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Thread: Sequestration

  1. #1
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    Sequestration

    If you're not a federal employee, or work for a company that deals extensively with the feds, you might not be too aware of this. But in about a week's time if some sort of last minute deal is not struck between Republicans and Democrats, as of March 1 massive cuts will be imposed on the federal budget. For 2013 the cuts would be to the tune of 1.2 trillion dollars (the breakdown is 500 billion to defense and 700 billion to all other spending). The spending cuts are scheduled to last through 2021.

    From what I can tell most polls, regardless of party, are hating this. There's not a politician out there who wont see major funding cuts to some government program his elecorate cares deeply about. Hence, Republican or Democrat, they know they'll suffer the backlash. And not surprisingly government hacks are quaking in their shoes (heh, heh). Economists are predicting that sequestration will send the US back into recession. And it very well may, since

    I for one welcome it. I am so fugging sick of government waste and watching firsthand government employees gorging themselves off the taxpayer-funded trough. It will have serious implications though. For all of us.
    Last edited by BushyTheBeaver; 02-14-2013 at 10:56 PM.

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    Seems to me there are a lot of easy cuts to be made at the Pentagon.

    If the GOP (House of Representatives) were smart and had their stuff together they could have done a bunch of them. But they didn’t

    First year of President Bush II the Pentagon had a budget of under $300 billion today it is over $625 billion… right now any talk of a budget cut folks start screaming about “crippling our military”.

  3. #3
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    Am I the only person that doesn't hate this? We need cuts across the board and I am glad everyone is getting egg on their faces.

    Either way we are heading into a recession bc the only thing that is keeping us out of one now is the govt spending that we cannot sustain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    Seems to me there are a lot of easy cuts to be made at the Pentagon.
    Believe me, there are easy cuts to be made everywhere. My insight is into the DOT. The number of mushrooms pulling down salaries there to do little more than occupy a desk is sickening. And I have no reason to believe it's not the same in every other government department. They'll all scream that any cuts to funding will compromise their "mission critical" jobs.
    LMAO.

    The difficulty with the cuts, and where it will cause pain, is that they will make no evaluation and distinction between useful spending and wasteful spending. So, for example, for every 1 million of useless employee salaries they cut cut (say, FAA bean counters) they'll also cut 1 million of actually useful employees (say, air traffic controllers).

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    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    Am I the only person that doesn't hate this? We need cuts across the board and I am glad everyone is getting egg on their faces.

    Either way we are heading into a recession bc the only thing that is keeping us out of one now is the govt spending that we cannot sustain.
    I agree. Especially with your second paragraph. The US economy has been a conjuring trick ever since Reagan and I don't even blame him even though he was absolutely clueless when it came to spending.
    Last edited by BushyTheBeaver; 02-15-2013 at 01:19 AM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    Am I the only person that doesn't hate this? We need cuts across the board and I am glad everyone is getting egg on their faces.

    Either way we are heading into a recession bc the only thing that is keeping us out of one now is the govt spending that we cannot sustain.
    I'm all for the sequestration happening. Furthermore I don't believe for a second about all the doom and gloom about how cutting a few billion dollars from the 700 billion + pentagon budget (they are not actually cuts but rather slowing the rate of growth) will cause all these drastic job loss scenarios. More likely that the agencies will be forced to hunker down and root out waste. That is a good thing and its clear that this is the only scenario in which politicians will ever cut spending.

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    I don't worry about defense cuts. We won't need that much money b.c two wars are ending. But there also needs to be cuts/reform elsewhere. Right now we are out of control.

    I would love for there to be some sort of a balanced budget amendment. Or something that comes close. Right now we are running a trillion dollar deficit per year. We need to get that down to the 100 billion dollar range. There is no reason why we can't. And raising taxes is not going to come close to fixing it. The revenue is not the problem, the spending is.
    Last edited by DDNYjets; 02-15-2013 at 09:26 AM.

  8. #8
    This is Obama's baby and now he is *****ing. No deals Obama without real cuts!

  9. #9
    This is Obama's baby and now he is *****ing. No deals Obama without real cuts!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    I don't worry about defense cuts. We won't need that much money b.c two wars are ending. But there also needs to be cuts/reform elsewhere. Right now we are out of control.

    I would love for there to be some sort of a balanced budget amendment. Or something that comes close. Right now we are running a trillion dollar deficit per year. We need to get that down to the 100 billion dollar range. There is no reason why we can't. And raising taxes is not going to come close to fixing it. The revenue is not the problem, the spending is.
    why pass a balanced budget amendment when His Assholiness would issue an Executive Order trashing it?

  11. #11
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    Bring it on.

