Skip to main content

U.S. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) (2nd L) speaks at a news conference about debt relief legislation with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) (L), Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) (2nd R) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (R) at the U.S.
The house that dumb built.
I'm not sure that there's much nuance to be parsed out about the sequester and why we seem to be headed for it despite it being plainly and obviously the worst possible thing to do. The problem is that the one actually sensible solution—to just dump the whole idea, as Congress can do at any point during this entire ridiculous, posturing debacle—isn't politically palatable to any of the involved groups. Sure, the sequester will foul up the economy, hurt a hell of a lot of people and botch up important government functions all around the nation, but as of right now both parties see "screw up the entire American economy, again" as being preferable to any of the achievable political alternatives.

The Republicans know the partial shutdown of services is going to hurt—a lot. They also know they're going to be blamed for it, no matter what little Twitter hashtags they deploy to the contrary, and that once people with government jobs or government contracts actually start getting furloughed, costing them a hefty chunk of their paychecks, people are quickly going to become irate. Every small town in America is going to be awash with the news of what's been cut, and how many local residents are being furloughed, and how that's going to affect the rest of the local economy, and they'll all be duly noting that there was abso-effing-lutely no reason for it other than this stupid "cut everything because governmenting is hard and stuff" plan.

The problem for Republicans, however, is that they've premised nearly all of their obsessive anti-Obama rhetoric around the notions that (1) the government can't create jobs, (2) all government is bad, and (3) the scary deficit monster is going to kill us all. They can't stomach voting to lift the sequester when that means acknowledging (1) that government does indeed employ lots of people, (2) it does indeed do stuff that their constituents like, and need, and (3) the deficit is in fact not currently as important as the more immediate task of not screwing up the tenuous national economy, because Basic Economics. You can hear them already in the early stages of talking-point disarray on the topic, but Republicans are supposed to be for harsh, painful cuts to government. That's their brand. (True, they want different cuts, but the different cuts are just as deep and egregious, they were just supposed to be in things that Republicans, well, hated more. When you're cutting this deep during this economy, though, you're going to hit bone no matter where you put the knife.)

So for Republicans, the only way to dodge the sequester is to fess up that their entire debt ceiling freakout, and all of their demands afterwards, and all of the loudest premises of their electoral existence in these last few campaigns were all mere bluff. The only escape hatch that the White House is providing is the original plan that would mitigate the nastiness of the cuts by coming up with new revenues, i.e. new taxes; again, this requires Republicans not just going against campaign promises, but abandoning their entire supposed economic philosophy on the subject, period. Forget ideological integrity in these things: You have to acknowledge that even if the Republicans wanted to ditch every austerian, anti-legitimacy-of-government, anti-revenue principle they've been working themselves into a froth over during these last years, they're at least going to need a little more time to come up with a creative explanation for it. A new Twitter hashtag isn't going to cover that one.

The Republicans have invested themselves so heavily in these two brands of economic extremism that they are now ingrained into everything the Republican Party stands for. Whether those previous assertions mesh with plain reality or with the political needs of the moment (or, God help them, a phalanx of furious donors and lobbyists whose industries are about to be hit with that same axe) is irrelevant now. They're screwed. The sequester represents government as they advocated for it to be run: sharp, painful cuts done with an axe instead of a scalpel. They stood up and demanded it outright, during the debt ceiling fight. Then they all signed onto a law to do just that. If they're complaining, it's only because they only now realized that their demanded fantasy plan is about to be put into action, and that the results might not be the glowing American utopia that they've been promising. Follow me below the fold for more of the stupid.

The White House, on the other hand, is heavily invested in Grand Bargainism. They seem equally averse to suggesting the obvious plan, proposing Congress simply nix the ridiculously premised sequester and move on to smaller, more focused budget efforts like sensible people. In part that may be because they know the first side to suggest substantively weakening the sequester will then be the "pro-deficit" and "big government" side in the other party's pissy talking points for the next decade; in larger part, it seems to be because the administration itself is (yet again) so enamored with striking a Big Budget Deal that they are (yet again) pushing for the Big Budget Deal even when it's not necessary or wise. This was the same dynamic that led the White House into previous catastrophic "negotiations" with Congress as to whether or not the nation would shut down or default on its debts, negotiations which legitimized those same Republican threats in a rather stumbling attempt by the White House to reach some supposed "larger" agreement that would, in their minds, neutralize further budget fights for a while. The entire premise that any sufficiently "large" agreement would result in the other side not asking for more afterwards seems to be the height of political gullibility; nonetheless, that's what happened, and that's what kept happening in subsequent, related posturing, and all indications suggest that we're about to repeat the exact same thing.

So to the White House, accepting a bevy of damaging austerity-premised cuts is still considered a good bargain, if they can either (1) pry out tax concessions from the Republicans, which is at this point a goal unto itself, or (2) if the end result is "big" enough that the White House feels they won't have to do this crap again for a year or two. Not inspiring stuff, but again: There's no particular incentive on their parts to avoid the sequester outright. Sure, it'll hurt the economy, but Republicans will be blamed, a deal will be struck sooner or later or even later than that, then boom, victory.

As for House and Senate Democrats? They don't seem to even enter into things. They hold veto power over whatever the administration and Republicans decide to do, but as advocates for any other outcome, they're nonexistent. Again, because "how about we not screw up the entire economy as political prank" is right out, from a party messaging standpoint, leaving us only to debate how badly we'll be screwing it up and who will get what portion of the blame afterwards.

