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John Boehner
House Speaker John Boehner has described the sequester as the GOP's 'ultimate leverage'
Let's be clear about one thing: the harsh automatic budget cuts of the sequester that will kick in on March 1 have nothing to do with responsible fiscal policy. They are a political gimmick run amok and despite their bipartisan origins, the political party that is now most intent on wielding them as a weapon is the GOP. Their goal: enact deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits while preserving benefits from tax loopholes and deductions for the wealthiest Americans.
Congressional Republicans are standing their ground, a position they say is strategic. The federal government’s growing debt cannot be controlled through the spending at the annual discretion of Congress, and after the cuts take effect, that part of the federal budget will drop to levels not seen in five decades as measured against the size of the economy. Long term, the problem is entitlements, especially Medicare and Social Security.

The pain of further cuts to discretionary programs could bring Mr. Obama to the negotiating table on them by the spring, if not by midsummer, when Congress must once again raise the government’s borrowing limit.

“Because the Democratic-controlled Senate and the president refuse to negotiate, the only way to potentially bring them to the table to negotiate is to go forward with the spending reductions as they are,” [Georgia Republican Rep. Tom] Price said.

They aren't satisfied with the chained CPI Social Security benefit cut President Barack Obama has said he would be willing to accept in exchange for closing loopholes and deductions. They look at the fact that the budget deficit has dropped by roughly half since President Obama's first year and scoff. They hear that projected Medicare spending has already dropped by more than Simpson-Bowles originally sought and think to themselves that this is a good idea:
Nearly two million people who have been out of work for more than six months could see unemployment payments drop by 11 percent in checks that arrive in late March or the first days of April, according to the White House budget office, an average of $132 a month. [...]

The National Institutes of Health, for instance, would need to cut about 5 percent of its annual budget in just seven months, meaning hundreds fewer research grants, said Kathleen Sebelius, the health secretary. Money for food safety inspection and air traffic controllers would also be cut.

Roughly 600,000 low-income women and children would stop receiving food aid.

There's no question that President Obama and congressional Democrats shoulder some of the responsibility for getting us to this point. But for the most part, the thing they've done wrong is failing to fight against insane Republican ideas—and to assume that today's GOP is capable of operating in good faith. But what Republicans are doing here is going after one group of vulnerable Americans to screw over another group of vulnerable Americans, and this pattern of destructive crisis after destructive crisis isn't going to stop until they stop.

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Comment Preferences

  •  not sure (12+ / 0-)

    how does Obama shoulder some of the responsibility ,all I have seen is a fairly centrist president try to bend over backwards to appease 1990's vintage conservatives .    

    •  If he was on board with the sequester, he... (7+ / 0-)

      ...shoulders a portion of the responsibility.

      Now, you can say he was bullied into it...forced into it by virtue of the impending election pre-2012 (when the deal was made)...whatever.

      Say what you will, but you cannot disassociate Obama or congressional Democrats from this sequester. They own it as surely as Republicans do...it's just that Republicans aren't running from it now.

      Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

      by Love Me Slender on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:09:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bending over backwards means no responsibility? (5+ / 0-)

      The less one is willing to resist crappy ideas from known maniacs, the less guilt one has for those crappy ideas becoming reality?

      According to Woodward, Obama's people proposed sequestration.

      The President himself publicly stated that he'd veto any attempt to repeal sequestration.

      "I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before." Barack Obama

      by quagmiremonkey on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:45:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ...and lest we forget, chained CPI is also his... (7+ / 0-)

        ...idea.

        It is convenient to blame all this on Republicans, but we have controlled a large slice of government for the better part of 5 years. If ridiculous cuts are on the horizon, it is past time to look inward for blame.

        In other words, Democrats could have imposed their will on Republicans long ago...House control or not. It simply is not being done...and in fact, we're moving to the right more and more each day under a Dem president and senate.

        Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

        by Love Me Slender on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:59:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It was a tactic to force compromise in Congress (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mchestnutjr, askew

        and avoid a government shutdown at a time when the danger of a double dip recession was REAL.

        What President Obama was counting on, I think, was the pressure of defense contractors and other big money boys to force republicans to compromise.

        I hope that in the next few weeks  he will be proven right. I have to admit being nervous about that.

        And the media, AS USUAL, is diluting his bully pulpit. The amount of stupidity and confusion we hear from them is pretty discouraging.

        •  We said at the time (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musiccitymollie, quagmiremonkey

          that this was a very risky bet and dangerous political strategy.

          What President Obama was counting on, I think, was the pressure of defense contractors and other big money boys to force republicans to compromise.
          In the end, tax pledges hold more sway than the defense dept...especially when it means Republicans get to say "Democrats cut  defense at war time"...

          The trigger was one-sided...and now they are paying for it...

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

          by justmy2 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:53:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  LP2008, he won't be proven right unless we put (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          quagmiremonkey

          pressure on him and the Dem Leaders to NOT SHRED the social safety net.

          The Sequester was an ill-conceived "gimmick," apparently a throwback to the 1980's--a completely different era.

          But instead of being distracted by 'the water under the bridge,' seems to me that Dems need to contact their lawmakers to stop them from making a collossal blunder--cutting Social Security and Medicare.

          I hope that we can at least agree on that! :-)

          Mollie

          "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

          hiddennplainsight

          by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:05:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Sadly, that's how: bending over backwards (0+ / 0-)

      At some point you have to realize that you can't negotiate with people who are held hostage by lunatics.

      It's like Obama has put himself and the GOP in a room with a time bomb in it, to force the GOP to work with him. And all the time bomb needs to be defused is to hear a coherent sentence in another voice behind Obama's. As the clock ticks down, Obama says: "Just once sentence! One!" and the Republicans responde "Argle! Bloogle farg!"

      "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton | http://ideaddicted.blogspot.com

      by jbeach on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:13:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the info (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    msmacgyver, commonmass, Amber6541
  •  The Shock Doctrine Comes Home (10+ / 0-)

    Oligarchs, abetted by their Republican puppets in congress want your Social Security.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:34:55 AM PST

    •  The puppets are in both parties (8+ / 0-)

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:46:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Raising The Social Security FRA On-The-Table! (0+ / 0-)

        Grand Bargain Watch - Save Social Security

        I will be posting a diary on my own blog, and cross-posting here later today, regarding this "news."

        I will have a "video clip" of this almost hour-long C-Span conversation between Todd Zwillich (Public Radio International, The Takeaway) and C-Span Host Steve Scully.

        Here's a partial transcript of their conversation:

        "The President has put on-the-table in his discussions with Boehner, ah, raising the retirement age."
        Zwillich further adds:
        "You're gonna hear more about this thing called 'Chained CPI.'  That's a fancy way of saying "changing the formula that the Government uses to calculate Cost of Living Allowance (COLA)."

