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(The Daily Beast)   So, the much feared Sequester was much ado about nothing, you say? Turns out all the sound and fury did signify something, and that something has been the most unkindest cut of all   (thedailybeast.com) divider line 122
    More: Obvious, President Obama, Representative Michele Bachmann, food pantry, Gene Sperling, Head Start, The Daily Beast, carbon sequestration, speechwriters  
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8031 clicks; posted to Politics » on 08 Apr 2013 at 11:45 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-08 05:50:52 PM  

Lionel Mandrake: cameroncrazy1984: Ivandrago: I'm equally angry at both sides for it.

But how should I vote?

/seriously, it's the GOPs fault. They didn't want to raise let "temporary" taxes tax cuts on wealthy people expire.


The thing is, the GOP didn't have the power to prevent the "temporary" Bush tax cuts from expiring. When the clock ran out, they were gone, unless the Democrats saved them.

So, of course, the Democrats saved them.

Now, a couple of weeks later, the Democrats are talking up how bad the Sequester is so they have an excuse to slash Medicaid and Social Security.

If you look closely, you can actually see where the hands of the obscenely wealthy are shoved up their ass so they can use them as puppets..

/Tax cuts for the rich.
//Fark the poor
 
2013-04-08 06:26:08 PM  

hugram: going $85 billion a year less in debt but I think you see where I'm going.


Morbo: Economies do not work that way, puny earthling.

Economies work on confidence - if people think the future is good, they are more likely to start businesses, spend saving, go into debt etc. The scale depends on the state of the economy at the time - if governments cut spending when the economy is booming, it has little or no effect on confidence. If it does it, and especially if it does it very conspicuously so every hears about all the massive cuts taking place, then it can even have a much bigger drop in the economy than the size of the actual cuts, which obvious then feeds on to drops in tax revenue and increases in unemployment (from decreases in employment that would otherwise would have happened if the economy wasn't undermined).

Also governments tax people...you may have noticed this. This includes taxing people that the government pays to work for them, both direct taxes (social security, income taxes) and indirectly (sales taxes, etc.) So because about 30% of US GDP is taxed, a $85b drop in payments to government workers (which due to the nature of the sequester, it is massively disproportionately on wages rather than other spending), and because a lot of the taxes are reductions in earnings rather than extra people employed/not employed it also effectively would have been taxed at the highest rate those government workers earn, so together this also means about another $15-25b drop in tax revenues.

The other thing is the nature of the cuts - by putting government workers in the firing line as a political punching bag, essentially you are highlighting to people that working for the US government is a risky proposition for your finances compared to before, so either they will have to pay more money to get the same talent on average to factor in that risk, or they will get worse workers for the same money. In some cases you get a similar issue with continuity - things like the science funding awards cycle over many years as scientific progress doesn't work in modular financial year leaps forward, so if funding drops all of a sudden in one year, the majority of existing programs can't really be cut, so that means pretty much no new grants will go out for this year. Of course scientists aren't going to sit and wait twiddling their thumbs for a year with no money, so you will probably get a brain drain to foreign countries and other industries - not based on merit, just whoever happens to be up for renewal or new projects this year, so effectively playing russian roulette with future scientific discoveries and researchers.

A fourth thing to consider is the largely unplanned, unstructured and inflexible nature of the sequester - if you planned to you could find and remove the least valuable programs, and avoid cutting a few dollars in some program even though you know it will cost a million dollars - say like if you were building a bridge and only funded it 95% of the way over the river the entire program ends up being a waste of money. The sequester is set up to do the maximum damage to programs it can by not allowing any shuffling around like this to minimize the impact of the cuts.

Personally I think the sequester is almost certain to be the worst thing any tax cutter ever dreamed of - the damage is going to build up and be so visible and damaging and affect so many people badly that significant government spending cuts will be politically impossible for a generation. Everyone is going to know someone who has been hit by it sooner or later - a friend, or family member, etc. Essentially the sequester could be said to be designed to give government spending cuts a bad name, and there is a lot to suggest this will be the case.
 
2013-04-08 07:30:43 PM  
I have sympathy to those people who have lost their jobs, lost hours, lost potential jobs or advancement due to the sequester.  I can only imagine how that ruins your day.  Because, it sucks.