It's the precise dynamic of the debt ceiling fight, except this time, if possible, it's even worse because both sides have now fully embraced the rather strange notion that the economy isn't as important as enforcing a little austerity right now and damn the consequences. The fight is between the far right and the Simpson-Bowles right: all good, reasonable villagers agree that we need to screw retirees and others on the economic fringes, we're just haggling over who and how much. (Centrist "victory" in these matters will consist of getting Republicans to raise tax revenue after Republicans spent an entire eight-year administration lowering that same tax revenue to plainly unsustainable levels, which sounds like just asking those Republicans to exercise some common sense, and in fact is exactly that so good luck with it.)

So that's why we're at where we're at. The Republicans can't blink without looking like they're backing down on every one of their most cherished and loudly shouted supposed fiscal principles, principles that made their appearance in the debt ceiling fight and which caused this whole wreck of a thing in the first place. That's assuming, mind you, they have enough party unity left to even make a decision either way, which itself is far from a given. The White House thinks that no matter how bad things may be at this point or may get, they've at least finally got a good hand, and that they'll be able to bring Republicans back to the bargaining table after the very real bite of the sequester starts making for some very, very angry constituents back in Republican hometowns, thus finally leading the two sides to a lovely bipartisan agreement on some unknown (and, in all probability, disproportionately small) new amount of new tax revenues.

Sequester, here we come.

There's always the possibility that either side will blink. Even though the sequester is allegedly a Republican dream (Cutting the entire discretionary federal budget by an arbitrary percentage for no good reason? Be still my Norquistian heart!), the Republicans are unambiguously in the weaker position for the simple reasons that (1) the sequester is economically untenable for any period longer than a few days or weeks, and (2) the public is going to blame the jackasses who have been loudly cheering for government cuts when those cuts happen and start to hurt, because duh. Nonetheless, Republicans can't not shoot that hostage, because they said they would.

The White House might also cave for considerably less than their purported targets. Good money might even bet on that outcome, in fact, given the past (cough) history involved. And while I'm not a fan of the White House premise of using this same hostage to again attempt "grand bargain" revenue concessions, given that their role in avoiding the sequester is at this point merely advisory, there's not particularly any other path for them to take. True, they could beg House Republicans to simply call the whole thing off, but that argument is an obvious non-starter, so it won't happen. In any event, Grand Bargaining is in the air, God help us all.

So that's that. A very, very large number of Americans are about to be hurt for no particular reason other the Republican (and Officially Serious Villager, we must not forget) demand that we cut government and the deficit right the hell now, full stop, end of discussion. A very large number of Americans will be losing pay, they'll be losing needed services—they'll be losing things as basic as local airports that stay open. The desired outcome of this plan for both parties is to then establish a set of smaller or different cuts, possibly including the dramatic inclusion of slightly more tax revenue, and the prime long-term question is whether this entire process will merely stall the current, tenuous economic recovery or will, in some areas, kill it outright.

Make sense? Of course it doesn't. As an ideological belief, the current sudden-onset deficit fetishism was never meant to make sense in the first place. As with most things stubbornly ideological, however, merely knowing before the fact that it is a horrible, stupid, and clearly damaging idea is insufficient reason to not do it.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  That photograph is so Dawn of the Dead. (42+ / 0-)

    Paul Ryan is one of the most over-rated Nothings ever.

    Surgical read on an artificial GOP-generated crisis, Hunter.  

    Government officials, all Republicans, all scoundrels, in fierce public opposition to the very idea of public service.  

    Flipping the House blue in 2014 is a tough road, but damn, would it be satisfying.

  •  So, will my flight home be delayed on Friday (18+ / 0-)

    from Virginia to Texas?  Why can't anyone tell me?  Who's in CHARGE there in Washington!?!?!?!?!


    Wait for the other cliff to fall.

    I'm part of the "bedwetting bunch of website Democrat base people (DKos)." - Rush Limbaugh, 10/16/2012 Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

    by tom 47 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:39:25 AM PST

  •  GOP and the betcha!! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, OhioNatureMom, a2nite, Fury
  •  new Republicans (13+ / 0-)

    The newest brand of R is more precise--more simplistic--forget the military/industrial complex--just starve all beasts--cut taxes--screw the poor,the needy, amd our future.  Their logic (?) is obvious--there are more haves than "not haves," haves vote more often--and haves donate more money.  As a bonus--smug people like to punish the less fortunate--back to Ayn Rand.
    Pretty soon they're gonna drop the religious thing also--as more affluent Americans leave organized religion, they will follow them.  Too many poor --and Hispanics --in churches these days for Rs to feel comfortable.  Interestingly, hopefully this will again make churches places of charitable works, deeds, and words.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:42:34 AM PST

    •  Isn't this where the 1% (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rube Goldberg, Overseas

      comes to the rescue and creates jobs and just generally does good by trickling down on us?

      •  1% (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Whoredom is sometimes a 2 way street--where sugar daddy becomes dependent on being surrounded by stars.  Pols need to whore for votes as well as for money--and both are fickle.  The right wing in America has always been home to bigots--an outgrowth of our "peculiar" history.   "They" don't want to pay taxes to support "them."  The fact is that they created the state "them" are in is a self fulfilling prophesy.

        If this makes any sense to you, you aren't "they"--and probably aren't "them" either.  The left wants to get the right things through logic and peace--"them" have failed that way for hundreds of years--and should want to fight--with fists and guns.  Yet our oppressed have a history of non political violence--and that's why they are still "them."

        Apres Bush, le deluge.

        by melvynny on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:09:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Can't get more disingenuous than Republicans (19+ / 0-)

    Oh yes, they want cuts. Badly. Even Rand Paul says those in the sequester are just "nibbling at the edges". But when you ask them to specify WHERE they want those cuts, all you hear are crickets sounds...because they don't want to OWN them cuts since the public will be mad at cuts.