        "What it amounts to is a Social Security "cut" for a lot of middle income people, over the long run.  But it would save the Government a significant amount of money on Social Security."

        Don't know about you folks, but I've already started calling the White House and "the Hill" today.

        I've wondered about this for some time, because it was hard for me to believe that the Dems (or the President) would get much in the form of "tax revenue," for ONLY the Chained (or Superlative) CPI.

        I say this, because it is the "least" draconian of the three (3) major cuts to Social Security that Bowles-Simpson's Fiscal Commission recommended in 2010.  Of course, they have "re-recommended" these cuts within the past week.

        Zwillich wasn't sure that these cuts would come this week, but states that they are part of the "Grand Bargain" that the President still hopes to strike with Speaker Boehner.

        My hope is that this information will wake up the progressive community, and spur it into action.

        Please folks, at the very least, start burning up those phone lines, and don't stop until all this sequester and fiscal crises talk is resolved!

        Mollie

        "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

        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:49:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We all know about CCPI by now (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          musiccitymollie

          And while it may well be the least worst of the cuts, I don't see why we need ANY cuts, for both policy and political reasons. It's a cheap short-cut to look "serious" and avoid a real fight, which we need to have.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:17:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Kovie--Did you notice the 'main' point of my (0+ / 0-)

            comment above?

            The "breaking news" is that THE PRESIDENT HAS PUT RAISING THE FULL RETIREMENT AGE [FRA] TO AGE 69, ON-THE-TABLE [DURING THE NEGOTIATIONS AT THE END OF THE YEAR].

            THAT WAS MY PRIMARY POINT.  

            Yes, most of us are aware of the offering up of changing the formula for determining COLA increases, to the Chained CPI.

            But, the actual confirmation of the Administration putting THE RAISING OF THE FRA TO AGE 69 [FROM AGE 67] IS 'MAJOR,' IMHO.
            I'M GOING TO TRY TO CUT A VIDEO CLIP OF THIS PORTION FROM THE FULL INTERVIEW.  BUT I WILL ALSO OFFER THE FULL INTERVIEW BY EMBED, OR BY LINK.

            All of us surely need to meet this news with first consternation--THEN ACTION!

            Please let the PtB know that you do no support this (if you don't, that is).  :-)

            Mollie

            "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

            hiddennplainsight

            by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:42:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've lost track of what he's put on the table (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              musiccitymollie

              and when, and what he's kept on the table, since there have been so many. Are you referring to the SS or Medicare age?

              Of course, there are still those who contend that one, this is not accurate but rather the result of bad or malicious reporting, two, even if it's accurate he doesn't really intend to sign off on these things and it's just part of his brilliant negotiating strategy to make Repubs look bad and get something in the mix, and three, even if he does sign off on them, then they're not really such so bad and well worth what we get in return and/or avoid that would be even worse. See, the man literally can do no wrong no matter what he does or why!

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:50:01 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  kovie--I'm not talking about raising the Medicare (0+ / 0-)

                eligibility age, which has long been (and is) on the table (unless it was very recently taken off).


                Mr. Todd Zwillich was referring to "raising the Full Retirement Age (FRA) for Social Security eligibility."  

                This is one of the Bowles-Simpson recommendations, of course.

                Two very highly reputed, mainstream media reporters were on a very respectable C-Span series called Washington Journal.  I've watched it (and called in) for over twenty years.

                Our lawmakers, think tanks experts, opinion editors and columnists, news reporters and journalists are guests daily on this call-in program.

                I've got to run and work on the video at my blog, in order to post it on several blogs late today or tomorrow.  

                But, I'll say this one last thing.

                When I state something, I very often back it up with either text, video, transcript, or audio--something.

                I try to deal with people who are serious-minded.  And, I make a good faith effort to present the evidence and facts, and allow everyone to make of them what they will.

                I prefer to use transcripts, presenting the "actor's" own words.  (That term is not meant in a derogatory manner, just generically.)

                Respectfully, the idea that two [somewhat] left-leaning institutional organizations are engaging in "bad or malicious reporting,"--isn't that a bit unfair to say, until you see the video?

                Almost all the reporters that appear on Washington Journal are "super corporatist," and generally all support the Bowles-Simpson Fiscal Commission's recommendations, including the use of the sequester to cut (by bargaining for cuts to Social Security and Medicare) our social insurance programs.

                The fact of the matter is that Mr. Zwillich was actually defending the President when he mentioned that he had put raising the Full Retirement Age for Social Security, on-the-table with Speaker Boehner.  He was definitely not ridiculing him.

                But certainly, it is for you, and each and every individual here to decide what they want to believe.

                I believed him.  

                And as I said, the comment was made in the context of "taking up for the President--not in any way bashing him."  The lead-up question from Mr. Steve Scully should make this obvious.

                Honestly, the only 'winners and losers' that I care about, are the American People.

                Thanks for your reply, kovie.  I appreciate that you always engage in civil and pleasant discussion and debate.  :-)

                Mollie

                "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

                hiddennplainsight

                by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:54:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't say that these media outlets (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  musiccitymollie

                  were doing this, just that OTHERS were saying this, and have been saying it, here and elsewhere. I was just presenting the logical chain of assertions some people have been making as to Obama's approach to all this.

                  IOW I was trying to show how ridiculous their contentions were.

                  And I didn't realize that in addition to CCPI and raising the Medicare age, Obama had also proposed raising the SS age. Where has that been reported?

                  "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                  by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:08:59 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  kovie, the video that I'll be posting IS the first (0+ / 0-)

                    confirmation that I know of from an actual mainstream journalist.

                    That's WHY I called it "Breaking News," earlier today, LOL!

                    Look, I'll post the video clip (if it's embeddable), or a link to it, if it isn't.  

                    Got to run an errand, then I'm back to accomplish this little "chore."

                    Again, this is a very serious civic program.  It's not some bunch of talking heads, conducting the interviews with the guests.  

                    But, you make of it, what you will.

                    Look, I'm a "policy" person, not a 'cult of personality-type' individual.  So, IMO, I'm fairly objective when viewing policy information, or news events presented to me.  

                    IOW, I care about the policy results--not who has a tactical or strategic advantage.  

                    'Cause IMHO, Grandma ain't gonna care 'who said, or did what,' if she's forced to eat cat food, LOL!

                    But, if you or anyone else can present evidence, or proof that this reporter is fabricating his report--go for it!  

                    All I want, is the truth.

