they do need to get it passed in the Senate so that all Dems,especially the president, can point to that legislation put pressure on the House to pass it.

    •  Just have the GOP filibuster it in Senate... (7+ / 0-)

      If Reid forces a cloture vote and the GOP blocks it - that would be good enough for the Dems to hit on.

      It's really a game of chicken because the Chamber of Commerce and the MIC do not want the sequester cuts to happen, and the Dems have to know this.  So the GOP is trying to bluff when if they do "shoot the hostage" it will piss off the COC, MIC royally, as well as hurt the economy across the board - everybody will be hurt because the GOP wouldn't raise anymore revenues by closing loopholes and making sure rich folks were paying their proper tax percentage.  

      Keystone XL Pipeline - Canada gets the money, Asia gets the oil, America gets the toxic refinery pollution and potential for a pipeline leak ecological disaster.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:44:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right, just put to a vote in the Senate (8+ / 0-)

        Filibuster is most likely, but it wouldnt shock me if it got 5 GOP votes and passed, given the dislike of the sequester and the relative popular tax increases.

        The House GOP sequester plan barely passed in the last Congress, at the end of the year, so I dont think it would pass in this Congress.

      •  This is a particularly bad time for the Economy to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Stude Dude

        take a huge hit like this one.
           In the fourth quarter of 2012 there was negative growth in the GDP. On top of that the price of gas has skyrocketed in the past month or so, lowering disposable income for average Americans.
           On top of those factors, people just took a 2% (payroll tax) hit on their paychecks, further lowering consumer spending.
           Given those factors, the Republicans insisting on these meat-ax cuts could derail the recovery, and in so doing, they'd be squarely responsible for mindlessly throwing us back into recession.
           It could end up costing them the House of Representatives next year, and deservedly so!

        "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

        by elwior on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:37:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's the only hope (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That the money wing of the party will rein them in.

  •  Provided the administration takes the most (11+ / 0-)

    political approach to the thing, it would work out beautifully. But yes, real people will be hurt. Which is all the more reason to make Republicans hurt and hurt bad.

    If it were me in charge, first day of the sequester I'd open a web site where people can write in to tell the government how they are being hurt so that President Obama forward those names to their local Congressmen and Senators.

  •  Gilmore's antics while governor drove me to a (19+ / 0-)

    lawyer's office.  While we were there, getting our family trust set up, I asked, steely-eyed, "Now--does this 'living will' document guarantee that no wild-eyed, right-wing future governor can force my family to keep me in a vegetative state if I'm in a nearly fatal accident?"

    The lawyer, himself most likely a Republican, looked startled, but nodded.

    Gilmore forced a young wife to keep her vegetative-state husband alive in a hospital room after the husband was in a really bad car smash.  The poor man had no hope of recovery at all; meanwhile, his wife, not allowed to order life support turned off, was supposed to keep him there while her finances were completely depleted.  It seems her husband had only left verbal, not written, instructions as to what she was to do in that eventuality.

    I made damned sure that my family will be allowed to pull the plug on me if I'm ever in a vegetative state.  I do not want them to be bankrupted because of someone else's asinine religious beliefs.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:37:28 PM PST

  •  And there isn't near enough non-Pentagon (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, DuzT

    discretionary spending cuts available, so the GOP has to push SS/Medicare/Medicaid cuts in their plans or very deep spending cuts in literally everything else if they don't want to raise any revenues.  

    But if GOP drops their deficit/debt issue - what do they have?  They ran on nothing and stand for nothing.  Whatever Pres Obama is for - they're against.  

    Dems got a plan that would see the deficit go down without cuts that would hurt the economic growth as it has new revenues in it.  The GOP offers a plan that is deep cuts - but won't spell them out because they know they're unpopular.  As the sequester gets closer and both plans become news and readily talked about it will only get worse for the GOP as they protect big oil's $4B tax subsidy, private jet tax breaks, tax breaks for businesses that ship jobs overseas etc.  