    The most telling is when they target...Social Security, whose contribution to the deficit is exactly: $0. That alone says it all about the Republicans' so called "deficit disorder" by debunking it thoroughly. It's not even moving the chairs on the Titanic. It's a bs excuse to undo a program they've been steadfastly against from the get go.

    They can call it Obamaquester or some other name all they want, we so know what this is all about. If they can't own the cuts that they want, or own the sequester, trust me they won't own the ensuing economic disaster.

    Motherfucking Republicans!

  •  Nice summary (11+ / 0-)

    Great job is bringing the crisis down to ideologies and total lack of either common sense and compassion.  If this goes long enough for those 30 days notices to kick in and people starting feeling that 20% pay cut - all hell will break loose.

    I would not be surprised to see R's being stupid enough to let it begin just until they realize the first cuts will be service and supply contracts and very much more than 8-10% as agencies try to lessen the impact on staff by "saving" more elsewhere in their budget.

    In God we trust, All others we monitor -AFTAC (-2.75, -2.67)

    by lcs on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:43:58 AM PST

    •  Always been partial to "Repubicans," Hunter, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nils o, Janet 707, SuWho

      inadvertent or no, as you've spelled it in the head of the post.

      As in, "Waiter, what's this pube doing in my soup?"

      And yes, GOPers have no escape hatch available to them on the secluster.  Problem is, neither does the nation.  Gonna be a long winter round here.

  •  Obama wants a "grand bargain" (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, bdop4, MrQA, defluxion10, gharlane

    ...because he wants the things in the grand bargain.  It's not a compromise for him, it's what he wants to happen.  It doesn't make any sense to me, but if he didn't want chained CPI (for example) he wouldn't be proposing it so often and easily.  Don't know what's up with that.

  •  Yes, but sequester was proposed by the White House (0+ / 0-)

    Did the President really think that the Republicans wouldn't call his bluff?   This is poor leadership, if the President doesn't propose a solution now that can pass both houses.  

    Many hands make light work, but light hearts make heavy work the lightest of all.

    by SpamNunn on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:47:22 AM PST

    •  Not really (19+ / 0-)

      it came out of a set of negotiations in which the republicans, who say less government is always better, made that the only way they were willing to sign off on anything.

      People aren't as dumb as you think.

    •  Pure Republican talking points, again. (13+ / 0-)

      Obama must lead by caving to Republican insanity. Your comment only aids the Republican war on America.  

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:58:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Irrespective of who proposed, who wants it now? (16+ / 0-)

      The Tea Party Right embraces it loudly. And the GOP leadership is (1) agreeable to the sequester, (2) devoid of ideas, or (3) powerless to lead. Pick some or all of the above.

      How it is"poor leadership" for the President to be unable to unite the GOP?

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

      by TRPChicago on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:01:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow. Your saying that it's (16+ / 0-)

      Obama's fault that the GOP House caucus is a pack of shithead obstructionists?


      •  No, what's being said here is that (4+ / 0-)

        Obama should never have believed that negotiations could be held with a GOP House caucus that is a pack of shithead obstructionists.

        But the biggest mistake this president made happened much earlier than the summer of 2011 when this sequester idea was hatched.  It happened when Obama swallowed the line two years earlier that the deficit/debt was a problem that had to be worked on at all while the economy was struggling.  

        When he came out with that speech in mid-2009 that equated what a family in debt would decide to do around their kitchen table with what the government should do to spur economic recovery, he gave the game to the Republicans right there.  At that very moment the discussion became not economic recovery but how to cut the deficit.  He's tried to bring the discussion back to job creation a few times, but he was hoist on his own petard by agreeing early on that the deficit was a major problem that needed to be addressed right away.

        So now it's a Republican game, and we're all stuck playing it, even though no one - not the Republicans and not the administration - can explain how lowering the deficit can create jobs or in any way help the economy recover.

        "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 26, 2013 at 07:32:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not getting that from his post. (0+ / 0-)

          It's not only a Republican "game," it is their call to arms.  

          Which is problematic, because they all have significant wealth.  

          The people affected by their obstruction do not.  

        •  Don't forget the debt commission... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Once he decided to battle on the blue dog/new democrat side of the ledger, this moment was inevitable.  Now the question is can they twist themselves out of the pretzel.

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

          by justmy2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:19:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SuWho, SueDe

          We lost this argument the moment Democrats ceded that the deficit and debt are a bigger problem than unemployment.

          What I don't get is why, with Republican popularity at it's lowest point in the history of opinion polling, democrats continue to creep in their direction.  Why won't democrats take them on directly?  They've got Nobel Laureate economists in their corner.  Make the case that the deficit is not an immediate problem.  Government borrowing costs are historically low.  And if they really want to do something about the deficit, talk about the carried interest loophole, oil & gas subsidies, and how hugely profitable companies from GE to Facebook pay zilch in income taxes.  When they say spending cuts we shout MIDDLE CLASS JOB CUTS.  Beat them over the head with these facts and ideas on a daily basis.  Americans overwhelmingly agree with these ideas.  

          Over and over chickenshit democrats keep providing a lifeline to these extremist twits by ceding the point that government spending is a problem despite all evidence to the contrary.  I'm sick and tired of Democrats acting like moderate Republicans.  Why won't they fight for Democratic ideals instead of trying to play bipartisan patty-cake with the most extreme political movement this country has ever seen?  It's madness.

