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(Washington Post)   Remember how the sequester was supposed to turn America into Mad Max meets Lord of the Flies? Seems we can live without a little spending   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 51
    More: Obvious, Concord Coalition  
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1726 clicks; posted to Politics » on 02 Jul 2013 at 10:49 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-02 10:00:07 AM  
13 votes:
There would be one-hour waits at airport security....but none of those things happened.

That did happen, you pair of miscreants. It was only undone because the gutless yambags in Congress decided they didn't want to deal with their own fallout as they were leaving for a recess.

As for the rest...well, we all know that if you get stabbed with a knife in the belly and don't die instantly on that spot, you're going to be totally fine.
2013-07-02 10:29:56 AM  
12 votes:
So many predictions fell short because, in recent months, the administration and Congress did what was supposed to be impossible: They undid many of sequestration's scariest reductions

So it would seem that by not actually reducing spending, we avoided the consequences.
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-07-02 10:09:23 AM  
9 votes:
Unless you're poor and rely on community health centers or one of the other health programs cut, but I guess subby didn't include them in "we".
2013-07-02 11:44:08 AM  
4 votes:

Debeo Summa Credo: Got to pay our bills sometime.


I think we should pay our bills after some huge infrastructure improvements around this gigantic farking country of ours reduce the unemployment so that we have more revenue attack that debt.  Another option is to keep coddling the quivering job creators, whoever they are.
2013-07-02 10:55:49 AM  
4 votes:
I don't know about other Federal programs, but the Navy just started the furlough this period.  They pushed the cuts to the money they'd be spending at the end of the year, so the wife's getting a 20% pay cut starting for work done this week. It's not the end of the world, but it still stinks.
2013-07-02 12:32:23 PM  
3 votes:
Excerpts Obama's statement from March 1st:

"Now, what's important to understand is that not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away.
...
So economists are estimating that as a consequence of this sequester, that we could see growth cut by over one-half of 1 percent.  It will cost about 750,000 jobs at a time when we should be growing jobs more quickly.  So every time that we get a piece of economic news, over the next month, next two months, next six months, as long as the sequester is in place, we'll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act.
...
And, in the meantime, just to make the final point about the sequester, we will get through this.  This is not going to be a apocalypse, I think as some people have said.  It's just dumb.  And it's going to hurt.  It's going to hurt individual people and it's going to hurt the economy overall."


Full statement:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/03/01/statement-pres id ent-sequester
2013-07-02 11:07:31 AM  
3 votes:

cman: Dusk-You-n-Me: cman: The sequester was pushed as something that would slide us back into a recession. That was the big talking point.

Whose talking point? The CBO said it would cut GDP growth by about 1.5%. Nothing about a recession.

Are you serious? I know that Americans have short attention spans, but Jesus. It was the biggest talking point in the media.


From your link...

The latest warning about the dangers of the "sequester" -- the $85 billion in -- comes from Bank of America chief economist Ethan Harris. In a research note on Friday, Harris writes that he expects this painful shot of austerity to slow GDP growth to just 1 percent in the second quarter, with job growth averaging less than 100,000 per month for those three months.

That is not exactly recession territory, but it is dangerously close. Harris's numbers match up pretty well with those of other private-sector economists, including Macroeconomic Advisers. The the sequester would gouge about 1.25 percent from GDP growth in the second quarter, leaving growth at a paltry 1.2 percent. Macro Advisers said the sequester could cost the economy 700,000 jobs through 2014.



You might want to start reading more than the headline of the articles you link to.
2013-07-02 11:02:23 AM  
3 votes:

cman: The sequester was pushed as something that would slide us back into a recession. That was the big talking point.


Whose talking point? The CBO said it would cut GDP growth by about 1.5%. Nothing about a recession.
2013-07-02 11:01:50 AM  
3 votes:

Lionel Mandrake: Unless you've been effected by the sequester, you haven't been effected by the sequester.

Got it.


Also, they undid many of the proposed spending cuts so spending cuts clearly don't do anything bad.
2013-07-02 11:00:18 AM  
3 votes:

Dr Dreidel: Pocket Ninja: As for the rest...well, we all know that if you get stabbed with a knife in the belly and don't die instantly on that spot, you're going to be totally fine.

