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Old 01-24-2013, 10:50 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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The Sequester and/or Government Shutdown Approacheth

Anybody else ****ing fed up with this shit? 2013: Year of the Cliff.

Sequester hits March 1st. Government shutdown hits March 27th.

Here's the conversation on the fiscal cliff. Here's the conversation on the debt ceiling (which we'll be returning to by May... sigh).

The White House discusses the entirety of the impact in post 136. It's devastating.

Here's the FAQ on the sequester (from September):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...ter-explained/

The sequester, explained
Posted by Suzy Khimm
on September 14, 2012 at 2:35 pm

The White House has released its plan explaining how the sequester’s mandatory spending cuts to defense and domestic spending will be implemented in 2013. Here’s the background on what the sequester is, how it happened and what happens from here:

What is the sequester?

It’s a package of automatic spending cuts that’s part of the Budget Control Act (BCA), which was passed in August 2011. The cuts, which are projected to total $1.2 trillion, are scheduled to begin in 2013 and end in 2021, evenly divided over the nine-year period. The cuts are also evenly split between defense spending — with spending on wars exempt — and discretionary domestic spending, which exempts most spending on entitlements like Social Security and Medicaid, as the Bipartisan Policy Center explains. The total cuts for 2013 will be $109 billion, according to the new White House report.

Under the BCA, the cuts were triggered to take effect beginning Jan. 1 if the supercommittee didn’t to agree to a $1.2 trillion deficit-reduction package by Nov. 23, 2011. The group failed to reach a deal, so the sequester was triggered.

Why does everyone hate the sequester so much?

Legislators don’t have any discretion with the across-the-board cuts: They are intended to hit all affected programs equally, though the cuts to individual areas will range from 7.6 percent to 9.6 percent (and 2 percent to Medicare providers). The indiscriminate pain is meant to pressure legislators into making a budget deal to avoid the cuts.

How would these cuts affect the country?

Since the details just came out, it’s not entirely clear yet. But many top defense officials have warned that the cuts will lead the military to be “hollowed out.” Democratic legislators have similarly warned about the impact on vital social programs. And defense, health care and other industries that are significantly dependent on federal spending say that major job losses will happen if the cuts end up taking effect.

At the same time, if legislators try to avoid the sequester without replacing it with real deficit reduction, the U.S. could face another credit downgrade.

Why did Congress and the White House agree to the sequester in the first place?

The government was approaching its debt limit, which needed to be raised through a congressional vote or else the country would default in early August 2011. While Democrats were in favor of a “clean” vote without strings attached, Republicans were demanding substantial cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit.

President Obama and congressional leaders ultimately agreed to the BCA, which would allow the debt ceiling to be raised by $2.1 trillion in exchange for the establishment of the supercommittee tied to the fall-back sequester, as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities explains. The deal also includes mandatory spending reductions on top of the sequester by putting caps on non-entitlement discretionary spending that will reduce funding by $1 trillion by 2021.

Who supported the debt-ceiling deal?

Party leaders, the White House and most members of Congress supported the debt-ceiling deal: The BCA passed on a 268-161 vote in the House, with about one-third of House Republicans and half of House Democrats opposing it. It passed in the Senate, 74-26, with six Democratic senators and 19 Republican senators opposing it.

Can the sequester be avoided?

Yes, but only if Congress passes another budget deal that would achieve at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction. Both Democrats and Republicans have offered proposals to do so, but there still isn’t much progress on a deal. The political obstacles are the same as during the supercommittee negotiations: Republicans don’t want to raise taxes to generate revenue, while Democrats are reluctant to make dramatic changes to entitlement programs to achieve savings.

What happens from here?

No one on Capitol Hill thinks any deal will happen before Election Day. After Nov. 6, Congress will have just a few weeks to come up with an alternative to the sequester. The challenge is complicated by the fact that the Bush tax cuts, the payroll tax, unemployment benefits and a host of other tax breaks are all scheduled to expire Dec. 31. The cumulative impact of all of these scheduled cuts and changes is what’s popularly known as the fiscal cliff. There’s already talk of passing a short-term stopgap budget plan during the lame-duck session to buy legislators more time to come up with a grand bargain.