          •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I do not get this at all either.  In my opinion it is time to  meet crazy head on with even crazier.  Start calling THEM communists !  Because essentially they are arguing AGAINST the only thing that keeps the whole capitalist / financial industry charade afloat...  the world is awash in debt in case these morons haven't paid any attention to the past decade or so.  But nary a peep out of them when it comes to criticizing the SYSTEM that allows such "irresponsible" spending to occur for the purposes of propping up consumerism out of control.  As long as some of that finds it way into their pockets well, principles be damned.  They are just mostly freaked out about government spending because aside from a few select "industries" they haven't perfected a way to tap into many government programs.

            Way way way past time to call these a-holes on their selective criticism of the very thing their beloved economic system is BUILT on...

        •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)
          No, what's being said here is that Obama should never have believed that negotiations could be held with a GOP House caucus

          Many hands make light work, but light hearts make heavy work the lightest of all.

          by SpamNunn on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 05:36:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You're mistaken (7+ / 0-)          

      From Washington's ineptitude at decision-making. Budget sequestration was brought into existence as an enforcement mechanism to make Congress and the White House agree to a package that would reduce the deficit. They still haven't done it.

      In August 2011, with the nation's debt-limit deadline fast approaching, and with the threat of credit downgrades and government shutdowns looming over partisan negotiations in Washington, congressional Republicans refused to up the federal debt ceiling without accompanying spending cuts to shrink the deficit.

      When talks broke down, sides agreed on the Budget Control Act -- a measure that applied discretionary spending caps and also included a mandate for more deficit-reduction in the future. It created the congressional budget "supercommittee" -- the panel of representatives and senators that were given another deadline to propose a package of spending cuts and/or tax hikes to lower the deficit.

      Sequestration was agreed upon as the unpleasant consequence of failure: If the committee couldn't recommend a package by late 2011, and if Congress couldn't pass it in January 2012, $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts would be triggered.

      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 Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:25:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's like a lot of people have forgotten the (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eps62, msmacgyver, Brooke In Seattle

        Whole Super Congress debacle ....

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:56:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You really need (0+ / 0-)

        to read a bit more often.

        The idea for sequestration did come from the White House, as news accounts made clear at the time. Jacob J. Lew, then Mr. Obama’s budget director and now his nominee for Treasury secretary, was the main proponent.

        Mr. Lew, who was a senior adviser to the House speaker in the 1980s, lifted language from a 1985 law he helped negotiate, the Gramm-Rudman law. It was conceived by two Republican senators to be “a sword of Damocles,” poised to strike both parties unless they compromised on deficit reduction.


        Fast-forward to the summer of 2011. Mr. Obama and Congressional Republicans, once again facing deficits, were able to agree to nearly $1 trillion in reductions over a decade in “discretionary” spending programs, which cover just about everything the government does except the entitlement benefit programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

        But they could not agree on the final $1.2 trillion. The president demanded that that amount come from higher taxes on the wealthy and some reductions in entitlement spending. Republicans insisted on entitlement cuts only.

        So both parties started negotiating for a trigger, as they called it — an undesirable, automatic action that would slash deficits if Democrats and Republicans could not. Mr. Obama and Democrats wanted a trigger mandating automatic spending cuts and tax increases; Republicans insisted on spending cuts only.

        Democrats conceded, and that is when Mr. Lew — along with Gene Sperling, director of Mr. Obama’s National Economic Council — proposed the Gramm-Rudman sequestration. Given that law’s Republican parentage, the Obama advisers figured this kind of trigger would appeal to Republicans, and it did.

        That ain't a quote from Fox, boys and girls.  Follow the link.

        "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 26, 2013 at 11:26:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The President has proposed a bill which could (10+ / 0-)

      pass both houses.  If only Boehner would bring it to the floor, which he won't because it will not garner majority support.

      •  This is the right answer...even though I disagree (0+ / 0-)

        with the President's plan.

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

        by justmy2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:20:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Will not garner extremist support, you mean (0+ / 0-)

        Everything that passes the House garners majority support. That's what "pass" means.

        •  Right. (0+ / 0-)

          It would (likely) pass, with Democrats and some Republicans voting for it, but if Boner sticks with the (possibly misnamed) Hastert rule, then it doesn't come to the floor.  I guess that's what the repugs call "bipartisanship".

          Now, Boner has violated the rule a few times recently, most recently with the passage of VAWA.  But this bill hits at the Republicans' core agenda, which is protecting the rich at the expense of the rest of us.  So I suspect the rule stands in this instance.

          It's one more way that the repugs give lip service to bipartisanship while destroying it in practice.  This is something the POTUS could explain to the American people, if he wanted to.  But he doesn't appear to want to.

          "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 Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 02:17:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  My daughter is a civilian employee of the DOD (10+ / 0-)

    and as of this Friday will be getting a 20% pay cut. But at least she does still have her job. There were others who weren't so lucky.

    So that is money she will not be spending (her husband is laid off, so almost all of her salary is spent!). Somehow the money of government workers doesn't "spend" the same as other money, I guess.

    Friends don't let friends vote Republican.

    by OhioNatureMom on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:52:06 AM PST

  •  There needs to be full on pushback to Congress (7+ / 0-)

    Pack the Town Hall meetings — doesn't matter if you've got a Dem or a Republican — and make it known that their lives will become miserable, at our hands, if they sign off on even one more cut.

  •  What ever it is the Republicans are doing (14+ / 0-)

    it's the opposite of Governing.  To me, if you replaced the House Republicans with the members of OPEC, we would be better off.