                    Mollie

                    "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

                    hiddennplainsight

                    by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:43:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  CSPAN's videos are now all available online (0+ / 0-)

                      and embeddable here. I've done it once or twice myself. Just make sure to use the format that's compatible with this site and set the start point to just before his remarks. I forgot the code but it's pretty easy to figure out.

                      Btw, I'm very familiar with WJ, having watched it religiously most mornings (on DVR delay) for several years. I probably heard your call in fact (and if you don't have it, it's sure to be in their archives)! And I agree, the people it invites overall tend to slant right. They definitely have lefties on, but averaged out they tend to have more right than left-leaning guests--especially when you factor in that the "centrists" they have on tend to lean right too.

                      My favorite host is Susan Swain, btw, fwiw.

                      Btw, whose quote is in the blockquotes?

                      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                      by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:16:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  kovie, this'll be short. I'm posting both the one (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kovie

                        minute plus clip, and the entire show, below.

                        Grand Bargain Watch - Save Social Security
                        [Photo Credit:  Grand Bargain Watch--Save Social Security, DonkeyHotey's Photostream, flickr]

                        The blockquote is around my personal opinion, regarding politics.

                        I look for the policy outcome that is best for the masses, and generally leave the bickering and tactics to others, LOL!

                        Here's the entire Washington Journal segment, Saturday, February 23, 2013.

                        and here's the video "clip."

                        Hope you enjoy them!

                        Mollie

                        "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

                        hiddennplainsight

                        by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:01:00 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  See this is why I stopped watching WJ (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          musiccitymollie

                          and the Sunday political shows. The vast majority of guests either want these cuts, or don't have a problem with them and agree that they're necessary. There is absolutely a coordinated and concerted effort going on to lie to the public about this and CSPAN is as guilty as anyone of helping in this effort.

                          I can't tell you how much I despise these people, fatuously and glibly claiming that because all the "serious" people agree that these cuts are necessary (which they're not), they are therefore necessary and inevitable. They don't care if that's true or not. They don't get paid to think or care. They get paid to promote the official narrative. The fix is in. This is a MASSIVE con.

                          Btw, I now recall that some time ago there was discussion among some Dems of raising the SS in addition to the Medicare age, along with CCPI, means testing and such. I'm not sure if Obama's ever been on record as saying that too. You know what, though? Whoever supports this will pay a huge political price. I think that this time, the Village has become so insular and divorced from reality that it doesn't realize how politically dangerous doing this would be, to both parties. It's so drunk on its abused power and sense of superiority that it's drinking its own kool aid. They are delusional. Not only are none of these cuts necessary, there will be a huge economic and political price if they happen. Hell, for even trying to make them happen. I hope Obama knows this.

                          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                          by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:48:56 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Hear, hear, kovie. No arguments from me on (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            kovie

                            anything you said.

                            We don't watch Washington Journal like we did.  We NEVER missed it for years.

                            Still watch (or listen to on Satellite radio) quite a bit of the C-Span hearings, forums, etc.

                            Steve and Susan were our favorites (guess they still are, though they've changed a great deal, unfortunately.)

                            You've probably heard both me and Mr. Mollie, more than once, LOL!

                            Unfortunately, I believe that the President believes that the cuts are either necessary, or good--or both.  Partly, because of the WaPo Editorial Board interview that I've posted here many times, in which he says that he needs to be the one to cut, or reform "entitlements." (instead of kicking the can down the road.)  This interview was just days before his first inauguration.

                            I truly hope that I'm wrong.  

                            As a matter of fact, I pray that I'm wrong, every day.  :-)

                            Mollie

                            "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

                            hiddennplainsight

                            by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:10:15 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I've decided that he's not fit or meant (0+ / 0-)

                            to do the big stuff, lacking the genuine seriousness of purpose and heart to take it on--as well as political skills and toughness. I prefer if he sticks to the small to medium bore (but still quite important) stuff while holding the fort on the big stuff, until a real leader comes along, which he's not. He's a good actor, and not necessarily a bad man or lacking in ability. But he's no Lincoln, FDR or LBJ. He lacks the very sense of urgency he wrote about in his book. You need a real fire in your belly and rock-solid sense of dedication to do what they did, and he lacks that. He tries to make up for it with pretty speeches and playing one of the Very Serious People, but it's just fluff, not substance.

                            Anyone who truly wants a Grand Bargain and believes it to be necessary is by definition the very opposite of an actually serious person. I think he bought into the hype, and doesn't realize that it's just that, hype.

                            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                            by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:40:14 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You nailed it, in your last paragraph. :-) N/T (0+ / 0-)

                            Mollie

                            "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

                            hiddennplainsight

                            by musiccitymollie on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 05:59:31 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Btw (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          musiccitymollie

                          I wasn't refuting this report, just saying that some Obama supporters are likely to, because this is what they always do when a report comes out that makes Obama look bad. Not that reporters don't sometimes lie, exaggerate or make honest mistakes. But unless one has proof of this or knows them to be unreliable, or they claim something truly out of left field, one can to grant them provisional credibility. With a grain of salt. Even the best outlets get some things wrong, in part, and even whole. E.g. Judy Miller.

                          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                          by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:03:14 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

    •  The sequester (0+ / 0-)

      doesn't give them any of it, though. Social Security is exempt from the sequester, isn't it?

      •  Elmo, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING EXCERPTS (0+ / 0-)

        FROM THE PRESIDENT'S WEEKLY ADDRESS AND JAY CARNEY IN  THE FRIDAY PRESS BRIEFING.

        Grand Bargain Watch - Save Social Security

        I will be cross-posting this type of material as a diary, soon, since posting it in comment sections seems to "get lost."

        I've posted very many similar transcript excerpts (from DKos' own very excellent Transcript Editors,) time and time again.

        They are explicit.  The Grand Bargain means trading off cuts to the social insurance programs, FOR tax revenue.

        This is what the "Grand Bargain" is, folks.

        And the way that the sequester will be stopped, is by putting "entitlements" (or, at the very least, programs dear to the heart of Dems) on the chopping block.

        I will make a "video clip" of the reporter telling the C-Span host which entitlements are on-the-table.  I'll put a link to it and my own diary in this comment section, later today.

        Here's the link to the Friday, February 22, 2013 Press Briefing, with Press Secretary, Jay Carney.  And here's the excerpt below:

        MR. CARNEY:  I want to thank Secretary LaHood with whom it is always a pleasure to share this podium.  (Laughter.)  No, I mean that seriously.  And he’ll be missed by me and everyone else here at the White House.