With growth at just under 2% for the 2nd quarter, it's looking less like a knife to the gut and more like pricking your finger. The bigger threat is the Fed quitting bond-buys by Labor Day.


Growth just under 2% is pretty weak, especially when pre-sequester predictions were quite a bit higher. Slashing government spending hasn't killed the economy, but it's certainly having a significant impact on the recovery, not to mention the people who actually relied on those programs.
2013-07-02 10:57:40 AM  
3 votes:
Unless you've been effected by the sequester, you haven't been effected by the sequester.

Got it.
2013-07-02 10:57:10 AM  
3 votes:
The cuts to unemployment payments have just come into effect in a number of states.
2013-07-02 10:56:17 AM  
3 votes:
I'm still not convinced we've been hit by it fully yet.  I deal with a lot of people that take government money and they were pulling more shenanigans than usual last month because the lockdown on their funds didn't start until the new fiscal year (which started yesterday).
2013-07-02 10:51:52 AM  
3 votes:
Yes, well, science in the US is experiencing a disaster but who needs them learned people?
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v498/n7455/full/nj7455-527a.html
2013-07-02 01:17:48 PM  
2 votes:

Debeo Summa Credo: When you are in debt and spending more than you earn, do you borrow more to maintain your unsustainable lifestyle?


The trick is to spend the money you borrow on things that will improve your long term financial standing. Businesses go into debt all the time to but new equipment, supplies and facilities in the hopes that these investments will pay off. Individuals do this too: student loans are a prime example, and so is getting a mortgage to live someplace closer to a good job.

The government really isn't any different: It's fine to borrow money provided that money is spent on things that improve the long term financial outlook... things that have a promise of a return. Things like education so you will have an intelligent and employable workforce in two or three generations from now, or infrastructure so the businesses of tomorrow can move the goods they consume and produce efficiently, or alternative energy programs that will help reduce the hundreds of billions of dollars that leave the country from fuel imports while also lowering operating costs for businesses so they can be more competitive, or research that will become the technologies upon which entire new industries will be based upon, or health care so people aren't going bankrupt and are healthy enough to show up for work.
=Smidge=
2013-07-02 12:57:46 PM  
2 votes:

lunogled: Yes, well, science in the US is experiencing a disaster but who needs them learned people?
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v498/n7455/full/nj7455-527a.html


Research funding has completely dried up.

My thesis adviser's NIH grant is gone. But, was it really important to cut down on spreading penicillin-resistant infections in a hospital?

My DARPA research funding is gone. But, saving guy's lives in the field in Afghanistan isn't half as important as tax breaks for the 1%.
2013-07-02 12:44:36 PM  
2 votes:

Debeo Summa Credo: When you are in debt and spending more than you earn, do you borrow more to maintain your unsustainable lifestyle?


Depends.  Are you going to live forever and have effectively unlimited credit?  If so, then deficit spending is the way to go.
2013-07-02 12:13:43 PM  
2 votes:

Debeo Summa Credo: When you are in debt and spending more than you earn, do you borrow more to maintain your unsustainable lifestyle?


Deficit spending is how every country in the world works. Our "lifestyle" is still perfectly sustainable.
2013-07-02 11:52:12 AM  
2 votes:
US Attorney's Office in a nearby jurisdiction laid off a bunch of people immediately post-sequestration, then hired them back as "contract workers" for a while (reduced pay, no benefits), but then were just told that they had to cut 50-70% of their total staff due to sequestration. That means that even more crimes are not going to be prosecuted and less support from feds for state law enforcement, which includes technical assistance for computer crimes and major crimes and taking over referrals for RICO cases for gang murders and violence. Just had a great case rejected for a referral because of this. Grants are drying up for state/local agencies as well. Some of the local agencies are cutting staff up to 70-80% due to lack of funding, which in large part came from federal rural law enforcement grants and federal timber funds in the western states. There's many places which won't even charges thefts less than $1000 because they don't have the resources, and I've heard, but not confirmed, that there is one that won't charge felony theft (>$1000) unless the person would go to prison, which means the defendant had an extensive prior record, because the agencies have to prioritize and can't afford it due to staff cuts.