    •  It's entirely possible! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, SuWho
      To me, if you replaced the House Republicans with the members of OPEC, we would be better off.
      Most of the OPEC states have a healthy welfare state.  It isn't even a question.  The dark part is that the majority of OPEC states use domestic spending as a sop to their population so as to quit demanding democracy, transparency and the rule of law.

      This space for rent -- Cheap!

      by jds1978 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:14:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, don't all you whiners know that the federal (8+ / 0-)

    government is just swimming in waste, fraud and abuse and it doesn't really need the money, never did, and the people who will lose their jobs or get furloughed are just a bunch of useless bureaucrats, whom we've successfully bashed and demeaned without counter from Dems for decades, so nobody cares about them anyways?  They're not real people doing real work!  Are they?  Are they???  Hell no!

    The elevation of appearance over substance, of celebrity over character, of short term gains over lasting achievement displays a poverty of ambition. It distracts you from what's truly important. - Barack Obama

    by helfenburg on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:56:27 AM PST

    •  Heard a ridiculous comment GOPers are (20+ / 0-)

      peddling that Obama is going to cut things "that hurt" rather than wasteful things that naturally could be cut. As an example, surely wasteful administrative jobs at the FAA could be shitcanned instead of shitcanning flight control positions and mothballing airports.

      Really? The FAA is swimming in administrative positions enough to cut millions of $$$ of sequester?

      These people aren't even qualified to walk and hold sharp objects at the same time. Their ideologues through and through; facts and math don't freeking matter.

      •  Ezra guest hosted for Lawrence O'D (7+ / 0-)

        last night and had a very curious RW of the co-founders of Red State.

        The guest explained that the base/Baggers doen't know or care if the cuts are "stupid" or "not stupid".

        The Red Stater appeared, at first glance, to be a reasonable, sane and articulate person; however, a close look revealed a demonic squint to his eyes and a gimmer of smirk with every word uttered.

        Scary stuff.

        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 Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:30:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, yeah. (0+ / 0-)

        All those wasteful administrative FAA jobs like the tens iof thousands of people who ensure regulations are complied with, from licensing pilots to aircraft inspection to ensuring passengers with disabilities are provided access as the law requires.

        We know exactly what Republicans think about "job-killing regulations."

        You just have to look at the world through the RWNJ prism; then their statements are often internally consistent --if terrifyingly so.

        © grover

        So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

        by grover on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:04:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Federal Agencies are trying to get rid of (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eps62, SuWho, Brooke In Seattle

        administrative (read "clerical") positions. Once upon a time, there would have been a lot of these they could have cut. The first agency I worked for had more than a dozen people in the typing pool.

        I'll have to check with some of folks who still work there how many data-entry people they have now. Hell, the agency I retired from got rid of most of the clerical staff in the field offices over 20 years ago during the Clinton Administration.

        When the Feds have to cut now, it's deep into the muscle -- auditors, attorneys, researchers, etc. because the support staff is close to being nonexistant these days.

        I still remember one of the auditors I worked for being highly insulted that he'd been given a desktop computer, "I don't use a keyboard -- that's what the secretary is supposed to do..."

    •  The federal budget does in fact contain (6+ / 0-)

      a lot of waste, fraud and abuse.  Unfortunately the sequester doesn't differentiate between inefficiency and need, and it was never designed to do so.  If Republicans were ever concerned about waste, fraud, abuse, or inefficiency, they should not have voted for the sequester in the first place, since all it accomplished was to give John Boehner 98% of what he wanted and make him "very happy."

      "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 26, 2013 at 08:02:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, (0+ / 0-)

      "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 26, 2013 at 11:28:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reid: bring a bill to the Senate floor to kill ... (17+ / 0-)

    ... the sequester. Period.

    Since it is so bad, just stop it. If the Senate GOP filibusters, so be it. The voters will know who wanted it to continue. If they try to amend it, vote accordingly. If it passes, race it over to the House ... And wait.

    Please proceed, Speaker Boehner.

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

    by TRPChicago on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:56:32 AM PST

    •  Hear! Hear! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, eps62, SuWho

      I don't know why Reid does not do this.  Let them filibuster if they dare but at least get it on the record.

      •  Yes you do.... (0+ / 0-)

        He doesn't want to force Blue Dogs on to the record on tax increases without cover.

        Now,  me personally, I am smart enough to realize none of the blue dogs is going to lose votes because the voted to close corporate loopholes.  But they know they will lose fundraising, and are making a financial vs political decision.

        Their jobs over ours.  

        Always keep that in mind, and everything is a lot simpler.

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

        by justmy2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:23:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  TRP Didn't say raise taxes. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eps62, TRPChicago

          Just kill the sequester.  It doesn't need to be replaced with other immediate deficit reduction because the deficit is not an immediate problem.  It is a medium to long term problem.

          If you want a discussion, please stick to arguing the point. If you wanted something else...please exit the vehicle.

          by robizio on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:51:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  GOP politicians benefit from sequester (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, msmacgyver, Fury, eps62, Janet 707, gharlane

    It seems obvious to me that some conservative politicians WANT the sequester because they perceive great benefits to be had for themselves.

    Those benefits could be in the form of campaign donations from wealthy and corporate interests that like the idea of keeping taxes low and stopping regulation by slowing or closing government operations.  Most congressmen/women are happy to do what their financial backers want done.

    And those benefits could be in the form of more approval from the small but dedicated (and now highly gerrymandered as well) group of conservative primary voters who also like the idea of keeping taxes to a minimum and "reducing the size of the government"  Failure to please these dedicated voters could result in the congressman/woman facing a uncomfortable and uynwanted primary battle in the next election.

