The Sequester Blame Game

The sequester deadline is March 1st, and there's only four days until Republican austerity measures start to kick in. President Obama released new reports Sunday, which detail how spending cuts will harm each state, and he continues to call on Congress to find a way to avoid the sequester. The Republicans were hard at work too. But, instead of working on a compromise to prevent austerity, they've just come up with a new way to make Obama the bad guy.

Since the American people didn't buy the Republican's attempts to blame the President for the sequester, the GOP now wants Obama to decide just where, when, and how these cuts should take place. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri floated this new idea in an interview over the weekend, saying “the compromise is to give the president authority that he should be willing to use as the leader of the country to target the cuts, rather than to take the cuts on every line item.” This is just their latest ploy to avoid any responsibility for the financial pain our nation is about to feel, and President Obama needs to say “No” to their latest scheme.

If Congress doesn’t act to prevent these austerity measures, the American people will know who's really to blame. It's Republicans who refuse to compromise, and they'd rather subject our entire nation to devastating cuts, than stop the tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. Call Congress now and tell them that if they don't act to prevent the sequester, soon they'll be joining the unemployment rolls with the one million Americans who lose their jobs because of Republican austerity.


mathboy's picture
mathboy 11 years 16 weeks ago


gregsain's picture
gregsain 11 years 16 weeks ago

Hey I've got an idea...


Outback 11 years 16 weeks ago

Can't wait until mid-term election night, 2014 .... ;-)

flyguy8650's picture
flyguy8650 11 years 16 weeks ago

Give me a break!, what kind of idiot can't find cuts of 2%! They spent more than that on Sandy victims! The Washington Bunch are supreme idiots! All of them. No balls! The Sequester is total PR bull crap on all sides! Ya all think the voters are stupid, we are not.

Outback 11 years 16 weeks ago

Not that it will change anything, but it'll be good to see the most obvious miscreants get their asses kicked up between their shoulder blades!

Kend's picture
Kend 11 years 16 weeks ago

It looks to me both sides know they need to cut spending so sequester is the perfect way to blame the other guy and not take responsability. The Republicans have given in for four years and let the massive spending go on and on.

Sequester was Obama's idea in the first place, wasn't it.

Blame game, exactly. They are both to blame in my books.

Outback 11 years 16 weeks ago

Sorry, Flyguy, the voters are, in fact, abysmally stupid!

Timothy Gilmore's picture
Timothy Gilmore 11 years 16 weeks ago

By their actions and statements, Republicans are sociopathic and psychopathic fascists.
1. They have attempted to foment societal fear and hatred of minorities, gays, unions, workers, women and educators for political gain;
2. They wish to emulate Nazi Germany’s barbed wire concentration camps for law-abiding, patriotic homosexuals, protesters, union members and/or destitute Americans;
3. They wish to impose mandatory instruction in Christianity for all Americans, at gunpoint, and the suppression of religious freedom and expression of other faiths;
4. They wish to corrupt public education in America by insinuating Christianity and a Biblical presence in all schools, and by denying empirical scientific teachings;
5. They actively engage in voter suppression, intimidation, fraud and misinformation;
6. They wish to replace the Constitution with the Bible, and to repeal all laws dealing with civil rights and corporate, financial and political accountability;
7. They deny bipartisan representation to citizens by gerrymandering political districts in their favor;
8. They engage in racist political obstructionism, resulting in loss of jobs and incomes;
9. They engage in egregious deceit and character assassination in order to keep citizens from making intelligent political choices affecting them and the nation;
10.They are pro-war, pro-torture and anti-veterans’ benefits and services;
11.They favor fascist governments such as China, North Korea, Uganda and Israel;
12.They favor defunding all social services benefiting the unemployed and poor;
13.They deny health care to all uninsured persons, and those with pre-existing conditions;
14.They oppose public safety by deregulating assault weapons and defunding public services such as firefighters, infrastructure repair and construction, EMT agencies, teachers, schools, police and by refusing disaster relief to communities;
15.Economically, they favor the wealthiest citizens over the less fortunate, demand Constitutional personhood for inanimate objects such as corporations, and are opposed to a living minimum wage, hoping to create national financial chaos;
16.They favor rape and violence against women legislatively, are anti-reproductive rights and encourage the murder of those who provide such services;
17.They are pro-environmental destruction by pandering to energy companies & others;
18.They favor international policies based on fictional “prophesies” in the Christian Bible.
Unless and until we repudiate their flagitious* behavior and presence in Government, America will be a nation enslaved.
*flagitious: utterly corrupt, thoroughly villainous

Outback 11 years 16 weeks ago

Timothy: Absolutely correct on all 18 counts. Now tell me how the illustrious "opposition party" is not complicit.