At the same time, the US Government has continued to grow.  Congress has spent money they didn't have, and would never have.  How many times have we heard stories on how somebodies budget was being cut when it wasn't cut, it just wasn't growing as much as they would like.  Departments spending every dime they had this year to ensure that they didn't get any less money next year.  Departments that once created never go away.  Maybe the sequester will give congress the balls to look at the budget and truly decide that it's okay to do away with a government agency.  They may not need to have every FTE this year that they had last year.  Maybe spend the tax dollars in an intelligent, reasonable, maybe frugal manner.
 
2013-04-08 07:41:31 PM  

BizarreMan: At the same time, the US Government has continued to grow.


Kind of like the population? Gosh.
 
2013-04-08 07:42:25 PM  

BizarreMan: I have sympathy to those people who have lost their jobs, lost hours, lost potential jobs or advancement due to the sequester.  I can only imagine how that ruins your day.  Because, it sucks.

At the same time, the US Government has continued to grow.  Congress has spent money they didn't have, and would never have.  How many times have we heard stories on how somebodies budget was being cut when it wasn't cut, it just wasn't growing as much as they would like.  Departments spending every dime they had this year to ensure that they didn't get any less money next year.  Departments that once created never go away.  Maybe the sequester will give congress the balls to look at the budget and truly decide that it's okay to do away with a government agency.  They may not need to have every FTE this year that they had last year.  Maybe spend the tax dollars in an intelligent, reasonable, maybe frugal manner.


img.myconfinedspace.com
 
2013-04-08 08:18:00 PM  

Tyrone Slothrop: An ungrateful child?


I believe that's "sharper than a serpent's tooth."
 
2013-04-08 09:14:32 PM  

Corvus: Ivandrago: cameroncrazy1984: Ivandrago: I'm equally angry at both sides for it.

But how should I vote?

/seriously, it's the GOPs fault. They didn't want to raise taxes on wealthy people.

I'm angry at the people and the institution, so I don't know how I'll vote or how anyone should vote.
 To me if you set something in place that's supposed to hurt so much you come to a deal, you should probably come to a deal. It's like they dropped this landmine from a helicopter and promised to disarm it before the people walked over it. Well they didn't and now I'm screwed out of a job, my friend in my USMS is furloughed, the FBI told me I won't hear from them until July at the earliest to find out if I can even test, but because of the sequester the next classes won't be happening until FY14 anyway. The FBI said they can put a class through every two weeks, but now they can't. It's all a cute abstraction from Washington.

But the Republicans refuse to deal. They have made pledges saying they will not raise taxes EVER for any situation. The Democrats have already said they are willing to make cuts, even to programs they like as long as that is balanced with tax increases.

Saying both sides are bad because one side completely refuses to negotiate isn't very fair.


They did agree to raise taxes. Three months ago. Were you asleep?
 
2013-04-08 09:19:08 PM  
The sequester is not a bad thing. If you dont have the balls or political will to cut efficiently, across the board cuts are much preferable to throwing your hands up and saying "we tried but those mean democrats/republicans wouldn't let us be responsible".
 
2013-04-08 09:25:26 PM  

Mutated-Snoopy: cameroncrazy1984: Ivandrago: I just feel that democrats should have had the forethought to know that republicans would play this game

Oh right, the Dems should have had a crystal ball. Both sides are bad because the Dems can't see into the future.

It's less "Dems can't see the future" and more "Dems keep expecting Lucy not to pull away the football."

Aesop had a story about this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Farmer_and_the_Viper


Is the solution to beat the snake with a shovel and then cross the river on your own? Because I can appreciate the metaphor.
 
2013-04-08 10:01:36 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: The sequester is not a bad thing. If you dont have the balls or political will to cut efficiently, across the board cuts are much preferable to throwing your hands up and saying "we tried but those mean democrats/republicans wouldn't let us be responsible".


This is what boneheads actually believe.
 
2013-04-08 10:04:29 PM  

Debeo Summa Credo: The sequester is not a bad thing. If you dont have the balls or political will to cut efficiently, across the board cuts are much preferable to throwing your hands up and saying "we tried but those mean democrats/republicans wouldn't let us be responsible".