    By the way, if it happens and we do dip back into recession, it would've happened anyway. O knows this, but sequestration gives him a boogey man to pin on the GOP. Not a chance will he take an ounce of responsibility for his other crappy policies' contribution to it.

  12. #12
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    No more kicking the can down the road. Let it happen.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by JetPotato View Post
    Bring it on.

    By the way, if it happens and we do dip back into recession, it would've happened anyway. O knows this, but sequestration gives him a boogey man to pin on the GOP. Not a chance will he take an ounce of responsibility for his other crappy policies' contribution to it.
    Prior to anything happening last quarter saw growth of negative .10%. We are already in a recession according to the textbook definition. Its interesting but for once I think most everyone is in agreement to let the sequester happen.

    Its funny but the plan put forward in the Senate to Cut some Farm Subsidies and close some Tax Loopholes is fine as well but not as something to replace the sequester. They should keep that plan and use it to offset corporate tax reform costs. The totals only work out to 7-8 billion in new yearly revenues but the populist nature of the tax hikes should be paired with greater reforms designed to increase business activity and job growth.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster View Post
    Seems to me there are a lot of easy cuts to be made at the Pentagon.

    If the GOP (House of Representatives) were smart and had their stuff together they could have done a bunch of them. But they didn’t

    First year of President Bush II the Pentagon had a budget of under $300 billion today it is over $625 billion… right now any talk of a budget cut folks start screaming about “crippling our military”.

    There ARE cuts to be made in the Pentagon and EVERYWHERE else.
    Cut the social programs - hard. Yesterday Obama was pushing for guaranteed pre school starting with 3 year olds. And guaranteed daycare from BIRTH. No idea how to pay for it though. That means moms ( and dads?) can have more time selling/using drugs and having more babies. = More welfare.
    Cheap college, cheap housing, free food, free everything.
    He also wants to appoint a disproportionate number of mnority judges so the "poor" will have a chance. Read more criminals on the street.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto defender View Post
    Cut the social programs - hard. Yesterday Obama was pushing for guaranteed pre school starting with 3 year olds. And guaranteed daycare from BIRTH.
    Is that true? What a clueless idiot.

    One of our major problems in society is that parents don't raise their children and now we want to put everyone in daycare.

    Just pass the buck and keep the welfare rolling.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    Is that true? What a clueless idiot.

    One of our major problems in society is that parents don't raise their children and now we want to put everyone in daycare.

    Just pass the buck and keep the welfare rolling.
    Just another step speeding up the process of bankrupting our cities and towns. Federal mandates to provide free pre-school to all children will crush most cities and towns.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by chiefst2000 View Post
    Just another step speeding up the process of bankrupting our cities and towns. Federal mandates to provide free pre-school to all children will crush most cities and towns.
    Studies have shown that Head start....after billions of dollars, provides NO TANGIBLE results. Yet we want more.....???

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by southparkcpa View Post
    Studies have shown that Head start....after billions of dollars, provides NO TANGIBLE results. Yet we want more.....???
    Those that feel government is the answer to everything see it as a way to help children that have horrible parents. It's one thing if they said lets provide some grants/programs for poor people that want to send their kids to preschool. For some illogical reason however (see union overlords) progressives want universal pre-k essentially providing something for free that most 1%ers (by that i mean the 53% of people that work and dont recieve government handouts) currently happily pay for. Its as strange as the logic that has liberals fighting against the concept of means testing entitlements like SS and Medicare. I just don't get it sometimes. Its the same logic that liberals want to provide wealthy women with free birth control pills. Why not have them continue to pay and give the free stuff to poor people? I'll never understand the logic because there is none.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by southparkcpa View Post
    Studies have shown that Head start....after billions of dollars, provides NO TANGIBLE results. Yet we want more.....???
    More time for indoctrination

  20. #20
    (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of people made homeless, long waits at airports and criminals going unpunished.

    Those were among the dire warnings from the Obama administration on Thursday of the consequences of automatic public spending cuts that are due to kick in next month.

    While the measures do indeed threaten jobs and the economic recovery, experts say government agencies are overplaying the effect of the $85 billion "sequestration" cuts to jolt lawmakers into halting them.

    Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing that U.S. military readiness would be eroded by the across-the-board cuts, to be split evenly between military and domestic discretionary programs.

    Carter said some 46,000 contract employees would be laid off, and 800,000 civilian employees would be furloughed for 22 days and ship and aircraft maintenance would be slashed.

    But the cuts are only a small portion of the overall $3.6 trillion U.S. annual budget, and a miniscule component of the vast U.S. economy.

    "Somehow, the idea that if we go back to 2007 military funding levels we're going to be a second-rate power, well that's overdoing it," said Lawrence Korb, a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress and a former U.S. assistant defense secretary.