In other words, just in law enforcement the cuts have hit hard and we haven't really seen the full effect yet because A. agencies have found short term ways around it, which are starting to run out, B. The grants and other funds that were hit by sequestration will really start drying up this year and the next when pre-sequestration allocated funds dry up, and C. the increase in crime that comes from criminals knowing they aren't going to prosecute you hasn't been seen in the stats... yet. That will be coming in the next year or two when the stats are compiled. Even then the stats may or may not reflect the increase because while it will look like there are less crimes being prosecuted, that won't necessarily reflect the number prosecuted just because they didn't have someone to do it. Depending on who's stats you look at they don't necessary put in the reason for a nolle prosequi.

That being said, I don't think this will be apocolyptic, but it will be shocking when people start calling the police who will take a report and say yeah we don't enforce those crimes any more because we don't have enough people or money. It's going to take some heinous crimes being committed with little/no response because of a lack of resources, which is happening (see below), before people wake up and realize they actually do need some police around. This of course varies by jurisdiction, particularly amongst individual counties/localities depending on how well their economy is doing and how well they planned ahead with rainy day funds and the like but the overall trend is a bit alarming.

For a great example of how reactionary thinking in a community affects law enforcement (Documenting cuts in Josephine County, Oregon, one of the best examples of a jurisdiction experiencing this trend. It's an outlier to be sure, but there are similar cuts happening all over the northwest.)

For a follow-up example of how these types of cuts are already starting to affect those residents (Story of girl who called 911 in Josephine County, Oregon who was told to ask her assaulter to leave because there were no deputies to respond.)

/Not a resident of Josephine County, Oregon. It's just the best example out there of the crisis going on.
//Cue the anti-law enforcement hate.
2013-07-02 11:05:02 AM  
2 votes:
Tell that to my friend that got furloughed.
2013-07-02 06:00:48 PM  
1 votes:
It wouldn't be so bad if they made cuts like any rational business would vs. cutting the items they knew would draw attention to the cuts in order to get their cushy budgets back.
2013-07-02 02:15:33 PM  
1 votes:

VoodooTaco: /good ol' liberal
//wants to cut the military budget
///but not via horizontal cuts across the board


It figures a lib like you would be soft on terrorism. Go ahead decimate our military, for God's sake we'll have Russia and the terrorists marching across our borders within a week. It disgusts me that people like you would support such a thing. Not me. I love America. Check out my flag pin.
2013-07-02 01:49:27 PM  
1 votes:

MattStafford: make me some tea: 3) it is preventable, if we agree to prevent it
4) it is manageable to some degree

I would argue that those two points are mutually exclusive.  In order to manage this situation, there have to be budget cuts (or at least a slowdown in budget increases).  If we fail to do that, we will reach a situation that truly is unmanageable.  If you want to manage it, you have to have some sort of sequestration.  If you want to prevent it, you will create an unmanageable situation.

/unless your "preventable" is referring to something else, in which case I apologize.


Why do you think increasing revenue has no affect to the budget?

You do understand it's: Surplus(deficit) = Revenue - Spending

You do understand that right? So why to you erroneously say the only way to balance the budget is through budget cuts instead of growing our economy?
2013-07-02 01:40:10 PM  
1 votes:
Still more spending this year than last.
2013-07-02 01:34:23 PM  
1 votes:

MattStafford: Mercutio74: Not all deficit spending is created equal.  Pretty much every country in the world is a deficit spender, it's how you do it that matters.

Yeah, deficit spending on productive things  (like infrastructure and education)  is good.  Deficit spending on non productive things (like a safety net and the military) is a bad thing.


Well according to the CBO you are wrong.

www.econbrowser.com
Unemployed does better than infrastructure.

For some reason I trust they know more about economics than you do who thinks that sub-sarah Africa and the US have similar economies and thinks that the central bank originates the selling of treasury bonds.
2013-07-02 01:16:12 PM  
1 votes:

MattStafford: A Dark Evil Omen: Tell us about the coconuts, George.