Last edited by Direckshun; 02-09-2013 at 10:11 PM..
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:38 AM   #106
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Me thinks Me. McKeon is whistling in the wind if he thinks the Dems will sign off on job cuts as the appetizer to hold us over till we actually start to fix the issues.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:43 AM   #107
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I agree. Thats why it has to be a balanced approach.
Not really. The balance should be between economic growth and balancing the budget (either through increased revenues or decreased spending). The decision between decreased spending or increased revenue is more about what size government you want to end up with.

Republicans are more than willing to pursue increased revenue as a part of a growth-oriented tax reform. But they aren't willing to embrace Obama's "new normal" levels of spending.

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Theres Billions of $'s in tax loopholes there to be cut. $4 billion in oil subsidy's. $2 billion in limiting mortgage deductions on 2nd homes at $500K etc.etc.
Tax reform should involved reducing rates and expanding the base by eliminating special tax breaks. But the goal should be economic growth, not increased progressivity or punishing business/management in favor of the working class.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:45 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
Me thinks Me. McKeon is whistling in the wind if he thinks the Dems will sign off on job cuts as the appetizer to hold us over till we actually start to fix the issues.
No one would have their job cut.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:46 AM   #109
Direckshun Direckshun is offline
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1:1 isn't an acceptable balanced approach from my pov, but we can start there by finding the cuts we need to find to make up for the tax rate increase we've already had.
The tax increase began before the second term, however, and you said zero was the standard of backwards looking for a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

Sorry, Charlie.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:48 AM   #110
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The Fed prints out 80 BILLION dollars a month, at a cost of $0.06 cents per $100 bill... and they then can loan that 80 Billion out 10x due to fractional reserve banking, effectively creating $800 Billion dollars a month... during QE3... and the US is still broke.

LOL
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:50 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
The tax increase began before the second term, however, and you said zero was the standard of backwards looking for a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

Sorry, Charlie.
You're being pretty dense about this. The zero point is when the campaign promise is made for a guy who is already in office.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:02 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
You're being pretty dense about this. The zero point is when the campaign promise is made for a guy who is already in office.
So Obama specifically said "I will abide by this standard only from this point forward"?

I need to see the promise you think he's violating by even considering past pieces of deficit reduction in his "balanced" approach.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:02 PM   #113
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So Obama specifically said "I will abide by this standard only from this point forward"?

I need to see the promise you think he's violating by even considering past pieces of deficit reduction in his "balanced" approach.
I don't need you to hold him to his words. In fact, I expect you to continue to make excuses for him and argue for his big spending, high taxation approach no matter what he says.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:22 PM   #114
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Tax reform should involved reducing rates and expanding the base by eliminating special tax breaks. But the goal should be economic growth, not increased progressivity or punishing business/management in favor of the working class.
I believe that the two examples I gave qualify for your criteria.

The Oil companies are making $30-40 BILLION in profit every year. If we stop the $3-4 BILLION in corporate welfare, they will be fine.

If we limit mortgages on the 2nd home to $500K, the economy will not be hurt. They can still buy the first house at $20 million house and take all the mortgage dedututions.

Farm subsidies, WTF are we paying BILLIONS to corporations and farmers to NOT grow anything on their land?
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:32 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by BigRedChief View Post
I believe that the two examples I gave qualify for your criteria.

The Oil companies are making $30-40 BILLION in profit every year. If we stop the $3-4 BILLION in corporate welfare, they will be fine.

If we limit mortgages on the 2nd home to $500K, the economy will not be hurt. They can still buy the first house at $20 million house and take all the mortgage dedututions.

Farm subsidies, WTF are we paying BILLIONS to corporations and farmers to NOT grow anything on their land?
Why are you so hell bent on not cutting the size of the US gov't?
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:17 PM   #116
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I believe that the two examples I gave qualify for your criteria.
Your oil subsidies example has big problems.