So what does "efficiently" mean in your world? Does it mean "cut everything that I don't want, need or use"? Because that's usually how those who use that word (usually conservatives) use it, along with it's other red-meat cousin "fraud and waste".
 
2013-04-08 10:18:45 PM  

rewind2846: Debeo Summa Credo: The sequester is not a bad thing. If you dont have the balls or political will to cut efficiently, across the board cuts are much preferable to throwing your hands up and saying "we tried but those mean democrats/republicans wouldn't let us be responsible".

So what does "efficiently" mean in your world? Does it mean "cut everything that I don't want, need or use"? Because that's usually how those who use that word (usually conservatives) use it, along with it's other red-meat cousin "fraud and waste".


I actually want a department of fraud and waste. Their whole job is to spend 3 billion dollars without accomplishing anything or lining the pockets of any lobbying group. Acceptable uses would be giant parties for made-up holidays, renting office supplies, investigating the nursery rhyme to determine who in fact stole the cookies from the cookie jar, and other general tomfoolery.

Then the Republicans will have an actual target to complain about and we as a society can move on.
 
2013-04-08 11:56:46 PM  

Mutated-Snoopy: Empty Matchbook: Raharu: SlothB77: The sequester is so bad, localities are spending $1 Million dollars on bus stops.

Do they call you Sloth because its like you're not even trying?

Always love when they self-identify.

/oh TheDumbBlonde, how I miss your trolling ways

cameroncrazy1984: Ivandrago: I just feel that democrats should have had the forethought to know that republicans would play this game

Oh right, the Dems should have had a crystal ball. Both sides are bad because the Dems can't see into the future.

It's less "Dems can't see the future" and more "Dems keep expecting Lucy not to pull away the football."

Aesop had a story about this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Farmer_and_the_Viper


So did the First Nationer in Natural Born Killers...I think it went the same way...

/more use of the word "biatch" in NBK, though
 
2013-04-09 12:04:46 AM  

Ivandrago: BarkingUnicorn: GAT_00: Ivandrago: I was in the best qualified pile for a chance to go to FLETC to be a U.S. Marshal. They sent offers out for the first class in April. I didn't make that class but was probably going to make the second class in July. Sequestration cancelled that class and all potential classes until FY14. So yeah, the sequestration sucks.

I lost a very likely spot at ORNL.

And those classes will never be offered again in your lifetimes, I'm sure.

Yeah, I'm in my 30's and you've only got so much time it's harder and harder to stay for enough to get through FLETC the older you get. So while they will probably offer classes in the future, I would have liked to do it sooner rather than later.



I hope you are on the low side of your 30s rather than the high side.  After 39 your expiration date to be a Fed LEO has come and gone but you probably know that.

I used to work for a Federal law enforcement agency myself (not as an agent, but as "support personnel) and it was the most bloated monstrosity.  There were four times as many managers as there needed to be, the majority of whom were retired Secret Service agents who not only were collecting full USSS retirement, but GS-15 equivalent paychecks.  So basically, about $200 g a year to come in late, take long lunches, do a couple of hours of GS-5 level clerical work a week, and leave early.  The agents themselves were great guys and gals, worked very long hours, and knew their shiat.  The management was horrid - I had to leave to keep my sanity.  I'm now a DoD civilian whose agency is responsible for the education of military children.  I won't get rich here but I love it - I work for the most ethical, caring people and they really do good work for the children of our servicemembers.

We were looking at 22 days of furlough.  Thank God it is down to 14 but that's still a paycheck I'm losing.  My previous agency isn't giving up anything (according to my friends who still work there).  Hey, as long as those ATSACs and ASACs keep rolling in the green, and the SAC continues to buy refills for his Mont Blanc pen on the government purchase card, America is safe, right?  Priorities!

I've heard that crap about "suckling from the taxpayer's teat" from a former friend of mine (I'm a DoD civilian, Air National Guard member, married to an active duty Airman) and I wanted to rip his larynx out barehanded.  This is the same kind of tool that was more than happy to have anyone in uniform put his or her ass on the line for the past 10 years and proudly had a yellow ribbon magnet. Now we are all moochers, apparently, and don't pay taxes or put anything back into the economy.
 
2013-04-09 12:15:04 AM  

freetomato: After 39 37 your expiration date to be a Fed LEO has come and gone but you probably know that.