        If I could just -- in answer to the question in the back, we’ll just go straight to the issue here.  The way to avert sequester is to pass a bill that can be agreed to by Democrats and Republicans that either buys down the sequester or, when there was time to do this, that achieves the $4-trillion goal by reducing the deficit further along the lines of the big deal that President Obama and Speaker Boehner were talking about during the fiscal cliff negotiations.  There’s the offer the President made is still on the table -- spending cuts, entitlement savings, and revenues through tax reform.

        In this process, if you accept the premise that for Democrats it is hard to go along with spending cuts -- or harder to go along with spending cuts and hard to go along with entitlement savings, that they might prefer to do revenues over that.  So the tough sell to Democrats is to go along with spending cuts and entitlement savings, and that the tough sell, as we all know, because we hear it all the time, for Republicans is to go along with revenue increases; and that leadership is represented in part, certainly in the discourse here in Washington, by a willingness by the leaders of one party to convince their members to go along with tough choices.

        And I would then ask you to look at the proposals that we put up, that I had on the screen here yesterday, the offer that we made to Speaker Boehner, the President’s budget, the President’s submission to the super committee, which was specifically designed to eliminate the sequester.  And in every single one, he has put forward balance.  He has put forward spending cuts and savings from entitlement reforms.  And as all of you know who have covered Washington, some of that savings is a hard sell to Democrats.  But this President has been leading on the issue.

        Unfortunately, we have not seen any commensurate action by Republican leaders.  Their answer always is:  spending cuts only, no revenues, entitlement savings only, no revenues, burden borne by seniors or FAA employees or border security guards or children with disabilities, but not the wealthiest, not corporations who enjoy tax breaks, not oil and gas companies who get subsidies.  That is always their answer.

        So you can’t -- it is hard to find a compromise solution with a side that says the only available solution from our view is if you come 100 percent to us.  And that, unfortunately, has been the narrative that you have been dealing with -- and certainly we have been dealing with -- now for -- really since the beginning of 2011.

        The President supports the proposals that the Senate Democrats have put forward and the House Democrats have put forward that would buy down the sequester and give Congress time to work on a bigger deal to reach that $4-trillion target in deficit reduction. The President has signed into law, as you know, already $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction -- two-thirds of which is comprised of spending cuts and savings from entitlements.  So only a third of that has been from revenues.

        We want balance. [My words:  this is the euphemism for trading cuts to Social Security and Medicare, for "revenue or tax increases."]
        The American public wants balance.  There was, I think, a public poll that was published in USA Today -- I don’t see a representative from that fine newspaper here today  -- but yesterday that I think cited 76 percent of the American people support a balanced approach to this challenge.  Something like 19 percent supported a “my way or the highway” spending cuts-only approach.
        And from the President's own website, Your Weekly Address, (the video is their, here's the link):
        I believe we should work together to build on the more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved.  But I believe we should do it in a balanced way – with smart spending cuts, entitlement reform, and tax reform. That’s my plan.  It's got tough cuts, tough reforms, and asks more of the wealthiest Americans. It's on the White House website for everyone to see.  And it requires Democrats and Republicans to meet half way to resolve the problem.  That’s what the American people expect. And that’s what you deserve.
        Hopefully, Elmo, you and others will see that this is not 'my opinion.'

        It is fact, as stated by the very "actors" in this drama (or their representatives).

        Please everyone, read the transcripts that are posted a DKos, daily.  They are 'chock-full' of pertinent information.

        These two transcripts explicitly state the bottom line:  cuts to entitlements, for raising tax revenue.  Period.  Full stop.  End of story.

        :-)

        Mollie

        "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

        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:29:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Moreover . . . (14+ / 0-)
    But what Republicans are doing here is going after one group of vulnerable Americans to screw over another group of vulnerable Americans, and this pattern of destructive crisis after destructive crisis isn't going to stop until they stop.
    . . . it is my opinion that the Republican party must be destroyed.

    Ceterum censeo Factionem Republicanam esse delendam.

    by journeyman on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:36:51 AM PST

  •  The GOP could care less about budget deficit (14+ / 0-)

    Diary link:

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    In fiscal year 2010, which was President Obama's first full fiscal year in office, the budget deficit was $1.3 trillion. In fiscal year 2013, the Congressional Budget Office projects it will be $845 billion. That's a 35 percent decrease in terms of dollars, and it's even bigger—41 percent—if you're tracking the deficit as a share of the GDP. The percentage drop is even bigger—roughly 50 percent—if you start from fiscal year 2009, which overlapped the final year of the Bush presidency and the first year of Obama's.

    When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:37:31 AM PST

  •  Desperate And Down To Their Last Hostage (6+ / 0-)

    Obama has successfully navigated a running hostage situation with the House GOP and has gotten them down to this last one; the sequestration cuts.

    Unfortunately, I think the GOP wants their pound of flesh, they believe the American People need to be punished, so they will let the sequestration happen.

    It will be the end of the GOP as we know it. Obama will rake them over the coals non-stop until they beg for mercy.

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

    by Beetwasher on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:38:14 AM PST

    •  This is not the last economic hostage (9+ / 0-)

      available to the Republicans, even if they couldn't think up any more.  Budget reconciliation renewal is right around the corner, and the government will hit the debt ceiling again in late summer.  This hostage-taking will continue, down to the level of individual bills, as long as taking the country's economy hostage works for the Republicans (i.e., the deficit hawks in the party - namely the fat cats, who are the only ones benefiting from the cuts).  Not until rank-and-file Republican voters stop voting enough Republicans into power to continue hostage-taking will the hostage-taking stop.

      "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 Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:13:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed...imagine their leverage in 2014... (6+ / 0-)

        ...when gas prices are over $4/gallon and unemployment benefits meet their maker again.

        It flatters the vanity of many on this site to believe that Republicans are finished. To the contrary, there is little more dangerous than a wounded politician with virtually nothing to lose and everything to gain. Expect this to escalate in the 12-16 months to follow.

        Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

        by Love Me Slender on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:02:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Imagine Repub leverage if Dems fold, and shred (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe, Love Me Slender

          Social Security and Medicare.  Sequester, or not , the Adminstration has the fate of the Democratic Party in their hands.

          If they fold, pass, and enact draconian cuts to Social Security and Medicare, like the NPR International journalist Todd Zwillich says they're planning to do in a Grand Bargain--we're cooked!

          We have got to try to pressure the PtB in our party, to not make this strategic blunder. [When reform or "cuts" are made to entitlement programs, the President who signs these reforms "own them."  

          Remember, folks may not know 'the details' of the reform proposed by the Greenspan Commission, but it is common knowledge that the reform occurred under President Reagan's watch (he signed it into law).

          We absolutely cannot let this happen under a Democratic Party Administration.  