    For some congressmen/women, seeing the sequester go into effect brings them significant benefits, and opposing the sequester likewise results in political disadvantages.  In these circumstances, it is natural that those congressmen/women would continue to do whatever is necessary to see the sequester enacted.

    The sequester is not a mistake or an unintended consequence.  For some congressmen/women, it is a pruposeful move to help them stay in office.

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

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 06:56:35 AM PST

    •  True dat. (0+ / 0-)

      For many goopers, it's not a bug, it's a feature.

      "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 26, 2013 at 11:30:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Be Careful what you wish For (8+ / 0-)

    Because you just Might Get what you wanted.

    As a Person that enjoys eating FOOD on a regular basis,
    I am really concerned about what happens to the Quality
    of what WE eat when the FDA cuts back on Inspections.

    I'm waiting for the Glorious, Infallible "Free Market" to
    start serving US "Pink Slime" and Horse Meat, along with
    some Salmonella and E-Coli, when the Inspectors are
    on Vacation.

    Bon Apetit.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:01:26 AM PST

  •  Perhaps this will wake people up (12+ / 0-)

    The cuts will hurt, but eventually it had to come to this.  The constant threats to "shut the government down," to be averted in the last second, were mere abstracts.  If communities actually SEE what happens to them and their loved ones when the Republicans get their way, it may lead to a massive uproar coming from the local communities and municipalities, with the GOP rushing to reverse those cuts quickly, but after further damage is done to their brand.   Maybe people, many who have voted for Republican candidates despite them working to hurt them, actually have to be SHOWN what happens when the GOP gets their way to wake up from their Foxnews/Limbaugh induced ignorance.  

    If as a result of this the GOP loses the House in the 2014 midterms the American people will be better off long-term.  If the GOP retains the House the spectacle will never end.  They will, forevermore, go to the edge of government shutdowns, budget showdowns, debt ceiling drama, for the remainder of Obama's term and any potential Hillary/Biden presidency.   Maybe it takes people actually experiencing what damage the GOP can do in their communities to cherished services to get these irresponsible and destructive bums thrown out.  

    •  Lancing the boil was going to hurt ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChemBob, eps62, defluxion10, Bob Friend

      You're exactly right. The idea that the Nihilist Freakdom of Today's GOP was going to simply be reasoned out of existence is fantasy. These people have been serious about crushing the government for decades, and the country let them get away with that argument for far too long. Now it's time to pay for it. There's no way out of their crazy without a buttload of hurt.

    •  I agree with most of what you said.... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fury, jrooth, eps62, SuWho, defluxion10

      ....but this:

      If as a result of this the GOP loses the House in the 2014 midterms the American people will be better off long-term.
      ....isn't happening.  The GOP is the Majority Party in the House b/c of gerrymandering and racism.  The economic aspect is secondary to you average Neo Confederate, DixieCrat GOPer

      This space for rent -- Cheap!

      by jds1978 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:17:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The best thing Bill Clinton ever did (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      was to refrain from standing in the way of Newt Gingrich and the Republican House while they shut down the government in 1995-1996.  Regular folks were furious, appalled and disgusted with the Republican party.  At every step in negotiations and every time Clinton vetoed a Republican bill, he came out and explained to the public what was happening, what the Republicans were trying to do, and why he was vetoing each bill.  The Republicans' duplicitous shenanigans and Clinton's explanations of their effects contributed to a large degree to the president's re-election in spite of his personal problems.

      "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 26, 2013 at 08:19:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the solution (11+ / 0-)

    Obama needs to become a white man -- and fast. Problem solved.

  •  Defense cuts are necessary, and sequestration (6+ / 0-)

    is the only thing that's brought the possibility of cutting defense spending to the forefront.

    Now, with the war in Afghanistan winding down and our troops coming home, would be a good time to re-evaluate our entire Defense Philosophy.

    I would argue that we could cut our defense spending by half if we shifted our defense policy emphasis from protecting Middle East oil and international shipping to a policy of making this country truly energy-independent.

    Becoming energy-independent wouldn't happen overnight, but I'd argue that the country that built an A-bomb from scratch in less than five years or put a man on the moon in less than ten years can become energy-independent in 5 years if we truly desired to do so.

    What sense does it make that the Defense Department wants more new tanks when we have 3000 M-1 Abrams tanks sitting mothballed in the desert? There's not another tank in the world that can best that Beast! And I didn't think we were planning to fight the Russians tank-to-tank on the European plains anyway, or am I wrong?

    The factories used to build all those tanks and fighter planes would be serving this country in a better fashion if they were turning out wind turbines, solar panels, high-speed rail cars and other useful items instead of hardware that eventually ends up mothballed in an Arizona desert.

    As for more revenue: make the 1% pay the same tax rate on all their income as the average American, no matter how they make that money.

    Enact a financial transactions tax.

    Eliminate tax subsidies to big oil and big agriculture.

    Stop giving tax subsidies to companies that ship American jobs overseas.

    Stop giving government contracts to companies that park their profits in off-shore tax havens.

    All of these steps make a lot more sense than anything else I've seen our Washington politicians suggest or advocate.

  •  The famous "leadership" of Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rwgate, eps62, Janet 707

    In their lamest efforts to pin the blame on Obama for the cuts they've been craving, several Republicans have been blaming Obama's failed "leadership" to bring everyone to the table and get a deal.

    Leadership has been described as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task".

    The part commonly omitted from most definitions is this: leadership is actually GRANTED by others to that one person.
    In other words, that person can ONLY exert influence on people who are WILLING to allow it.