Suppose the government borrows one trillion dollars tomorrow, and distributes it to all people below a certain income level.  One year later, the government raises taxes by one trillion dollars (plus interest).  You believe that the economy is stronger after these two actions take place than before these two actions take place?


They wouldn't have to "raise taxes" the people spend money and every transaction that is made with that money would be additional tax revenue.
2013-07-02 01:09:38 PM  
1 votes:
I took a 20% pay cut in 2007 a little before the birth of my 1st kid. It sucked but I kept at my job for the next 3-4 years, then was looking at another 25% cut from what was left over (switching to 3 days/wk rather than 4). Things weren't looking too brightly for the future of my line of work at that company so I quit to go out on my own. I then proceeded to be pretty well broke for a couple years, maxing out my credit, quit paying the mortgage, etc. But now things are starting to turn around. I'm hoping to file bankruptcy soon. That used to be scary to me but now I see it as the best decision I can make for myself and my family. This is my American Dream.
2013-07-02 01:08:09 PM  
1 votes:

MattStafford: Mercutio74: I mostly agree.  A well-run safety net actually does supply a positive ROI to the gov't and the nation.  For example, you don't want to lose a skilled worker because he or she will be faced with a temporary inability to work (due to either illness/injury or something more macroeconomic like Wall St. deciding to defraud the globe).

I would disagree on the safety net being a positive ROI.  Would a Sub-Saharan country have a stronger economy if they borrowed a bunch of money and instituted a safety net?  I would argue no.


So you thing the US is the same as Sub-Saharan country economically?
2013-07-02 12:55:10 PM  
1 votes:
Remember how the sequester was supposed to turn America into Mad Max meets Lord of the Flies?

No subby I don't. You know why? Because no one said anything like that.

I did have to wait hours to get through an airport line for someone to check my passport because they have almost no one working the customs booths anymore.

Have fun next time you take a flight and don't complain because you think everything is fine.
2013-07-02 12:54:08 PM  
1 votes:
"We" obviously means "you", selfish ass submitter. Tell that to the poor schmucks who are about to get their unemployment befits cut, or their child's day care center closed, or any one of a host of hardships that the sequester is causing.

But it's not happening to you, so everything's fine. I got mine.
/fark you
2013-07-02 12:51:21 PM  
1 votes:

palelizard: I don't know about other Federal programs, but the Navy just started the furlough this period.  They pushed the cuts to the money they'd be spending at the end of the year, so the wife's getting a 20% pay cut starting for work done this week. It's not the end of the world, but it still stinks.


Yea the sequester personally boned me.  I was selected for a really nice DOD (Navy) postition.   The position was then eliminated.  I am not too angry about my new decision to go to grad school, but I would have rather taken a career track position.
2013-07-02 12:38:52 PM  
1 votes:

PanicMan: Deficit spending is how every country in the world works. Our "lifestyle" is still perfectly sustainable.


no you see the government works just like your household finances and furthermore comma
2013-07-02 12:29:32 PM  
1 votes:

The_Gallant_Gallstone: PanicMan: Deficit spending is how every country in the world works. Our "lifestyle" is still perfectly sustainable

If deficit spending is rational, its advocates have to put forth a strong formulation for it, given that it runs counter to sensible economic management at the household level.

The prudent voter may be wrong to think that the government should function like a household (income should exceed expenses), but that mistake is forgiveable if a strong explanation to the contrary is not provided.


There will always be wage-earners in a country. In households they eventually retire or die.
2013-07-02 12:25:25 PM  
1 votes:

vernonFL: I had plans to see the Blue Angels. That was cancelled.

I had plans to go to Fleet week. Cancelled.



And the White House tours are still shut down, but somehow they found $100 million to pay for the President's trip to Africa and money to give tanks and F-16s to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Even the Farm bill was loaded with pork during this usless sequester.
2013-07-02 12:14:13 PM  
1 votes:

Smidge204: So I skimmed trough the story and here's my takeaway:


"The sequester has been bad so far, but not as bad as predicted mostly because some of the cuts were undone, and it's too soon to tell just how bad it will ultimately be."