DanW's picture
DanW 11 years 16 weeks ago

Those in Congress are always playing "Good Cop, Bad Cop", while the PEOPLE say, OK. Until the PEOPLE get there priorities in line when it comes to the BS of their "leaders", nothing is going to change. This nation NEEDS a strong 3 to 5 party system yesterday, the present 2-party system does not, and will never, care about the citizens of these United States as long as CORPORATIONS buy "Our" elections, judges, law enforcement and those "leaders".

sound n light's picture
sound n light 11 years 16 weeks ago

In these so-called trying times we are told we need to cut over 85 billion. There is one answer which will not be discussed although this one program will cost U.S.taxpayers around 80 billion each year.

We continue to arrest non violent taxpaying pot smokers at a rate of one every 37 seconds or around 4,000 a day. Each arrest ends up costing other taxpayers around 40,000 dollars including jail,prison time, lost wages, court costs, lawyer fees. Which comes to around 160 million a day or about 80 billion a year.

Just so we can continue to create criminals out of people who if they lived in Colorado or Washington state would be free to consume without the federally funded discrimination surrounding a non toxic plant, and the kicker is that smoking pot is less then one percent of the uses of pot.

Main use of pot is to power our cars for almost free, to provide a healthy oil perfect for human use, to clean the air of man made pollution, to heal the sick, to feed and cloth the world, to support a legally binding U.S. Patent 6,330,507 which is held by the U.S. Dept of Health and human services. You dont get a patent for something which you cant prove, to not endorce and enforce this patent is a crime commited by the DEA, FDA and Congress, White House and Supreme court.

To use military might, political power, denial of truth, denial of rights, to deny the to people the right to petition the government to admend these laws, while at the same time arresting those whose consititional belief is considered not valid shows we can not have a democracy, and shows we like legalized terrorism better then a plant made from GOD and he told us to use it on page one of the bible,

Global's picture
Global 11 years 16 weeks ago

Face it, the voting drones have been so dumbed down with pop culture and gmo foods, and floride that they can't think for themselves. If Obamas lips are moving he is lieing, the guy is a pathological lier. His new governing style now is a mafia thug boss. The sequester will make the air travel unsafe, the borders will be open, national security will be shut down, kids will go hungry, teachers, cops and fire fighters will be fired, etc.. Does anybody really believe this BS? Threats and intimidation is the from the godfather. Where is the real journalism to call out this clown. Oh, and now I hear he is selling access to the president for a $500,000 donation. Are you kidding me?

Catharren's picture
Catharren 11 years 16 weeks ago

Obama should take that responsibility and then waive all the cuts and close the oil, bank & farm subsidies.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 16 weeks ago

First of all I'm not convinced, "We the People," should compromise on a billionaire manufactured distraction known as the austerity crisis?

Truth is, "We the People," have a frightened, ineffectual, and alcoholic House Leader who is being pushed around by a power crazed weasal. We have a reptile freak in the Senate who has an unparalleled hatred for the extreme it's likely a form of mental illness known as Obama Derangement Syndrome. We have a Republican Party that is convinced debt reduction is an economic plan designed to cut our way to prosperity. Is compromise even possible?

"We the People," are facing a billionaire's economic lie meant to keep us on the defensive and block any social progress gained by going on a populist offense. Why are we progressives always on defense even when we have the ball? It's time to reverse the dialogue and demand our representative govt. duplicate FDR's economic rescue plan, only this time go with a massive Green Energy Public Works Program . Dump the House Tea in 2014..... and put Ashley Judd in the Senate!

Marsh In Florida's picture
Marsh In Florida 11 years 16 weeks ago

Just got news from Politico that The American Bankers Association are trying to bring down the Credit Unions because despite earning over a Trillion Dollars in the past 5 years, they are Tax Exempt. The Banktards are really upset about this because they are not Tax Exempt. The fact that they pay no taxes anyway is of little consequence. Are these guys really for real? No, of course not or they wouldn't be bankers, they'd just be common brats. And one of the ABA's further PROOF they should not be tax exempt is that they had the Audacity to advertise at a football game. I heard the NFL is tax exempt. Is that not true? If it's true, why doesn't the banktards go after them?

My thinks that begging everyone I know online and off to get their money out of big banks and into small community banks and credit unions must be having an effect. Hurrah for our side.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 11 years 16 weeks ago

All these political tactics are really a bunch of bullshit distractions; Left wing, Right wing, just a bunch of Wall St corporatists, all are to blame for playing such a egotist game...Just a bunch of arrogant honky elitist rednecks, and one house nigger all getting paid off while we the once strong, well compansated, and respected working middle class get laid off, and Wall St makes off.