    When you think of the Republicans honchos meeting on or around 20 Jan 2009 and deciding to oppose anything Obama, you basically have people refusing to grant any form of leadership to Obama.

    "He was not able to bring me to the table to negotiate in good faith and each a deal" says most about whom, if not Republicans?

  •  Problem is not everyone will be hurt right away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bon Temps

    The tax brinkmanship at the end of the year was going to hurt everyone with a paycheck if they didn't find a solution.

    But the sequester will hurt somewhat selectively. I am not sure all the dire consequences predicted will actually happen, or not right away.

    It is just crazy that we are having this political show. Underneath it though is a serious and intractable problem: we have two parties that have radically different ideas of what the proper level of Federal spending should be. And together they are supposed to approve a budget, set a debt limit, and enact tax policy.

  •  All true. The important question is no longer What (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrQA, Janet 707

    Will the Republicans Do? It's not even What Will Our Elected Democratic Officials (purported "representatives") Do?

    We know the answers.

    The question is what we will do?

    Unfortunately, we know that answer as well.

    10-20% of us are too compromised and invested in the status quo to do anything substantive to change it.

    And the other 80-90% have divided and conquered themselves to the benefit of the 1% among

    1) too diverted by entertainment,
    2) too demoralized and/or apathetic, and
    3) too disorganized to mount an effective resistance to being crushed by the 1%, with the help of the 10-20%.

    An infinite number of more and better Democratic legislators will make little substantive difference in the Class and Climate Wars.

    by Words In Action on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:23:10 AM PST

    •  I agree w/ you, but.... (0+ / 0-)

      What are YOU suggesting we should do?
      I've been looking for a fight. What's your idea?
      Or, are you just trying to stir shite?

      You have your right to your opinion, I will grant you that, but do not denigrate my right to mine!

      by MrQA on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:59:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A much larger, more organized form (0+ / 0-)

        of Occupy. Not with camps. Not violent. Show up daily, go "home" at night. Create infrastructure around D.C. so that people can go in and participate with places to stay each night.

        Combine it with direct action campaigns such as the oil company divestment scheme and investment in renewable energy companies.

        When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

        by Words In Action on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 12:52:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Republicans will come around...after they've (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, eps62

    inflicted as much pain as they can on people.

    Maybe that's their big plan...make a bunch of people miserable, and when you finally agree not to let their lives get ruined, pose for photos with them thanking you.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:24:46 AM PST

  •  Conservative radio (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, Janet 707

    is already in full damage control mode. Hannity and Limbaugh are blustering as normal about how anything that goes wrong with it is Obama's fault, and anything that goes right is due to Republicans.

    Granted, that's sort of what they say about everything, anyway.

    •  and their followers will believe them (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vhramis, eps62

      they're counting on it.
      and I don't think they'll be disappointed.

      so Obama gets the blame and they get austerity on steroids.

      win, win for them.

      at least in the message wars. which is all this is ever about...getting elected. them getting elected.

      except they don't want defense cuts. which they get big time. oops. but that will be Obama's fault...

      they want "Entitlement" cuts. which they don't get. (as I understand it the big 3 SS, Medicare and Medicaid are protected? please correct me if wrong) and so that's Obama's fault too!

      they will get credit for cutting anything government does that helps people, the 'other' people, and Obama will get the blame for cutting everything that hurts 'them.'

      if anything, they do know their base. and they know how to manipulate them.

      I so do hope I'm wrong. I hope this blows up in their face.

      no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

      by srfRantz on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:11:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We should stop calling it sequester (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That doesn't mean much to most people and really does not get to the heart of what this is. Call it what it is: Auto-Fail-Intentional.

    Using my free speech while I still have it.

    by ebgill on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 07:45:24 AM PST

  •  Dems don't want a deal any more than Repubs (0+ / 0-)

    Harry Reid could end this in a minute by doing his job and actually passing a budget - or, for cripes sakes, even bringing one up for a vote!

    They are incapable of cutting.  Obama's famous 3 to 1 cuts to revenue increases?  What exactly would those cuts be?  Anyone in the press ever bother asking?  No?  What? They are too busy asking him about golf with Tiger?

    For all you folks whining that sequestration is bad, just wait.. Next up, we have debt ceiling.. and then the continuing resolution we are operating under runs out.  You ain't seen nothing yet!

    •  Obama's Medicare cuts can be OK, if they cut (0+ / 0-)

      unneeded costs, such as massive fraud, unneeded procedures,  and overpayment, without cutting actual service to Medicare recipients. That's a big one, both right away and going forward, and as I understand it is a big part of what he's offering, along with cutting unneeded military projects like bombers that can't fly.

      Obama should be out flogging this for all it's worth, because everyone including Paul Krugman can see that exponentially rising health care expenses are unsustainable, AND can be contained rationally without harming care recipients.

      What say you?

      •  Which Medicare cuts are those? (0+ / 0-)

        I get kinda confused with all the different proposals.

      •  Medicare is actually pretty lean (0+ / 0-)

        Medicare's already been cut fairly substantially over the last few years, especially with respect to provider compensation, with many of the effect of the cuts not fully  absorbed.  Graduate medical education (i.e. residency) is at risk because of the cuts to funds formerly directed to academic medical centers.   The NIH cuts from the sequester are going to ravage medical research, much of which takes place at academic medical centers.  Even without sequester cuts, the budget for the NIH has not increased much since the ridiculously thin Bush years.  It is nearly impossible for young medical researchers to get grants as the little money available goes to established researchers.