    The GOP is so impotent that they're left grandstanding by filibustering cabinet nominees - even when it's a former fellow Republican for the Secretary of Defense spot.  

    Keystone XL Pipeline - Canada gets the money, Asia gets the oil, America gets the toxic refinery pollution and potential for a pipeline leak ecological disaster.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:38:55 PM PST

  •  The evil Rs don't care; it's makes their evil 1% (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, NancyWH, DuzT, elwior

    Masters happy.

  •  Looks to me like all will "lose". nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dance lightly upon the Earth, Sing her songs with wild abandon, Smile upon all forms of Life ...and be well.

    by LinSea on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:47:51 PM PST

  •  What I wonder (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, defluxion10, elwior

    Why does everyone think Republicans aren't willing to cut defense?  

    The issue we have is Dems still assume and deal as though they are interacting with Reagan Republicans...versus ruin Obama's legacy republicans.

    They seem to have gotten past it, but the sequester is the legacy of this misguided belief.

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 02:53:56 PM PST

  •  Here we go again (5+ / 0-)
    But as Tuesday progressed, it seemed clear that the party -- and the White House in particular -- was prepared to go even further. At his daily briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted that any sequestration replacement bill be "balanced" in its approach, but he refused to go into specifics.

    "Balanced means revenues as well as spending cuts, first of all," he said, in response to a question from The Huffington Post. "And then I would note that we support the proposals put forward by Senate Democrats and House Democrats and you can evaluate them in terms of ratios."

    While the White House supports bills that split revenue hikes and spending cuts equally, whether it will insist on that ratio is another question entirely. Carney, notably, didn't demand an even split. In early February, meanwhile, top economic aide Jason Furman made the case that even if the sequester deal contained more cuts than revenues, it would fit the president's definition of parity because of how the recent debate over the fiscal cliff played out.

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:15:34 PM PST

  •  They just never learn (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aquarius40, PorridgeGun

    They're still hoping, despite the fact that it still hasn't happened yet, that the public will somehow blame Obama for not caving in enough to their demands.  The problem is, this strategy only works when the public is, you know, supportive of what you're trying to do.  Which it isn't, at the moment.

    All your vote are belong to us.

    by Harkov311 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:32:36 PM PST

    •  It's (almost) amusing seeing kos' diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      about the GOP's permanent minority status arriving, yet here we have the majority party and a newly re-elected president, who barely a month into his second term, acting like co-partners in the minority. And that's being kind to the White House braintrust and Dem leadership.

  •  They are going to stand by their principles (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Which are that there are Makers and Takers, and we must give as much money as possible to the Makers while punishing the Takers.

    And since most of America is now a Taker in some form, they are about to commit massive political suicide.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:35:26 PM PST

  •  dems could whack limbaugh hard with this (0+ / 0-)

    while all RW radio blowhards, reaching 50 mil a week, are blaming obama the dem party and administration is missing a great opportunity to blame this on limbaugh.

    limbaugh spent weeks before the debt ceiling deadline assuring his listeners that defaulting would be no big deal and it would finally force obama to make the cuts they wanted. they should be reminded of that and a good many will not be able to deny it.

    since most economists would agree there would have been serious worldwide and US consequences if the US defaulted limbaugh was either being an idiot or he was lying to improve the republicans bargaining power. he and his handlers may have thought obama was going to cave, in which case the lying would have been  worth it to them (as usual), but it was only delayed and now the sequestration cuts are close.

    so was he lying to the tea party to push them to the edge, or was he really that stupid?

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 03:42:32 PM PST

  •  And now those two ancient zombies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Simpson and Bowles are back with a plan to - surprise - cut Social Security Medicare and Medicaid.

  •  starve (0+ / 0-)

    The Rs just want to starve the beast--Ds want to protect the needy.  We should all want to starve the military--we can't afford to outspend the rest of the world on military arms.  Some in the world are our allies, aren't they?

