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Graph showing employment growth in top five defense-dependent industries vs other industries, Jan 2011-May 2013. Defense-dependent industries not holding their own since the start of sequester.
In case you were wondering, yes, there's good evidence that the sequester is hurting the jobs economy. The New York Times' Catherine Rampell puts together some evidence, explaining about the graph above that:
As you can see, in the last few months, the defense-sensitive industries have been shedding jobs, while the rest of the country’s employers have been adding jobs over all. The trends for the previous months are noisy, but if you smooth them out, it looks as if the defense-sensitive industries and the other industries were both doing about equally well, with the exception of a huge downward spike in employment in the defense-sensitive industries around the time of the summer 2011 debt ceiling crisis.
That's private-sector industries dependent on government, specifically defense, money. Government workers are also hurting, as you'd expect. In June 2011, there were 55,000 federal workers who wanted to be working full-time but were stuck at part-time. In June 2012, the number was 58,000. This year, 148,000 federal workers who wanted full-time work couldn't get the hours.

Sequestration is hurting the private sector. It's hurting the public sector. Republicans chose this over closing some corporate tax loopholes.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:22 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republicans 'chose' it, Democrats and Obama (9+ / 0-)

    got it passed. Stop calling it 'republican' sequester, they're not that powerful

    •  Its ok to call it the "Republican Sequester" (6+ / 0-)

      Yeah, I am not smart enough to see the brilliance of handing it to them, but the sequester IS a FINE reflection of what the GOP intends to do.

      That the "Grand Bargaineer" handed this success to them with his signature on it is a huge republican success and a taste of everything they want.

      Imagine having Obama's signature on handing social security's massive surplus over to the already obscenely rich: man would that be sweet if you're a repub: SS dead and democrats signed off on it.

      BUT... all the flavor and damage caused by thte sequester is a full taste of what repubs and all the "Austerity Assholes" have planned for us.

      They get to hurt America but not enough for the People to 'be sufficiently motivated' to do the right things.


      •  Wanring: Heavy Mettle is a troll (4+ / 2-)

        who spams diaries with little jabs and non sequitur responses but refuses to explain himself or respond to anyone in a meaningful way.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it.

        by anastasia p on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:18:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •   “sequestration was President Obama's plan" (5+ / 0-)
        Sperling finally wilted under the pressure of tough questioning to  admit that “yes, in fact, the sequestration was President Obama’s plan
        On Tuesday February 19, press spokesman Jay Carney admitted “The sequester was something that was discussed… and as has been reported, it was an idea that the White House put forward.”

        Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

        by greenbastard on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:24:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't throw us in the sequester patch B'rer Obama! (0+ / 0-)

        Oh wait, Obama could have told the GOP to go ahead, don't raise the debt ceiling. He could have said, "Please proceed. Put the US into default by not paying our bills."

        Thank you Jack Lew for that brilliant sequester suggestion! "They'll never go there!"! Great idea. Another fucking Citibank genius.

        Democrats think they're relatively happy with the 2012 electoral outcome? If the GOP hadn't passed the debt limit ceiling, we'd be running the House now. It would have been political suicide for them.

        Except that the GOP's corporate masters wouldn't have let that happen in the first place...  

        This isn't even 11 dimensional checkers. Of course Obama realized that. I fricken' saw it a country mile away in 2010 and who am I? Why didn't he play that card until 2012? We haven't heard very much about debt ceiling threats since then. It all stinks.

    •  Call me ridiculously cynical now, BUT (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heavy Mettle, Words In Action

      Obama played poker with OUR future
      and if there were cuts to defense, how much do you want to bet it was cuts to any oversight of it.

      I am getting weary of being such a chump for falling for the:


      I'm going back to Reagan's admonition,


      I don't

      Separation of Church and State AND Corporation

      by Einsteinia on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:26:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yes, and the Dems must use this as a weapon (3+ / 0-)

    if we want any chance to take back the House. Pound it home Dems.

  •  let's not re-write history (6+ / 0-)

    The sequester was a Dem idea.