        There are a few large areas left to cut, like prescription drugs contracts.  To see real cost cutting, however, we are going to eventually have to control what type of end of life care we finance.  Too much money is spent in the last few months of a person's life, often on treatments that are futile.  We as a country have to embrace palliative care and stop torturing the dying in the ICU.

        There still remains baffling inefficiencies in our health care system.  For example, there are more economic incentives (i.e. medicare reimbursement levels and disability payments) for people with renal failure to get dialysis indefinitely than to have a kidney transplant.  The dialysis is debilitating, the transplant is cheaper in the long run (pays for itself within 2 years or so) and allows the recipient to have a near normal life almost immediately.  CMS needs to work more closely with physicians (not economists) to recognize and correct these inefficiencies.

        •  Model for Medicare Risk Evaluating Procedures (0+ / 0-)

          BTW, the government already has and uses  a mechanism for preventing "futile' procedures in the transplant area.   A medical center has to have a certain one and five year survival rate in order to maintain its medicare certification.  With liver transplants, the one year rate is slightly north of 80 percent, and ninety for kidney.  The relevant data set is all patients, not just medicare patients.  Thus, doctors are forced to seriously evaluate each patients long-term chance of survival prior to agreeing to give the patient a transplant and some patients are turned down as poor candidates.  This model could be used in other areas of medicine.

    •  Appropriation (budget) bills (0+ / 0-)

      by law originate in the HOUSE not the Senate.

      Passing a "budget" does absolutely nothing about financing the Federal agencies. A budget is a wish list, only an honest-to-Goddess appropriation bill can authorize a Federal agency's funding and constitutes permission to spend said funds.

      This nonsense you hear on the news about "passing a budget" is just that. It's the 13 appropriation bills that need to be passed (and before March 27).

    •  Budgets originate in the House (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It is John Boehner's responsibility to propose a budget, and one that is acceptable to the Senate and the President.  Obama has laid out fairly specifically what and where he would cut, while Republicans have only come up with generalities.  As many times as Romney was asked to lay out some specifics during the campaign, he wouldn't do it.  Republicans know that if they say Medicare and Social Security should be cut, and by how much, they would lose 50% of the elderly in their voting bloc.   Ryan's budget proposal was a joke, but it should have made everyone except wealthy Republican voters tremble in their boots.

      "There are times when even normal men must spit in their hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

      by rwgate on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:57:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's going to happen (0+ / 0-)

    I honestly don't think anything can avoid the sequester at this point.  And I'm less sanguine than most that Congress will move to undo it after it does.

    I'm guessing Republicans are hoping this will cause contraction, maybe even recession, so they can blame Obama and the Democrats for it and hope to win more seats in 14.

    Barack Obama for President

    by looty on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 08:20:46 AM PST

  •  Best Worst case scenario (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans get the austerity kick...we contract drastically for a month, we hit recession, and supply siders are finally sent on their way with basic economic theory legitimized, and we can move forward for the next 3 years.

    Best Best Case Scenario - Republicans fold.

    Probably will land somewhere in between, and we will continue to be governed by crisis.

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

    by justmy2 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:16:57 AM PST

  •  Good photo of three stooges-Boehner, Cantor &Ryan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The constitution says spending bills originate in the House. This session, Boehner has produced no Budget bill. He likes to talk of the two passed by the previous session since the July 2011 budget compromise. The first Ryan Budget was such a laugher that even Romney could not run on it. The second was designed to be a little less stupid but was again a purely political bill, not one that could be taken seriously as anything other than a political document for electioneering purposes. Boehner says we have a spending problem but he will not come up with specific spending cuts that his caucus will go for other than a few insignificant ones such as NPR and Planned Parenthood and those do not begin to balance the budget. As the originators of spending bills, the House  under Boehner should be negotiating with the President on what he will go along with, but he refuses to negotiate with anyone. He passes the buck to the Senate where Reid is supposed to negotiate with himself. Boehner will not negotiate because whenever he gets close to a reasonable deal, Cantor slaps his hands and says the tea Partiers will not go along with anything reasonable.

  •  I am inclined to be Leninist about this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In that "Economic contraction may play a progressive function". There is an election next year. The entire rancid house is up for re-election. What better issue than this can we hammer them on? Don't get me wrong, me and my retirement account are happy that the economy is expanding and the stockcasino is rising, and that jobs are being created not destroyed. But the downside to this is that it postpones the day of reckoning wherein the Repubs have to account for their cruel and logically incoherent positions and basic political philosophy. Frankly in 2014 they can just run against Obama again (come to dwell on it, they can do that in 2016 as well). We all know how the average low-info voter is suceptible to succint messaging, Well this time they will get hit right where it hurts.

    I am aware there is an intellectual sophistry to this argument I otherwise do not condone. . .in that real people with real needs are going to hurt here. . .but, if they refuse as they should to just get rid of the sequester, and any old excuse will do, we should hammer hammer hammer with it everyday. Real change will not come to this country until the Repubs have been whipped into angry regional minority status and forced to stay that way until they grow up and are auitable for adult conversation once again, even though that may take the next 20 years or so.

    Do not forego long term change at the cost of short term pain. This is now a left-of-center country and we damn well need to force our political 'leaders' to act that way.

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 09:39:51 AM PST

  •  <clapping!> for Hunter! (0+ / 0-)

    Best analysis ever!

  •  There may be a silver lining in this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The reality is that the cuts will actually drag the economy down enough that the loss in profits by those in the upper 1% will actually be greater than the slight increase in taxes they might have to pay under Obama's proposals.  As a consequence many may begin to realize the folly of opposing tax cuts.  If that happens the GOP will begin to loose the one constituency that keeps it alive, the super rich.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site