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:00:05 PM PST

  •  EU Austerity: Depression + Business Tax Cuts (0+ / 0-)

    The wealthy and businesses were willing to let the EU economies crash because they got tax cuts.

    The GOP's version is a giant turd sandwich for business - a potential recession and no tax cuts.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:00:21 PM PST

  •  Huge hit on the economy vs. huge hit on politics. (0+ / 0-)

    I think that's the Sequester Question.

    The GOP is cock sure the public - at least, their public - wants deficit and debt reduction and less government. They believe that so strongly that when push comes to shove, they're willing to play chicken with the sequester.

    Our take is that the sequester will hit the economy much too hard. Alternatively, some of us argue to take the hit and see the politics - which we are sure of - favor less austerity and sufficient government to do the things "the public" wants.

    In any event, the public reaction to the effects of the sequester will be Fast. Big. Not ignorable. And our guy has the best arguments, the facts being with him, and the best pulpit.

    I say: be willing to Let the Sequester Happen. We could do a lot worse.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:14:45 PM PST

  •  Shorter Gilmore: Borrow and Spend. (0+ / 0-)

    Yep; the Republican TeaP's are between Iraq and their Pants down to their Ankles.

    They're Stuck.

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:16:51 PM PST

  •  if taxes are not raised (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    on the wealthy what are they giving back to the country that made them rich, they don't serve in the military, are not held responsible for breaking civil or criminal laws, all they do is take and blame the givers in society for being ungrateful and wanting to earn a living wage for their toil rather then being below the poverty level, which the wealthy say is their own fault.

    some of the wealthy in america are clones of the romney clan, they actually think they keep getting wealthier because they are smarter than everyone else when the reality is they are members of the elite class and they can't lose because the system is fixed in the favor of the wealthy at the expense of the givers, which is the vast majority of america and which the 1% are not a member of and never have been.

  •  The fixation on debt is all wrong (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP can't explain what economic problem they are fixing.

    high interest rates?  Hardly

    Inflation?  Not so much

    Dollar devaluations compared to other currency?  Not so much

    So what the hell are they solving?

    This is a transparent axe to the government being used for no reason other than the GOP hates government.

    I have a fix for them.  Resign!

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 04:46:44 PM PST

  •  So Is That A Tax-And-Spend Republican? -n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Who's dumb enough to believe that... (0+ / 0-)

    politicians stupid enough to enact a law so odious that it would have to be repealed are smart enough to repeal it?

  •  I had no idea (0+ / 0-)

    that there were any Keynesians left in the Republican Party.

    Wonders never cease.

    "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

    by gharlane on Tue Feb 19, 2013 at 11:21:01 PM PST

  •  I don't understand (0+ / 0-)
    If I had my way, we'd just repeal the damn thing, but neither Democrats nor Republicans are on board with that.
    Why shouldn't the dems vote for repeal? We have increased revenues and we have installed cuts. It would allow the nation to heal if we could get away from the drama mama's for a while.

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 07:04:11 AM PST

  •  This Sequestration thing will put millions of... (0+ / 0-)

    ... seniors in "protect" mode. Protect what you have because who knows what tomorrow might or not bring. We will stop spending; put off optional travel, purchases not essential. Literally save for our futures and childrens and grand childrens futures. The consumer market will feel the impact immediately. This will impact other generations similar spending as well. Local and state gov'ts will suffer lower tax revenue receipts creating increased unemployment that also will impact consumer level spending...etc., etc. and this is only the consumer level response, mainstreet will almost immediately down-shift gears and later national and multinational will have an excuse to pocket more profits and layoff more worker bees. Not a comforting picture...hope I'm just over-thinking the whole thing and it won't be as "snafu" as I imagine it.

    Our nations quality of life is based on the rightousness of its people.

    by kalihikane on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 08:49:26 AM PST

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