So pathetic, we are in the information age; yet in general people don't know jack! What we do know we do very little about; mostly bicker, blog and complain, only to fall again for empty promises from charming smiles and twinkley eyes. Sure maybe a few people "get it" take a few minute to write their president, or St. Rep regarding their grievences and ideas...SUCKERS!!!
The water has reached boiling and the working middle class are cooked...The writing is on the wall, the United States no longer is a Democracy of, for, and by the people; It is now a Corporate Plutocratic Republic. There still is a Constitution, and a Bill of Rights. There is also a Judicial Branch, an Adminastrative Branch, and an Excutive Branch...HOWEVER it all works in favor of Unregualted Capitalism and is soley profit driven.

Soooooooooo, If you are a supporter of the Declaration of Independents, as well as for establishing; Single Payer Universal Health Care System, Affordable Education, Higher Wages, establishing a Solar Energy Policy; along with Reduced War Department Spending, enacting a Peaceful Foreign Policy, abolishing NAFTA, securing Unions and Collective Barganing, abolishing the Federal Reserve, Going back to Gold and Silver Standards, outlawing the Central Banking system, legalizing same sex marrage, or in general protecting your first 10 amendment rights...Then you better get yourself prepaired for a long and arduous bloddy fight; because these uber rich Nazis with their more more more profit driven agenda, and mine mine mine mentality, along with their "Monkey likes bananas" jingo followers (KEND & GLOBAL), will NEVER allow such a charitable equality and a truely peaceful, well educated functioning nation.

Now don't get me wrong, though I no longer have faith in "this" Democratic process, I am not for a civil war - though I am for certain the corporate nazis are.
I am however suggestiong that if people are truely fed up with being lied to and fooled by greedy self righteous corporatist politicians, and want to "change how our government operates"...Then We the People need to sacrafice and "be the change" we want our country to be. We don't have to "steal it back"...It ain't stealing when it was rightfully yours to being with.

I am also not saying that people like Global and Kend, who on a small, or large scale, bennefit from investing in the market with hopes of financley improving their future...More so NO ONE should be able to manipulate profit off of another persons loss; such profit exacerbates poverty else where and adversley disfranchises future generations.

Outback 11 years 16 weeks ago

Nachos - Whoyagonnacall? Ghost Busters? It comes down to this: Most of the dumbed down population is hoping for an American Idol solution. Someone or something will "come save us". But in reality this is what's going to happen: The dudes with the hammer are going to push it so far that ultimately the wheels will come off in this society. The banks will fail. The populace will be standing in bread lines that lead to diminishing returns. The one percent will retreat behind their barricades with their mercenary armies of Blackwater trained body guards. And then the shit will really hit the fan. Too bad the "haves" can't project forward to the situation they're setting up. But then, this is just history repeating itself.

MMmmNACHOS's picture
MMmmNACHOS 11 years 16 weeks ago

As I've said before...The wheels on the bus go round and round...

Not to be redundent but how pathetic that we live in a time where information is at our finger tips, yet most people would rather waste time looking up trivial crap on their piece-O-crap I-phone while driving.

You are absolutely correct in saying that the majority of Americans are looking for that homoginized saviour...No not jesus...I think he has loooong since canceled his return ticket and found something better to do.

What really grinds my gears is there is absolutley no reason that this country cannot establish a Universal Health Care System, Advance ourselves into Solar and Wind Energy, Offer ever highschool grad a 2 year grant for furthering their education be it college or trade school...And! there is ABSOLUTLY NO REASON for any person who works 40 plus hours a week to have to live in poverty. SHAME on those greedy corporate swine for not adequatley compansating their employees with a wage that enables them to thrive independently...Just so they can have 2 benzes and a Bently, and a vacation mansion on some private island.

On the one hand - like George Carlin once said - I look forward to the BIG collapse. But you and I (and Carlin) know it will get real uncivilized...Interesting???Indeed!
And unless we nuke the world, there may be enoough people to start over...I hope then we change course...Change our way of thinking so we don't get fooled again!

I can dream...can't I !?!?

Outback 11 years 16 weeks ago

Amen ;-)

megalomaniac's picture
megalomaniac 11 years 16 weeks ago

Plenty of business operations use the “at will” principle, after further analysis scrap the whole plan and go to plan “B”. That’s without bipartisan agreements, or comprises to avoid really stupid operating screw ups.