    "If you kept this cut, you're back to $500 billion a year. I find it hard to get that worried about it," Korb said, noting that this was still vastly more than any other country spends on its military.

    A senior White House budget official cautioned, though, that sequestration will have grave real effects.

    "We simply cannot cut $85 billion out of our budget over the next seven months without critical consequences for defense and non-defense," said Danny Werfel, controller for the Office of Management and Budget.

    He was one of several administration officials, including cabinet secretaries, to list the serious ramifications if Congress and President Barack Obama did not reach an agreement to stop sequestration.

    The Justice Department predicted that it would handle 1,000 fewer criminal cases this year due to the cuts. The FBI would have to furlough all of its employees for up to 14 days, which the agency said was the equivalent of taking 775 agents off the streets.

    "Criminals that should be held accountable for their actions will not be held accountable and violators of our civil laws may go unpunished," Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in a letter to Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that screening lines at busy U.S. airports could grow by up to an hour as Transportation Security Administration staff are furloughed.

    Waits at border crossings could reach 4 to 5 hours, ports could face gridlock and reduced Coast Guard patrols would mean less interdiction of drug and illegal immigrants and more pressure on fisheries, she said.

    Secretary of State John Kerry said that "vital missions of national security, diplomacy and development" were at risk from the budget crunch.

    Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan predicted some 225,000 people, including veterans, could be at risk of becoming homeless as they lose access to housing vouchers or emergency shelter programs.

    FURLOUGH NOTICES

    The Pentagon has more flexibility to deal with the cuts than domestic agencies, said Gordon Adams, an American University foreign policy professor.

    Domestic agencies are more payroll-based, so they have little choice but to lose people, whereas the Pentagon has all of its war operations and military pay exempted, and its procurement activities can largely run on previously allocated dollars. "We are not suddenly going to be subject to overseas coercion."

    But even on the domestic side, the predictions of gloom are subject to hyperbole and political calculation, he said.

    "If I'm the administration, I'm going to ramp up the biggest and most horrible effects I can to put pressure on the Republicans" to reach a deal to prevent the cuts.

    Werfel acknowledged that, unlike a government shutdown, not all of the effects are going to happen immediately when the cuts begin on March 1.

    In some cases, furlough notices will go out at that time, but employees may not be sent home for 30 days due to statutory notice periods. In other cases, negotiations with unions over implementation of furloughs may take longer.

    But the effects of the cuts, will build up "relatively quickly" within weeks and months, Werfel said. The layoffs, furloughs and curtailed services described by administration officials would more likely be spread over the seven months to the end of the fiscal year on September 30.

    Part of the problem the administration faces is a lack of flexibility in prioritizing the cuts, which were aimed at nearly every discretionary budget account and designed to pressure lawmakers to reach a broader agreement to reduce deficits.

    Lack of alternative preparations means that agencies have little choice but to furlough employers and curtail operations to meet their savings targets for the fiscal year.

    But after that, defense savings can be found that will not compromise U.S. security, said Mattea Kramer, research director at the National Priorities Project, a Massachusetts research group focused on the U.S. budget.

    "There is waste, there are obsolete programs to be sunsetted, there is Cold War technology that we need not be investing in any longer," Kramer said.

    The dire warnings of chaos on the domestic side may be more motivated by worries that the automatic cuts will hit economic growth, which is the top Democratic priority, said Ethan Siegal, who advises institutional investors on Washington politics.

    The Congressional Budget Office forecast last week that if the sequester occurred, it would reduce U.S. economic output by 0.6 percentage points and slash 750,000 jobs.

    Siegal said the administration may find ways to mitigate the effects of the cuts, but it is not politically advantageous to do so at this time, when it wants to put maximum pressure on Congress to reach a budget deal.

    He predicted that the sequester would be delayed again just before a March 27 deadline for new government funding legislation.

    "Government agencies are marvelous at massaging these things and moving money around."

    In a sign that lawmakers are looking for ways to prevent the cuts, Senate Democrats offered a plan on Thursday to replace the sequester with tax hikes and reduced farm subsidies, but the proposal is expected to be quickly shot down by Republicans.

    OMB's Werfel said that the administration will do what it can to blunt the cuts.

    "Whatever the tools we have, we're going to use. I'm not going to comment on specific aspects, I just know that it is going to be enormously challenging and there is no way we're going to mitigate these impacts effectively enough," he told reporters after the hearing.


    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...91E03Q20130215

    See the bolded paragraph.
    Anyone else think it is interesting that the CBO predicted the exact same reduction in Jobs and GDP due to the tax hike Democrats gleefully imposed in January? Why does it bother them now?

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