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The Oil companies are making $30-40 BILLION in profit every year. If we stop the $3-4 BILLION in corporate welfare, they will be fine.
As seems to be so often the case, you've been manipulated by your liberal media bubble. It would do you a lot of good on this subject to read this Forbes article. It explains that the three largest components of that $4 billion number that you're bandying about are (1) the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (~$1 billion), (2) tax exemptions for farm fuel for vehicles that don't use our roads (~$1 billion), and (3) the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program ($570 million).

Of the "subsidies" that go directly to the oil companies, a large chunk of it is due to general tax breaks that are not specific to the oil companies. Whether these should even be considered subsidies or not is a question worthy of investigation, but if they are, there's no reason to penalize the oil companies specifically. This is just another example of your party trying to micromanage the economy (or more accurately, in this case, they're just pandering to their emotional base) through targeted tax code manipulation.

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If we limit mortgages on the 2nd home to $500K, the economy will not be hurt. They can still buy the first house at $20 million house and take all the mortgage dedututions.
I have less problem with this one, but it smells of the same class warfare that seems to drive all of your party's tax proposals. I'm not necessarily against it, but I'm looking for reforms that grow the economy not reforms that punish rich people or focus on a quick cash grab.

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Farm subsidies, WTF are we paying BILLIONS to corporations and farmers to NOT grow anything on their land?
I'm no expert on farm subsidies, but in general I'm in favor of minimizing all industry specific special tax treatment.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:01 PM   #117
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http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch...-advocates-say

NIH sequester cuts will harm economy, advocates say
By Elise Viebeck
02/06/13 10:01 AM ET

Budget sequestration will curtail $3 billion in economic activity if cuts hit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on March 1, advocates said Tuesday.

Advocacy coalition United for Medical Research (UMR) released new figures showing that the NIH supported more than 402,000 jobs and about $58 billion in economic output last year.

The group warned that if sequestration takes effect, 20,500 life science jobs would be lost along with $3 billion in economic activity.

"We cannot allow budget cuts, such as those looming from the sequester, to undermine the biomedical research enterprise, causing the loss of jobs and prosperity, as well as setting us back at a time when we are on the cusp of exciting new advances," said UMR President Carrie Wolinetz in a statement.

The group represents research institutions, private industry and a variety of patient and health advocates.

Warnings about sequestration have returned as the across-the-board cuts draw near, and President Obama demanded Tuesday that Congress act to protect the federal budget.

"There is no reason that the jobs of thousands of Americans who work in national security or education or clean energy — not to mention the growth of the entire economy — should be put in jeopardy," Obama said.

Lawmakers punted the reductions from Jan. 1 to March 1 in their deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" at the beginning of the year. The sequester was triggered by a congressional supercommittee's failure to reach an agreement on deficit reduction in 2011.

The NIH budget will be cut by 5.1 percent unless lawmakers act in the next month.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:18 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch...-advocates-say

NIH sequester cuts will harm economy, advocates say
By Elise Viebeck
02/06/13 10:01 AM ET

Budget sequestration will curtail $3 billion in economic activity if cuts hit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on March 1, advocates said Tuesday.

Advocacy coalition United for Medical Research (UMR) released new figures showing that the NIH supported more than 402,000 jobs and about $58 billion in economic output last year.

The group warned that if sequestration takes effect, 20,500 life science jobs would be lost along with $3 billion in economic activity.

"We cannot allow budget cuts, such as those looming from the sequester, to undermine the biomedical research enterprise, causing the loss of jobs and prosperity, as well as setting us back at a time when we are on the cusp of exciting new advances," said UMR President Carrie Wolinetz in a statement.

The group represents research institutions, private industry and a variety of patient and health advocates.

Warnings about sequestration have returned as the across-the-board cuts draw near, and President Obama demanded Tuesday that Congress act to protect the federal budget.

"There is no reason that the jobs of thousands of Americans who work in national security or education or clean energy — not to mention the growth of the entire economy — should be put in jeopardy," Obama said.

Lawmakers punted the reductions from Jan. 1 to March 1 in their deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" at the beginning of the year. The sequester was triggered by a congressional supercommittee's failure to reach an agreement on deficit reduction in 2011.