  •  Another Republican Success. (3+ / 0-)

    They are much more successful at completing their to-do lists than I am.

    Kill Jobs.

    Hobble Voting Rights.

    Ramrod anti-abotion laws through as quickly as possible.

    Bumrush all the stuff we want through the states we can control.

    Damn the torpedoes.

    They know people will stand by politely and not successfully interfere. (See Bumrush)

  •  Wait wait wait... (4+ / 0-)

    While I agree that the sequester is not only bad policy, but noxious beyond belief, I think the argument that the sequester is hurting defense contractors falls flat. As a progressive, I think we spend way too much on defense, and the only good thing about the sequester is this impact that your describe. I'm not talking about the loss of jobs, but the reduction in the spending. I mean, if we're only focusing on jobs, then increase defense spending, right? More spending, more money for contractors.

    (Unless I'm missing a bigger point... Please let me know).

    Your mileage may vary.

    •  Military spending (don't call it defense!) (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Amber6541, DSPS owl, smartalek

      creates fewer jobs per dollar spent than other government spending.

      (BTW, the Dem idea was to make half the sequester cuts come from the military, while exempting Social Security and Medicare.  The intention was to make it unpalatable to both Dems and Repugs, but the White House underestimated the anti-government fanaticism of the TP/Bircher GOP "base.")

      The sequester is still atrocious, job-killing policy, of course, and should be ended, not amended or moderated.

      The Jet-set Immunity Act only added insult to injury, like the exemption for Congressional pay.

      The military budget should be cut drastically, but by regular order.

      What we need now is a long hot summer of END THE SEQUESTER NOW
      protests when congressmembers go home for vacation.

      There's no such thing as a free market!

      by Albanius on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:52:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Respectfully, Albanius, the Administration issued (0+ / 0-)

        a "veto threat" of the "repeal" of the Sequester back in September 2012.

        Here's an excerpt and a link to the DefenseNews piece entitlted, "White House Issues Veto Threat of Sequestration Bill."

        The White House on Sept. 12 issued a sharp veto threat of a bill tailored to avoid Pentagon budget cuts slated to take effect in January.

        The veto threat came in a state of administration policy that stated White House officials believe the bill "fails the test of fairness and shared responsibility."

        The legislation, called the National Security and Job Protection Act, was introduced by Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., who stringently opposes new defense cuts.

        West's bill would slash $19 billion from discretionary spending accounts, and also contains language that would force the president to replace billions in cuts to planned Pentagon spending set to take effect Jan. 2.


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


        by musiccitymollie on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:35:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Respectfully, this supports my point (0+ / 0-)

          "...the Dem idea was to make half the sequester cuts come from the military..."

          There's no such thing as a free market!

          by Albanius on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:03:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sorry then, I don't follow what you're saying. (0+ / 0-)

            The point is that we should "repeal" the Sequester, but the Administration refuses to repeal it.  They have issued a blanket veto threat--not just to West.

            Instead, the Administration is only willing to discuss (and negotiate) "replacing" the sequester with a Grand Bargain--which is cuts to Social Security and Medicare which were included in the Administration's Budget.
            Actual "liberal" groups have been calling for only a "repeal"--with NO CUTS to Social Security and Medicare.

            That's my point (which you may not have been addressing).

            Here's the Forbes piece that I meant to post, below.

            They reported that the President made the veto threat during his Press Conference after the SuperCommittee failed.

            This was a blanket denouncement of a repeal (not targeted at Alan West or any one bill).

            Obama: I Will Veto Attempts To Get Rid Of Automatic Spending Cuts
            President Barack Obama gave a press conference after the Supercommittee officially admitted it failed to reach an agreement to cut $1.2 trillion in budget spending over the next 10 years.  

            Obama told reporters he would veto any attempt to get rid of the automatic cuts which are set to kick in as a part of the sequester proposition, which will be triggered unless Congress reaches over the next year.

            I'm unable to repost the video of Dem Rep (and Dem Leader) Chris Van Hollen stating this, because I'm on a computer that doesn't  have Flash Player on it (tonight).

            But I've posted it at least twice.  It's in my comments.  