So, as both president Obama and Congress knew they got one hundred percent of what they both wanted, a so called compromise. Obama getting the big kahuna as in tax revenue from the Bush tax cuts in the so called Sequester, now after further in depth observations, with wild innuendos that is there is stuff that will not work anyway, plus puts the American worker in an absurd situation.

Layoffs galore and vital services turned down.

Though and with great effort Obama is sounding the alarm because it appears to be a horrible way to cut services to save money. This is a flush out pure and simple the Republican Party is flushed out. Obama does not have an election to loose in reelection however the Republicans see 2014 getting near. These cuts can be readjusted with quick simple and easy changes. It’s the Congress that has the Responsibility to do it. Now America just will wait and listen as Obama makes the argument for the next time slot till the Congressional and Governor Elections.

From my view it is very brilliant, America, Obama is in plain view, showing how he must negotiate with very stubborn obstructionist groups within the Republican Party. It is very simple nothing complicated, draw up legislation even as ridiculous as this sequester is and with thought and debate bring it to the people. No back door stuff here. Absolutely brilliant. If anything is to blame would be why previous presidents didn’t do it. Or, better why don’t the media point this out. The media want an America that is

Commercial-Cratic. Here we are morphing a new word based on our twenty-four hour seven day week news media that want you to stay tuned while many watch a commercial that sells a culture perhaps not caring about the product. America is turning into a commercial-cratic society. That’s where the new tax revenue might be.

Com N. Sense's picture
Com N. Sense 11 years 16 weeks ago

I f Barack is somehow charged with deciding where to make the cuts, he should find ways to pull the rug out from under the GOP. Pull their security and all the benefits they get with their jobs. Intern programs, drivers, martini lunch expense accounts, cell phones, etc...

dave wdowiak 11 years 16 weeks ago

my opinion is your correct Thom but the pres. track record is to compromise at all costs i fear he will compromise now.

Outback 11 years 16 weeks ago

I agree. All this noise he's making about the terrible loss of jobs etc. If we go over the big bad fiscal cliff (which congress would never let happen) is just the backdrop against which he'll cut into programs like Social Security and Medicare in the name of "compromise". He keeps going half way to the wall. A Republican incumbent couldn't do it any more effectively.

Cliff Schrock's picture
Cliff Schrock 11 years 16 weeks ago

Dear Tom,

This is what I sent to Wyden, Merkley and Blumhauer, my congressional reps in Congress, and also to our old friend Carl Wolfson. I know it is long, but some things can't be said in a 5 second sound bite.

As I listened to the news driving in to work this morning, the head of the FAA was citing how controllers would be furloughed for one or two days per pay period, small airports control towers would be closed, airlines would be delayed, flights would be cancelled, and so-on. Leon Panetta was quoted earlier in the week saying troop pay raises would be only 1%, the 800,000 civilians would have to take 1 day a week unpaid, aircraft carriers and cruisers would not be deployed, and our military readiness would be compromised. Then we hear of the 50,000 children that will not get food or be taken care of, 900,000 patients that won’t be seen, more workplace deaths (OSHA inspection reductions), meat and poultry shortages, forest fires, nuclear catastrophe, national parks closed, and even pest infested crops.

Come-on guys, what do you take us for? I dusted off the 216+ page (2012) Federal Budget and did some looking. The total annual budget is $3,699 B. You have to take out Social Security and Medicaid (exempted in the Budget Control Act of 2011 which is the cause of all this panic) and we can’t sequester the interest payment of $ 240B per year on the debt, so we are left with $ 2,410B to apply the sequester to. The sequester amount is $85 B for this year, which is a reduction of funds of 3.6%, although newscasters use numbers like 9% reductions. Alternately we are told that the reduction is ½% of GDP.

So what is going on here? It is apparent that the government, Republicans and Democrats alike are guilty of trying to scare the American public. They must think we are stupid, and we have been letting them get away with it. 3.6% is a manageable amount. In private industry, if a 3.6% downturn couldn’t be managed, I would fire the managers. Yet here we have the Federal Government going into disaster mode. And it is obviously spawning a tactic both by Obama and the GOP of spreading fear and scaring the public, and for that I say “shame on you, those we elected to lead our country!”

But let’s take this a little further. If the Department of Defense takes 20% out of the 800,000 civilian contractors (one day per week of furlough), instead of 3.6%, where is the other 16.4% going? As Panetta speaks of “grounding aircraft, returning ships to port, and sharply curtailing training across the force,” I have to seriously question the leadership of what is acknowledged as the largest military in the world. I went back and rechecked my math making sure I didn’t misplace the decimal point, (36% reduction instead of 3.6%) but I didn’t make a mistake.