          Mollie

          "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

          hiddennplainsight

          by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:26:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  TESTIFY! You should write a diary on this, Mollie. (0+ / 0-)

            Seriously...the worship MUST give way to sound policy on this one. People who think Dems and forever assured of electoral success due to what happened in 2012 need to think about our chances in 2014 and 2016 if we gut SS and allow widespread austerity to take hold...ON OUR WATCH.

            We can try to pin it on Repubs all we want, but WE control the WH and senate. The power to make things right is within our grasp.

            Adequate health care should be a LEGAL RIGHT in the U.S without begging or bankruptcy. Until it is, we should not dare call our society civilized.

            by Love Me Slender on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:24:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks, LMS, for the nice and encouraging words, (0+ / 0-)

              LOL!

              I needed those, actually.

              Seriously, I often feel like the "skunk at the Garden Party," but I'm old enough to recognize that if we (Dems) want to return to being the party of FDR and LBJ, we have got to be willing to at least try to push back on the party's rightward lurch, over the past 30 years or so.

              At any rate, I've got "clip" the video (since I know that most folks will NOT be willing to watch 50-60 minutes of Washington Journal), and post it will only a very brief description.  I haven't checked yet.  I'm assuming that it will have an embed code.  If not, I'll just post a link in this comment thread.

              Actually, if I get too pressed for time, I may just post the video, here.  At least the context would already be "presented," so to speak.

              I do believe that the video will speak for itself.  

              Because as I just mentioned to kovie, Mr. Zwillich was not ridiculing, but defending the President, when he mentioned the cuts that he offered Boehner at year's end.

              Hope you catch the video.  With any luck, I'll post it this evening (or early a.m. tomorrow).

              Thanks for your reply.  And I appreciate your blogging efforts, as well.  :-)

              Mollie

              "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

              hiddennplainsight

              by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:05:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Hear, hear, SueDe! And also, Dems have to (0+ / 0-)

        rid the party of the corporatist and Blue Dog Dems who vote with Republicans on so many issues.

        And, Dems need to stiffen their spines, in general.

        "Go along, to get along" gets you only so far, LOL!  

        Personally, I'm sick of this "let's hold hands and jump together" nonsense, packaged as "centrism."

        Mollie

        "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

        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:51:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No, there are more to come.... the budget for (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eps62, Apost8, DSPS owl, 3goldens, LillithMc

      next year that is due at the end of March.  Then the next debt limit increase and so on...  The Republicans have found a toy they like to play with.

    •  not the last one...not by a long shot (0+ / 0-)

      and even worse...we are wasting the 1st 100 days talking about debt debt debt vs jobs jobs jobs...

      that isn't  success... in my humble opinion...

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

      by justmy2 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:57:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This won't hurt national security (8+ / 0-)

    The bloated military budget is a major threat to our security and a cut is likely to forestall the growth of the ever spiraling cancer.  If cuttig back leads to fewer wars, so muc the better.

    But the rest is true

    Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

    by Mindful Nature on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:40:05 AM PST

    •  Homeland Security faces 20% cut. If HS is actually (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mindful Nature, 3goldens

      needed, this will hurt.  If noT needed this will show we don't need all of this paranoid security.  As they say of TV, following the beeping alarm. "THIS IS A TEST.'

      •  the sequester will make it clear (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        drmah, 3goldens

        what we do and don't need I imagine.  When meat prices go up for want of inspectors, people might notice.  Of course, Americans will probably blame government for not allowing tainted meat simply be sold.

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:07:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The people must be punished!! (16+ / 0-)

    Twice now, voters have rejected the GOP and voted for the hated Dems.

    So the GOP has set out to punish America for her infidelity to conservative politics.

    The GOP is committed to a policy of "if they don't vote for us, we will wreck the country".

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:41:26 AM PST

    •  The WHOLE of the GOP agenda (7+ / 0-)

      is to wreck the country.

      All they ever propose is wreckage.

      if we can't fuck america like this we'll fuck it like that, but fuck it we will.

      They seek the total hobbling of government.

       I expect corporations to lead an agenda to take a lot of guns away to make the country safer for the fuckery they intend.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:47:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, they are salivating at the prospect (0+ / 0-)

        of helping Chris Christie drown the government in the Taft bathtub in 2016.

        What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

        by commonmass on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:55:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The GOP doesn't want to wreck the country. (0+ / 0-)

        They want to OWN the country and make a profit from it at the population's expense.  And the sooner the rank-and-file Republican voters learn that lesson the better off all of us will be.

        "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 Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:14:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I can't wait for Americans to simply riot. (8+ / 0-)

    But they probably won't.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:42:49 AM PST

  •  If the sequester happens, (8+ / 0-)

    I sincerely hope that in further negotiations, Democrats fight like hell to keep most or all of the military spending cuts. I won't hold my breath though.

    (Yes, I know this effects lots of jobs, but it might be a blessing in disguise.)

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:43:23 AM PST

  •  What do they want? (6+ / 0-)

    All we hear is Republicans want to cut Social Security and Medicare.  Where are the details??? What is their plan???

    •  Not exactly sure what "the plan" is (0+ / 0-)

      ..but I'm sure it's derived from a dystopian novel or two.

      "All your money are belong to us" - anonymous Billionaire Boy's Club member

      by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:33:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does that matter? Frankly, I've never found their (0+ / 0-)

      explicit plans.

      But all over the White House transcripts are blatant references to cutting "entitlements."

      And now there's even a journalist willing to publicly state that the Social Security Full Retirement Age (FRA) has been offered in negotiations.
      This is a NPR Washington correspondent, not a blogger.  It's his business to know what's happening in D.C.

      So, I'm not that worried about what the Republicans want.

      It's what the Democratic Party wants, and IS WILLING TO FIGHT FOR, THAT MATTERS!

      Mollie

      "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

      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:34:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correction To Comment Above: The Washington (0+ / 0-)

        correspondent to whom I referred is T Zwillich, a Public Radio International (PRI) Washington Correspondent, not a NPR Washington correspondent.

        I apologize.

        Mollie

        "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

        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:42:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  When someone tries to break into your home (5+ / 0-)

    and the cops are late in arriving and when they finally do arrive, they refuse to apprehend the would-be robber, instead offering to buy them a new TV and living room set drive them back home for free if they stop trying to break down your front door, who do you get angrier at, the robber or the cops?

    You all know exactly what I'm talking about. Let's not put all the blame on the GOP. They're shitbags, but many of the Dems we keep electing to stand up to them aren't much better, and in some cases as bad. You expect a shitbag to be a shitbag, doesn't make it ok but it's who they are, but the people who are supposed to protect your from them have no excuse for not doing so.

    Better, not merely more Dems.