            In the video, Van Hollen declares that Dems will not "repeal" the sequester, but are willing to replace it with a Grand Bargain, so that they can address the long-term deficit (which means cutting "entitlements").

            I'll repost the video when I get back my computer.  ;-)


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


            by musiccitymollie on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:31:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

              apparently you "don't follow..."

              Actual "liberal" groups have been calling for only a "repeal"--with NO CUTS to Social Security and Medicare.
              That's my point (which you may not have been addressing).
              What part of   "What we need now is a long hot summer of END THE SEQUESTER NOW protests when congressmembers go home for vacation" didn't you follow?

              Whatever Van Hollen said whenever, that is what we should be saying to all Congressmembers, D and R.

              FWIW I helped organize protests against austerity, against all benefits cuts, against the sequester, but for cuts to the military and for tax increases on the 1%.  

              BTW your quotes from Forbes are out of context, from the year  2011, when sequester was only a threat.

              What I don't follow is whether you agree with me and actual liberal groups, or with Allen West and Forbes.

              There's no such thing as a free market!

              by Albanius on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:11:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Good luck with your protests. As I mentioned (0+ / 0-)

                already, Van Hollen (who is part of Dem Leadership) explains in the video that only one path is acceptable to the Democratic Party--"replacing" the Sequester with the Grand Bargain, which with implement cuts to both Social Security and Medicare."

                They have been and are working (under the radar) "in committee" to accomplish this.  This is the solution backed by Tom Coburn and Jeff Sessions--both ultra right-wing Senators.  Also, Van Hollen has McCain and Lindsey Graham working with the Dems to "replace" the Sequester with the Grand Bargain.

                So, I'll be happy to repost the C-Span clip of Van Hollen, when I'm on my own computer next week.  

                Hopefully, that will clarify the situation, as the Dem Leadership views it.


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


                by musiccitymollie on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:58:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  The only upside is only 1%er taxes, no more cuts (0+ / 0-)

      Not that I'd expect Obama to be strong on this but... he did say that he wanted a balanced approach. If the GOP wants more cuts with the sequester he could say there won't be one more dime cut. The last 3/4 of a trillion for the 4 trillion reduction goal is close all the corporate loopholes and maybe raise taxes those making $250,000 per year as well. The wanted more revenues and that's all that's left. But then again, that would likely be too big an economic hit in the short run, so it isn't likely to happen other than a small chunk of revenue raising. If that.  And maybe that's the plan but I lost trust in Obama as a negotiator long, long ago.

      But then, still again, we've heard nothing but crickets on the deficit from Republicans since the teabaggers mostly got what they wanted and even most everyone in the Village now agrees that the deficit is going down.

  •  It's difficult to lay full blame... (6+ / 0-)

    It's difficult to lay full blame on the Republicans here.  Jack Lew came up with the design of sequestration because he and Obama wanted to try to force Democrats to accept cuts to Social Security and Medicare and Republicans to accept a tax increase.  Except for a small contingent of progressive Democrats, nobody in Congress or the White House supports the REPEAL, DON'T REPLACE strategy, the most sensible one in a still depressed economy.  They just want to replace austerity with other austerity.  Granted, I did like the Senate Democrats' plan of tax increases plus cuts to defense and farm subsidies, but that's not the White House position.  The White House position is to reduce defense cuts and shift them onto Social Security and Medicare.  

    •  agree with this, the administration helped design (5+ / 0-)

      the sequester. Links have been posted all over.

      Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

      by greenbastard on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:16:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hear, hear, LEFT. You nailed it . . . (2+ / 0-)
      The White House position is to reduce defense cuts and shift them onto Social Security and Medicare.
      And that fits the real definition of "austerity."

      Especially since Max Baxcus is also joining with Orrin Hatch to propose the following:

      A tax reform plan that would start over with a "blank slate" by eliminating all tax breaks and lowering tax rates for both individuals and corporations alike won the approval of Erskine Bowles on Monday, a former White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and current co-chairman of a deficit commission created by President Barack Obama to broker a bold, bipartisan deficit deal. . . .