The NIH budget will be cut by 5.1 percent unless lawmakers act in the next month.
Just because a government job is lost, it doesn't mean the economy is harmed. Using that measure of merit, all cuts harm the economy and all government expansions help the economy, which is preposterous.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:22 PM   #119
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Boy you could see this coming from a mile away.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/20...he_budget.html

House Republicans Want Obama to Go First on Balancing the Budget
By David Weigel
Posted Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, at 1:39 PM ET

Good news, everyone! The House has passed the PLAN Act—the Require Presidential Leadership and No Deficit Act of 2013, if you've got some problem with acronyms. Sponsored by former Republican Study Committee chairman and possible Senate candidate Tom Price, it requires President Obama to either 1) propose a budget that balances at some point in the future or 2) propose whatever budget he likes, plus a "supplemental unified budget" that balances at some point, a footnote longer than anything in David Foster Wallace's dreams.

It's the latest act in our continuing Republican drama—the shifting of the "irresponsibility" crown from their heads to President Obama's. The thing about budgets is that they don't ever get passed in original form. "Budgets" don't even set the government's spending for the year. Spending resolutions do.


Here: In May 2012, the House passed a "sequester replacement" bill that eliminated all planned defense cuts and turned them into non-defense discretionary cuts. That, they hoped, would allow them to portray President Obama as irresponsible. But that bill didn't specify where the cuts would be, specifically. That work was kicked to December 21, in a spending resolution that delineated what would be cut to pay for the cost of the hated sequester.

It's the only recent example of Republicans doing this. (Even Paul Ryan's budgets did not explain what would get hit with planned non-defense discretionary spending cuts.) The resolution took chunks out of Obamacare, Medicaid, and job training, and passed by a one-vote margin. Some of the members who made up that margin had lost re-election. It's not clear at all that a similar sequester replacement would pass again. And it is clear that the Senate would never pass it as-is.

Thus, another bill that shifts the onus of explaining "how exactly we're going to pay for all this stuff" back to the White House.
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:26 PM   #120
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Boy you could see this coming from a mile away.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/20...he_budget.html

House Republicans Want Obama to Go First on Balancing the Budget
By David Weigel
Posted Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, at 1:39 PM ET

Good news, everyone! The House has passed the PLAN Act—the Require Presidential Leadership and No Deficit Act of 2013, if you've got some problem with acronyms. Sponsored by former Republican Study Committee chairman and possible Senate candidate Tom Price, it requires President Obama to either 1) propose a budget that balances at some point in the future or 2) propose whatever budget he likes, plus a "supplemental unified budget" that balances at some point, a footnote longer than anything in David Foster Wallace's dreams.

It's the latest act in our continuing Republican drama—the shifting of the "irresponsibility" crown from their heads to President Obama's. The thing about budgets is that they don't ever get passed in original form. "Budgets" don't even set the government's spending for the year. Spending resolutions do.


Here: In May 2012, the House passed a "sequester replacement" bill that eliminated all planned defense cuts and turned them into non-defense discretionary cuts. That, they hoped, would allow them to portray President Obama as irresponsible. But that bill didn't specify where the cuts would be, specifically. That work was kicked to December 21, in a spending resolution that delineated what would be cut to pay for the cost of the hated sequester.

It's the only recent example of Republicans doing this. (Even Paul Ryan's budgets did not explain what would get hit with planned non-defense discretionary spending cuts.) The resolution took chunks out of Obamacare, Medicaid, and job training, and passed by a one-vote margin. Some of the members who made up that margin had lost re-election. It's not clear at all that a similar sequester replacement would pass again. And it is clear that the Senate would never pass it as-is.

Thus, another bill that shifts the onus of explaining "how exactly we're going to pay for all this stuff" back to the White House.
The only thing the White House seems to want to lead on are raising taxes and increasing spending. Big shocker.
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"I'll see you guys in New York." ISIS Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to US military personnel upon his release from US custody at Camp Bucca in Iraq during Obama's first year in office.
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