    Meanwhile, more bipartisan kabuki. Now its Obama's turn to play his part.

    What's he going to offer them now, partial privatization of Social Security?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:46:19 AM PST

    •  As long as he's the only adult in the room (0+ / 0-)

      I don't care how much harm he causes to me, my children, my fellow non-1% Americans and the world at large. It's worth it to make some conservative guy's head explode… of course in a figurative sense… given that said guy's long held policy goals dominate the whole discussion… but look how my nominally liberal guy has to steer around skin tags while he's shaving, while everyone else has peach fuzz and acne: so win!

      "I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before." Barack Obama

      by quagmiremonkey on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:10:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I do care (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quagmiremonkey, musiccitymollie

        It's the whole point of having an adult in the room.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:15:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The "adult" meme has become ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

          Since when are adults inherently trustworthy allies, merely by dint of their maturity? I left your children / economy / safety net / planet with "an adult in a room", so we know they'll be just fine! Because people who can take care of their own shit are automatically looking out for yours!

          I recall how much was made of the previous President's self-identification with Christianity. If such proclamations were encountered on the street, the con artist antenna would vibrate immediately; but folks in Washington would never stoop to such BS? Really?

          "I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before." Barack Obama

          by quagmiremonkey on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:01:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess that my definition of adult (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            quagmiremonkey

            includes a sense of responsibility to others and basic morality.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:51:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I know such adults exist exist outside of the room (0+ / 0-)

              that the GOP and the President share, but they're going to have to be mighty insistent if they want to get in, as I assume you'll agree.

              Perhaps we do disagree about what makes a person an adult. I view responsibility to others and related moral positions as crucial matters of opinion that can unite people and determine the character of a society, rather than concrete stages of human development. I much prefer your "shitbags" to a debate over whether or not Obama has achieved a higher level of objective human perfection.

              In any case, I dig how eloquently you expressed the frustrations that I too share with Dems, earlier in the thread.

              "I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before." Barack Obama

              by quagmiremonkey on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:00:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Now this wasn't necessary, was it? (0+ / 0-)
                I much prefer your "shitbags" to a debate over whether or not Obama has achieved a higher level of objective human perfection.
                He is far, far, FAR from having "achieved a higher level of objective human perfection", and I don't appreciate the straw man. Part of being an adult it not resorting to cheap shots in lieu of substantive discourse. People who criticize people who criticize Obama has being purists are just discrediting themselves.

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:36:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I believe I may not be communicating clearly (0+ / 0-)

                  Shitbags was your term, but I did not mean to say that you were applying it to the President. I was merely and genuinely praising that more casual label for one's ideological enemies in contrast with what I see as the clouding of political essentials that occurs when folks claim that the President should be praised for his "adulthood".

                  And just to be clear, because I think I've come across in a confused manner: I honestly loath the record of this President on most scores, including his authoritarianism, warmaking, catering to Wall Street and energy, failure to substantially address climate change, focus on austerity and general conservative bent in most all significant matters. I voted for him in 2008, but am entirely fed up and went with Rocky Anderson in 2012.

                  In my initial response, I was "piling on" the establishment Dems following your initiating comment, which I genuinely applauded. If my snark about the value of the President having to shave revealed a difference of opinion over the utility of the word "adult" it is of small importance to me, given what appears to be a set of shared positions on the crucial issues. I certainly didn't mean to label you a "purist".

                  I can appreciate your defensiveness, as my own criticisms of the status quo have earned me many unfair hide rates, name calling and such on this site.

                  "I am confident that we're going to be able to leave the Gulf Coast in better shape than it was before." Barack Obama

                  by quagmiremonkey on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 11:30:26 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Outrage! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, hmi, 3goldens

    Outrage, outrage, villify, angry retort.

    Rage. Rant. Villify.

    Whew, that was exhausting.

  •  This is madness. (6+ / 0-)

    Our economy can't handle any more austerity. Yet it seems like the G-O-TEA is hellbent on creating a double dip recession. And yes, the G-O-TEA created this problem by holding the debt ceiling hostage! How can the President work with a broken and dysfunctional Congress?

    Instead of helping economic recovery, Congress is harming it.

    •  Yes, I suspect their strategy is to (5+ / 0-)

      tank the economy so going in to 2016 the can blame it on Obama and the Senate and make gains (and the White House) in the election.

      Somehow, I don't think that's going to work. They may tank the economy, but I have a sneaking suspicion voters will be blaming them, not the Democrats, in 2016.

      What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

      by commonmass on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:50:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Party Before People!!! (5+ / 0-)

        "The sun is shining........"

        by LamontCranston on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:06:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  They're swimming against the tide (3+ / 0-)

        The austerity agenda that failed at the ballot box in 2012 is popular with the old white people who will be even less powerful in 2016.

        (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

        by TrueBlueDem on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:06:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Respectfully, the "old white people" that you (0+ / 0-)

          refer to, who went for Republicans, did so partly because Repubs pledged to exclude seniors age 55 and older from the brunt of the Social Security cuts (which is untrue--but they ran on that).  I know some of these folks.

          "Austerity" as defined by cuts to Social Security and Medicare were NEVER popular with OWP (as you say).

          And they won't be with young and old folks of all colors, if the social safety net is shredded, for tax revenue.

          Just watch.

          Mollie

          "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

          hiddennplainsight

          by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:39:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  This is about 2014 (5+ / 0-)

        as much as it is 2016.

        "Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me."-- Harry S. Truman

        by irmaly on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:22:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with you, IF the (0+ / 0-)

        Administration steers clear of cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

        If they don't, all bets are off, IMO.

        I honestly can't imagine why Dems would even consider trying to enact cuts.

        Just look at what's going on now.  They are delusional if they believe for a New York minute that Repubs won't blame them for all the cuts to the social insurance programs.

        Heck, Dems have already lost seniors and many Boomers.  What are they trying for--a party of nothing but 35-year-olds and younger?

        I just don't get it.  For decades they by far exceeded Republicans, when it came to garnering the senior vote.  Now, starting back in 2011, all the Administration does is talk about "cutting entitlements" in exchange for tax revenue.

        Do they really believe that seniors are willing to sacrifice putting food on the table, and forfeiting healthcare for tax revenue?

        Unbelieveable.

        Mollie

        "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

        hiddennplainsight

        by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:53:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They must still get their math from Karl Rove. (5+ / 0-)

    They're plummeting in approval polls, yet they still seem to think this is a winning strategy, or maybe they just don't care.