      The Senate's top Democratic and Republican tax-writers, namely Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and the committee's top Republican, Orrin Hatch of Utah, unveiled the plan last week. It calls for an unspecified, but potentially substantially lower tax rate for both individuals and corporations, though none of the current tax breaks would be included. Lawmakers would have to justify adding any tax breaks. Bowles said the plan is very similar to a proposal he had earlier made with debt commission co-chair Alan Simpson.

      Seems to me that it would be wise to start paying attention to what lawmakers are doing.

      I've already posted a video [a couple of times] in which Senator Van Hollen talks of "replacing the Sequester" with the Grand Bargain (cuts to Social Security and Medicare) during "regular order," which is going on as we speak.

      And now, our lawmakers are finally getting ready to push through legislation to drastically lower taxes on "the wealthy" and corporations by taking away all the tax expenditures that EVERYDAY Americans are able to claim--not having to claim their employer's portion of their group health premium as "income," home mortgage interest deduction, etc.

      This is serious, folks.

      Instead of worrying about 2016 (or for that matter, 2014) it seems to me that people need to wake up before it's too late.

      BTW, for those who may not realize it--deep cuts to the marginal tax rates of both corporations and the wealthy is a major part of Bowles-Simpson's proposal (the President's Fiscal Commission recommendations).

      And THIS is the other part of austerity--coupled with the proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare--this is the same type of austerity that was imposed on the people of Greece!

      Please call your Senators, now, and protest this proposed legislation!


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


      by musiccitymollie on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:02:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  High unemployment is a feature not a bug (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl, smartalek

    for GOPers, as I've stated before in previous comments. Anything that promotes wage destruction is just peachy-keen with them and their corporate masters. Of course, the sequester cuts fits that bill to a tee.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by richardak on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:21:10 PM PDT

    •  Respectfully, richardak--Democrats just finished (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      pushing an immigration bill through that allows for an unemployment level as high as 8.5% to be considered "acceptable."

      It was considered a huge victory by the Dems to get enough Republicans on board, so that they could get the bill passed with just under 70 votes.

      Proposed Immigration bill – “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.”

      Summarization of proposed Immigration bill

      The proposed legislation crafted by a group of four Democratic senators: Schumer, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Michael Bennet of Colorado; and Republicans McCain, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida has brought forward many important proposals affecting a large spectrum of – Immigration, Visa, Employment and border security force. Let us take a look at some of main the proposed suggestions. . . . .

      *  120,000 visas will be available per year based on merit.  The number would increase by 5% per year if demand exceeds supply in any year where unemployment is under 8.5%. There will be a maximum cap of 250,000 visas.

      Personally, I backed the pathway to citizenship for the millions of people who were here without a valid visa, but the idea that they would consider such a (unemployment) measure to be acceptable, was ridiculous IMO.


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


      by musiccitymollie on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:16:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Positive if Painful (5+ / 0-)

    Military spending is one the most expensive way to produce jobs and funnel money into the economy.  It is also a mistake to say that a military job is a private sector job, because, unless one is making arms for Al Qaeda, the US taxpayer is charged for 100% salary plus a huge markup to pay the millions of dollars in "management fees", i.e. pure profit.

    It is much better just to put the money in social assistant programs and build capacity in the real private industry. Sadly, because so many conservatives see defense as an easy way to funnel money to their friends, defense is sometimes the only way to make money.  And it causes problems.  For instance in research many good ideas don't get funded because they are not military application or cancer.  In other words, they don't promote the fear based economy, so they don't get done.

  •  It is worth noting once again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heavy Mettle, Words In Action

    the sequester was the administration's idea.

  •  Maybe Count The Days Since The Sequester (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, DSPS owl, smartalek

    Carney could begin every White House briefing with the count and a description of the sequester effects. The specific job losses and their effect on communities as well as how much it is keeping us from lowering the unemployment rate further. Not enough of a political issue is being made of the sequester. Especially annoying as it was suppose to never happen because all parties were going to prevent it from occurring because of its costs.