FTFM.  Left 4 years ago - kind of out of the loop anymore.  Still, worse odds than I remembered for guys like you.
 
2013-04-09 08:35:59 AM  

xria: hugram: going $85 billion a year less in debt but I think you see where I'm going.

Morbo: Economies do not work that way, puny earthling.

Economies work on confidence - if people think the future is good, they are more likely to start businesses, spend saving, go into debt etc. The scale depends on the state of the economy at the time - if governments cut spending when the economy is booming, it has little or no effect on confidence. If it does it, and especially if it does it very conspicuously so every hears about all the massive cuts taking place, then it can even have a much bigger drop in the economy than the size of the actual cuts, which obvious then feeds on to drops in tax revenue and increases in unemployment (from decreases in employment that would otherwise would have happened if the economy wasn't undermined).

Also governments tax people...you may have noticed this. This includes taxing people that the government pays to work for them, both direct taxes (social security, income taxes) and indirectly (sales taxes, etc.) So because about 30% of US GDP is taxed, a $85b drop in payments to government workers (which due to the nature of the sequester, it is massively disproportionately on wages rather than other spending), and because a lot of the taxes are reductions in earnings rather than extra people employed/not employed it also effectively would have been taxed at the highest rate those government workers earn, so together this also means about another $15-25b drop in tax revenues.

The other thing is the nature of the cuts - by putting government workers in the firing line as a political punching bag, essentially you are highlighting to people that working for the US government is a risky proposition for your finances compared to before, so either they will have to pay more money to get the same talent on average to factor in that risk, or they will get worse workers for the same money. In some cases you get a similar issue with continuity - things ...


I did not say the $85B text you quoted me on. cabbyman made that statement. You should call him a "puny earthling"
 
2013-04-09 10:00:12 AM  

mrshowrules: SlothB77: The sequester is so bad, localities are spending $1 Million dollars on bus stops.

With a Republican Mayor of Arlington and a Republican Governor of Virginia, I too blame Obama.


We have a mayor now?
 
2013-04-10 12:51:31 AM  

BMulligan: "Most unkindest"?


Yup:

If Brutus so unkindly knocked, or no.For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar loved him!This was the most unkindest cut of all.
 
2013-04-10 11:46:21 AM  
HeartBurnKid: Mr. Eugenides: nmrsnr: Lionel Mandrake: ...disabled tenants in California who will lose their housing vouchers, the elderly cancer patients in South Carolina who are being denied their chemotherapytreatment...

oh noes!  The moochers aren't getting their handouts!  Why don't these bums go out and get jobs?  If we didn't take care of all these burdensome and unproductive parasite, America would be so much better!

Ah, a fan of the Republican Health Care Plan, I see.

[i739.photobucket.com image 300x160]

Actually, the Republican health plan is more like: "Grow the hell up, buy insurance and take care of yourself you whiny infantile jackass!"

So what you're saying is that the Republican plan completely ignores the reality of the market and places all the blame responsibility on the common man.  I guess that's just what Republicans do.

Fixed that for you.
 
2013-04-11 08:11:13 AM  
Since 2010 the entire Republican economic agenda has been a budget authored by Paul Ryan that cuts far deeper than sequestration-a budget that would ultimately eliminate most government programs and services outside of Social Security, health care, and defense.

Ummm... the difference between the Ryan budget and the most spendy budget imaginable is only 1 or 2%. Absolutely meaningless.
 
2013-04-11 08:13:07 AM  

Ivandrago: I was in the best qualified pile for a chance to go to FLETC to be a U.S. Marshal. They sent offers out for the first class in April. I didn't make that class but was probably going to make the second class in July. Sequestration cancelled that class and all potential classes until FY14. So yeah, the sequestration sucks.


No. It gives you the opportunity to get a job producing something for the economy, instead of a job where you're nothing more than a parasite.
 
2013-04-11 08:14:48 AM  

Mercutio74: It's almost like austerity has a negative effect on growth.  If only there was a tried and tested theory about what spending does to a nation's economy.


Continuing to waste borrowed money on jobs that produce nothing will only make the inevitable crash worse. There is no realistic scenario that doesn't involve another Great Depression.
 
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