  •  Carville is right. Cruel and stupid means GOP. (12+ / 0-)

    I had a guy come in to my study last week to take issue with the bent of my sermons (I'm a preacher).  Apparently he thought me going all Jesusy was seen as partisan.  It seems this guy feels all of society's ills are attributable to lazy poor people who deserve to suffer and choose to be poor.  Then he waxed nostalgic for the good old days when hobos used to trade yard work for a meal when they stopped in to his childhood home farm and how virtuous the poor used be by working their way across the country by choice.  And how he was able to pay for his entire college education by working grunt jobs (in the 1950s).  I asked him if he thinks a person could pay for school and living expenses on what he could earn today at a minimum wage job.  Obviously, no.  I asked him if it would be good if families lose their house and live under a bridge like those good old hobos of the 30s and 40s did.  This guy could not connect dots.  So I took him to task for his hostility to the poor and pointed out how unlike the kingdom of heaven that mentality is.  I do not think he will be coming back.

    "The opposite of faith is not doubt. It's certainty."

    by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:50:44 AM PST

  •  Sequester cuts are bad, but (11+ / 0-)

    Let's stop pretending they will "harm national security". The military budget has doubled in the last ten years. There is still plenty of money to protect the nation.

    "It is easier to fool people, than to convince them they've been fooled" - Mark Twain

    by Sarge in Seattle on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 07:50:49 AM PST

  •  fine, stand your ground Repugs, (5+ / 0-)

    and hopefully be held accountable and voted out of office in 2014!!! I hope enough people in America get so sick and tired of your bullshit, that they take to the streets or reenergize occupy or something!!!

  •  So this is GOPs plan to win friends and influence (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, eps62, 3goldens

    people?  LOL!

  •  Scoffing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    "They look at the fact that the budget deficit has dropped by roughly half since President Obama's first year and scoff."

    And well they might. This is from the CBO report that Lewison links in his earlier diaries:

    "The federal budget deficit, which shrank as a percentage of GDP for the third year in a row in 2012, will fall again in 2013, if current laws remain the same...Nevertheless, if the laws that govern taxes and spending do not change, federal debt held by the public will reach 76 percent of GDP by the end of this fiscal year, the largest percentage since 1950.
    ... under current law, the deficit is projected to dip as low as 2.4 percent of GDP by 2015... In later years, however, projected deficits rise steadily, reaching almost 4 percent of GDP in 2023. ...With such deficits, federal debt would remain above 73 percent of GDP— far higher than the 39 percent average seen over the past four decades."
    http://www.cbo.gov/...
  •  "president refuse to negotiate" (3+ / 0-)

    With economic terrorists

    I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

    by JML9999 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:00:12 AM PST

  •  Then blame Obama for it! Ultimate GOP wet dream! (0+ / 0-)

    The only thing labeled "patriot" the Republicans deserve is a friggin...missile!

  •  compromise (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueDem, elboomerbabe
    There's no question that President Obama and congressional Democrats shoulder some of the responsibility for getting us to this point
    Compromise, by definition, means not getting everything you want, Dems did the sequester thing to get the debt limit increased--to save the fragile economy.  It worked--and now is the time to hold their ground--Almost 10 years ago, Clinton let Rs screw up the economy--and they yielded.  Time to do that again--Americans agreed then, and will do so again.  The president should make clear that his forced defense  cuts will permanently affect a weapons project--the F-35 disaster.  The rs will fold asap.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:02:34 AM PST

  •  Let's be clear about something (4+ / 0-)

    The 600,000 women and children that the linked article cites who would stop receiving food aid are not food stamp recipients.  Food stamps (now known as the SNAP program) are exempt from cuts under the sequester.  I can't find the number 600,000 women and children anywhere except this article; what would be subject to cuts are funds available for emergency aid (extra funds above food stamps for victims of emergencies such as Sandy) and overseas food programs administered as part of U.S. foreign aid programs.

    Domestic food programs eligible for federal matching funds or grants such as Meals on Wheels, food pantries, state school lunch and breakfast programs and food kitchens will also be subject to sequester cuts.

    "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 Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:04:15 AM PST

  •  90% national "defense" cut would increase security (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    Your unfortunate tittle, probably unintentionally, reinforces the bipartisan, national security state meme and plays into the hands of the war profiteers that own this country.

  •  Bad Idea (6+ / 0-)

    This was always a colossally bad idea for Democrats. The idea was to give away just about every Democratic principle all at once, and it will all be ok because Republicans will never go through with it because they have skin in the game in the form of defense cuts. It ignored over a decade of stark evidence that the Republicans have no skin in any game. They could care less about anything, will be happy to temporarily sacrifice their defense spending to obliterate the New Deal, and always have their ways around the problem anyway. Defense cuts? No problem. Just whine, piss and moan about Democrats being weak on defense for 30 seconds, and they get all their defense spending back through the quickest bill to ever go through Congress. What Americans have to ask themselves is how long will be accept bad policy based on falsehoods and fictions. Until we stop accepting the fictions, we'll never get anywhere in this country.

    Using my free speech while I still have it. http://www.ellenofthetenth.blogspot.com/

    by ebgill on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:10:13 AM PST

    •  It is a colossally bad idea for the American (0+ / 0-)

      People.  Please call your lawmakers and the White House and tell them that cuts to the social insurance programs (entitlements as they are constantly referred to) are NOT ACCEPTABLE!

      It's not too late to act to stop these draconian cuts to Social Security and Medicare, if we act now.

      Mollie

      "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

      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:35:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The sequester is the "lesser of many evils" here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elboomerbabe

    Any compromise will cut deep into our bedrock safety net programs, and those cuts tend to stick. Cuts to staffing levels are much easier to reverse once the hundreds of affected interests (meat industry, airlines, universities, etc.) start whining loud enough.

    (-2.38, -3.28) Independent thinker

    by TrueBlueDem on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:12:21 AM PST

    •  Respectfully, why not insist on cuts to defense (0+ / 0-)

      spending,  I worked for over twenty years with the DOD (DOA and USAF).

      The budgets are "bloated" big time.

      Let's not give up just yet.  :-)

      Mollie

      "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

      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:37:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But it makes them look REALLY GOOD with the 15% (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elboomerbabe

    Of their hardcore, nutjob base - so it will help them get re-elected. And really, what's more important here?

    Bqhatevwr, dude. Srsly. Bqhatevwr.

    by Fordmandalay on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:13:26 AM PST

    •  Respectfully, I'm guessing you're joking. The (0+ / 0-)

      problem is, though, that some Democrats don't realize that we can afford to cut a lot of fat out of the defense budget.

      I don't worry what the Republican base think---I'm concerned when Dems are fearful of cutting the MIC's budget.  

      That's when we should worry. :-)

      Mollie

      "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

      hiddennplainsight

      by musiccitymollie on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:13:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This one will go down to the wire (5+ / 0-)

    ...like they all do.