  •  I have no choice but to sympathize with anybody (4+ / 0-)

    who loses their job, but seeing a slowdown in defense spending does not strike me as bad news.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:40:25 PM PDT

  •  pharma/med & govt contractors blur that chart some (0+ / 0-)

    in 2 ways:

    #1 that pharma and medical supply/services have been the sturdiest combined profit-growers (many would call it profiteer'ers0 thru'out the Current Depression (just callin' it what it is) compared with pretty much all the rest of the economy (according to med lit i read extensively, also the Time magazine reportage of a few months ago - Jon Stewart interviewed the journalist, youse-all probably remember his name).  
         both pharma mfr'g and med supply/serv are small-footprint industries as far as production-plant real estate is concerned, relatively speaking, often even small footprint in terms of other equipment capital investment.  but especially pharma tend to be international companies, so we have no choice but buy their products while their jobs contribute nothing to our economy.  (btw, one of the biggest of them recently fired their head of mfr'ing in China because of product {i.e., drugs} quality issues.)  it would be informative to overlay the above jobs chart with a corporate sector profits chart.  or even a corporate gross chart (no pun intended).

    #2 defense spending and the jobs involved [re]open the question of how cost-effective is it, both in terms of outlay and in terms of american jobs, for government to hire private business to serve the american people.  a recent news comment i heard [probably on msnbc] pointed out that overbuilding and overpatrolling our southern Big Fence was an early and huge xmas gift to Halliburton et al, as was previously the Bush Wars.  increasingly we see government service to citizens farmed out to private business that in previous eras was work done by the army corps of engineers, etc.
          does the quality of contractor products/services (e.g., infrastructure such as bridges and flood-control channels, among more obvious prods/servs) and the jobs added to the economy --including overpaid executive jobs-- by the govt hiring private contractors justify what have often been bizarre-in-the-extreme corporate profits, and bizarre-in-the-extreme propensity of those corporations and their employees to engage in actions as if they are above the law or licensed by their govt contract to act criminously [Blackwater comes to mind, among others].

  •  The job-killing Republican sequester? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heavy Mettle

    I keep forgetting the name of the Republican president who negotiated and signed the sequester law....

    Oh yeah.


    And there's these other Republicans who passed it in Congress....

    The House passed the Budget Control Act on August 1, 2011 by a vote of 269–161. 174 Republicans and 95 Democrats voted for it.

    The Senate passed the Act on August 2, 2011 by a vote of 74–26. 6 Democrats and 19 Republicans voted against it.

    Those damned Republicans. It's impossible to tell them from most Democrats!

    (And let's not forget the internet lackeys who praised Obama and the Democratic Party for averting a phony debt disaster.)

    The modern Democrat is one who promotes old GOP ideas and calls them progressive in comparison to new GOP ideas.

    by masswaster on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:20:15 PM PDT

  •  A historic moment to be ... proud of? (0+ / 0-)

    The modern Democrat is one who promotes old GOP ideas and calls them progressive in comparison to new GOP ideas.

    by masswaster on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:27:58 PM PDT

  •  One beast I'm happy to starve (0+ / 0-)

    is the defense contractors and their lobbyists. IMO this is about the only good design feature of the sequester: you want to cut food stamps? You have to cut Lockheed and Xe (or whatever they call themselves now) by the same percentage. That's gotta hurt. And the cuts will trickle down to all those $150-a-plate fancy lunch places in DC.

    Now if we can only push the same kind of pain onto the medical-industrial complex, Big Pharma, and most of all, Big Banking/Financial Services.

    •  Xe is now Academi (0+ / 0-)

      While we weren't watching...  It's hard to keep up with all this crap.

      •  Never been a big fan of the "sector" concept (0+ / 0-)

        A friend of mine in college, in explaining what he really thought about smoking and non-smoking sections compared it to having a peeing and a non-peeing section in a pool.
        Same with economic "sectors." In the end, it's all just money.
        They also like to argue that regulation destroy jobs -- a facile argument if there ever was one. If regulations are so difficult to comply with, it's as likely to create jobs as it is to destroy them. Just think vehicle inspection. Or asbestos abatement.

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