So let’s deviate for a moment by talking about the military. The expense is scattered all over the 216+ page Federal Budget, forcing one to have to work to find all the dollars. There is $881B for Security. But there is another $503B for Veterans benefits, and $380B in interest on the National debt, which we would not have if we hadn’t gone to war in the first place. There is also a whole array of “Non-security” items such as Military Retiree pay, Nuclear Weapons cleanup, Homeland Security, the State Department, and something called Overseas Contingency Operations, which it turns out is $117B mainly for Afghanistan continued operations. All told the US Military expense totals somewhere around 48% of the Federal Budget, which by my math is $1,372 B.

So how much is that really, compared to China or Russia or even the UK? And to be fair, let’s only count the claimed $881B part of the DOD budget called “Security”. China, with over 4 times our population; $143 B. Russia military spending is $71B. The UK spends $62.7B on its military. In fact, US military spending is equal to the next largest 14 military nations added together. Wow, does that blow your mind?

It is my opinion that we need to do something to get control of our military regardless of sequester. As we have developed drones and robots (tanks) to take the foot soldier out of the line of fire, as we use satellites and twitter feeds for intelligence, perhaps we don’t need as many $610M F-35 fighters (we have spent $400B on them so far and they are currently grounded due to engine defects), nor do we need as many ships, or tanks, or bases, or men to fight wars. Maybe we don’t need wars, but that is a different discussion. What is clear to me is that the US has the largest and most bloated military in the world, and that is the biggest contributor (48% of budget) to our financial problems at home. Maybe we need sequester to stand down our military, and not carry the reductions on the backs of the civilians or soldiers pay but instead on meaningful reductions in weapons, bases and solders.

The rest of the sequester discussion seems to be more or less based upon political positioning; the Republicans choosing one GOP face per day to announce on Fox, Meet the Press, and myriad other outlets, that Barack wants more tax increases, and Barack denying the accusation. Witness this morning on NPR; Ray LaHood, head of the FAA discussing not being able to staff control towers, delayed flights, airport closures, etc. “This is going to be painful for us and our employees but very painful for the flying public.”

And yet Barack is not really asking for tax increases per say, but rather reductions of tax loopholes. In other words; stopping the tax incentive to move companies offshore, stopping tax incentives to the fossil fuel industry, and stopping companies from being able to write off their penalties and fines for lawsuits as a cost of doing business (for example BP taking $Billions in deduction on their penalties for the gusher in the gulf). The public can be counted on to make informed decisions, but “informed” is not what they get from these continual GOP mis-statements.

The final point I wish to make is the GOP claim that “nothing has been offered by Barack, no plan, nothing.” The fact is that there is a highly detailed 44 page OMB plan offered by the Whitehouse that lays out in line item by line item, exactly what President is proposing. Further, there is a one page summary released days ago summarizing the 44 page plan. And what has to be acknowledged is that our president has already signed more than $2.5 Trillion in deficit reduction. So here is a quick litmus test to see who is guilty of doubletalk, the GOP or President Obama. Google the following; “Obama plan for sequester” and then “Republican plan for sequester”. The result will be self-evident.

And what is clear to me is that if the sequester is so distasteful, so draconian, so mindless; that the Congress could just vote to stop it. They could pass a new piece of legislation to say “Stop”! In fact they already passed legislation in January (remember the Fiscal Cliff deal?) which delayed sequester for 2 months. If they could do that, they could stop it completely and instead pass the legislation necessary to enact the plan laid forth by our president.

So fasten your seat belts; the next week should be exciting, and remember that in another month we will once again be arguing about raising the debt ceiling. Kind of reminds me of the children’s fable about “chicken little and the sky is falling.”

DrTCH's picture
DrTCH 11 years 16 weeks ago

The "fiscal cliff"--like the Good Tooth Fairy--is a lie. It is also what is sometimes called a "straw man" argument which is a false argument which may easily lead to false solutions. Now, has excessive spending been a problem? Yes, to some extent as it tends to produce inflation (though the "national debt" is also a kind of lie). The answer? Repeal the "fed" and get back to an honest money system, and cut the military-intelligence budget 50%! Use available monies for vital DOMESTIC PROGRAMS like education, job training, and housing, and for alternative energy/efficient and clean engine research. You do this, and you'll be a real American hero!!

Put another way, the REAL PROBLEM is the "military-intelligence cliff" (and this stupid and fascistic War on Terror). Time to end it now!!!

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