    Regardless of the outcome, the damage is done, in that the 1st quarter will show a drop in GDP. That means two quarters in a row, due to the 4th quarter drop.

    The US will officially be declared in a second recression.

    ::

    There is no mechanism for an Obama response. What the Republicans are asking for is a rewrite of the bill, pulling in cuts that are not part of the current sequester.

    The only possible outcome is to void the Bill altogether or postpone it. I do believe there is a mechanism for the President to do that himself -- but I don't know much about it.

    What we know for certain is that government revenues are going to drop steeply, simply because this is on the table, period, resulting in a deficit rise in Q1 -- or recpression.

    Next up -- the debt limit is back.



    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:19:48 AM PST

  •  Let the cuts come. Let people find out what a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eps62, elboomerbabe, defluxion10

    small scale bite really looks like. It is in the end a small scale bite when compared to what the GOP intends to do to the American public in the long term. This is what you are going to be giving up. Keep it simple. Not wonky policy numbers but short simple memes that most of the public take as gospel truth, but make certain that the numbers match actual numbers so that any Repub "numbers wonk" can be refuted easily and simply. I am NOT saying we resort to "truthiness" but in simple, easily understood blurbs that our distracted populace can digest easily. Does grandma eat or not? Sweet rolls at grandma's or cat food? Medication or Spaghetti? Proper full time care or a Dementia patient in your house? Make it simple. Make it clear cut. No wiggle room. Make certain that everyone knows who is going to do what to whom for who's benefit. Keep hammering the question "Qui bono?" at the republicans and know that they have no good answers.

    Give blood. Play hockey.

    by flycaster on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:25:21 AM PST

  •  Failure is their goal; failure of the economy (6+ / 0-)

    that they can blame on Obama.  Their concern for the country's people, including their own (non-wealthy) constituents is nil.  Safe in their own protected harbors, they toy with other people's livelihoods and health and safety as if it were a game.

    How to convince the nearly 50% of the voting public that this whole party means them grievous harm?

    "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    by SottoVoce on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 08:30:36 AM PST

  •  Yep, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10

    that about sums it up.

  •  Repubs 100% responsible. Obama proposed it (0+ / 0-)

    because GOP was not going to raise the debt ceiling and
    this was the only alternative given all Serious People scoffed at the Platinum Coin.

  •  Republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens

    Republicans had enough power, they thought, to crush the federal government.  We see in the red states how they treat democracy.  They pass ugly laws at night with no notice.  The billionaires get what they want.  Scott Walker let the Koch Brothers resume polluting a river the day he took office as Governor of WI.  Evangelicals turn out the vote in the red states.  The House has been partisan gerrymandered to remain Republican for ten years.  Economic bills need to come from the House.  Obama decided not to use the excessive Presidential power Bush took for himself including signing statements.  He believes, with some truth, that we need to act together as a nation as Lincoln believed.  Now we see if Obama can pull off another Lincoln because the power against him is very similar to those who started the civil war and for similar reasons.  Obama is putting his money into a PAC to reach out to the American people.  The GOP has a movie coming out today blaming Obama for the sequester.  Comments on all the major newspapers show the Republicans very excited as they think they have a big win with the sequester.  Adding 700,000 more unemployed to 20 million may backfire on them.

  •  Pretty sure there was a coalition here and (0+ / 0-)

    on other sites that declared the 2011 debacle was a success because it forced defense cuts that Republicans would never allow and gave Democrats the upper have on the Bush tax cuts and the other cuts to social programs would never occur..  

    Today, we have tax increases on those over 450K and all of the cuts are about to occur.

    I am wondering, do people still view the august BCA deal a success because it looks like we are going to get defense cuts?  That is an argument people could make.

    Regardless, this is what happens when you make budget cuts a big deal in a down economy.  It is like a gift that keeps on giving.  

    The President has spent weeks of a vital first 100 days literally fighting over which cuts to make instead of which jobs to create.  I doubt that is the goal, but it is the price of the horrific decision to jump in the mud with Republicans ever since the deficit commission was created and culminated with advice from Bill Daley to jump into a debt reduction campaign, on the other sides turf.

    Interested to see how this plays out.

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

    by justmy2 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:48:50 AM PST

  •  Isn't that Always Their Strategy? (0+ / 0-)

    Jed, isn't the headline their perennial strategy?  They are what they are, whether fighting for/against sequestration or trying to "reform" welfare or fighting to gut Social Security.  Every problem same strategy: hurt the poor, ruin our defense, wreck our standard of living, and warehouse as many seniors at the lowest possible cost until they finally die.

    No news here.  The story is in the reaction of the courtier class to the GOP's obvious zealotry: they seem to be noticing at last.

  •  Democrats gave them the weapon (0+ / 0-)

    starting with the creation of the catfood commission.

    It is ridiculous and shameful that Republicans are once again taking the nation hostage, but this is the second hostage Democrats offered up themselves due to some silly strategy to try to out flank Republicans. Too cut by half and biting them in the a**...

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

    by justmy2 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 10:48:46 AM PST

  •  This is what I think will happen in the coming 2 (0+ / 0-)

    Elections 2014 and 2016,1;Sequester happens Gerrymandered Republican Districts voters are so pissed cause their lives are ruined they shit-can the Republican Party.2:Sequester doesn't happen cause Republicans get everything they want Republican Gerrymandered Districts Republican Voters are so ruined they Angrily Shit-can the Republican Party.3:Sequester doesn't happen cause Republican Party caves and gives in to President Obama and Republican Gerrymandered Districts Republican Voters are so Angry based on ignorance and right-wing propaganda machine they Shit-can the Republican Party in those gerrymandered Districts.So that 4:The Democratic should find good solid candidates to run in each and every Republican Gerrymandered District in the Nation cause ether the Republicans stay home to punish the Republican Party or they in anger vote Democratic Party or they put up a 3rd Party Candidate that spits the Right Wing Vote allowing Independents and Democrats to elect the Democratic Party's candidate whose name is on the Ballot.

    •  Oh PS 5:"2" happens Democrats are so Pissed (0+ / 0-)

      they also punish the Democratic Party in Democratic Party Gerrymandered Districts allowing some Republican Party wins but over-all not enough to counter the long-term damage in Republican Gerrymandered Districts but still in the short-term possibly leaving the House still in Republican control because of loses in those Democratic Districts and the "purple" Districts in the country but knowing this fact before hand the Democratic Party hopefully has decided not to be the Party that Caves on the Sequester.So even with "2" being the worst for the Democratic Party the Republican Party is Shit-canned in the long run by those who vote for them one-way-or -the-other.

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