That about sum it up?
=Smidge=


That does a pretty good job of it.
=The_Gallant_Gallstone=

PS I think it could be a lot worse
=The_Gallant_Gallstone=
2013-07-02 12:08:51 PM  
1 votes:

vpb: Unless you're poor and rely on community health centers or one of the other health programs cut, but I guess subby didn't include them in "we".


I'm sure the 70,000 North Carolinians who lost unemployment benefits are saying the "little bit of less spending" is working out great for them too!

As long as you don't actually LOOK (talking about the author of this article), everything is just farking peachy!
2013-07-02 11:47:22 AM  
1 votes:

Soup4Bonnie: Debeo Summa Credo: Got to pay our bills sometime.

I think we should pay our bills after some huge infrastructure improvements around this gigantic farking country of ours reduce the unemployment so that we have more revenue attack that debt.  Another option is to keep coddling the quivering job creators, whoever they are.


No, damaging economic growth will totally help "pay the bills". That's why when money's tight I take fewer hours at work.

You know, to save gas.
2013-07-02 11:46:54 AM  
1 votes:

Dr Dreidel: Would it not have been easier to cut $85B from programs and projects the Pentagon doesn't want?


But that would leave us vulnerable to the Kaiser's High Seas fleet!
2013-07-02 11:40:06 AM  
1 votes:

SwordBuddha: Furloughs for DOD civilian employees start next week. Political fallout should follow closely.


It is going to get real ugly when all of those company in Republican districts that have government contracts have to lay people off because those contracts are being suspended until further notice.
2013-07-02 11:39:04 AM  
1 votes:

cman: The sequester was pushed as something that would slide us back into a recession. That was the big talking point. It didnt happen.


While it's true it didn't slide us into a recession, perhaps that has something to do with the sequester hasn't started yet.  It was postponed.  (At least for the Navy.  Don't know if it was postponed for everything equally).

My wife is getting the one day off a week starting this month, which according to the calculator they provided will be a 24% pay cut.  (Something to do with taxes, etc, for why it's more than a 20% cut.)
2013-07-02 11:38:08 AM  
1 votes:

BMFPitt: PanicMan: palelizard: I don't know about other Federal programs, but the Navy just started the furlough this period.  They pushed the cuts to the money they'd be spending at the end of the year, so the wife's getting a 20% pay cut starting for work done this week. It's not the end of the world, but it still stinks.

Yep, mine starts next week.

/Army

Mine got "suspended" indefinitely because I work for an agency that was able to slightly inconvenience Congress during their vacations.


Yeah, got to love that.

"Sir! The little people are complaining that these cuts are deeply affecting their lives!"
"Who cares?  Let them eat cake!"
"Also, it appears that your flight is going to be delayed by a couple hours due to a lack of air traffic controllers."
"The hell you say!?  Emergency session! Get them back to work!"
2013-07-02 11:25:55 AM  
1 votes:
Remember how the sequester was supposed to turn America into Mad Max meets Lord of the Flies?

No, and I farking hate this trend where, if someone says there will be the slightest problem with something, some "journalist" somewhere will pretend like they predicted the end of the world.
2013-07-02 11:24:19 AM  
1 votes:

DON.MAC: So the best congress is an ineffective congress?


After your legislative agenda is enacted, yes.
2013-07-02 11:16:15 AM  
1 votes:
Also:
www.davehulihan.com

He looks legit. Maybe he CAN solve our problems...

// he's a doctor, after all
2013-07-02 11:11:05 AM  
1 votes:
It is too early to tell. Not everything that will happen has happened. Lots of fed employees are now starting their furloughs this week.
2013-07-02 11:09:25 AM  
1 votes:
In October, when the new fiscal year begins, so will another round of sequestration. The administration expects a $109 billion cut.

This time, it says, there will be fewer ways to soften its impact. Many of the easier trims have already been made. The White House is again pressing Congress to agree on a broader budget deal, and replace the sequester, before October comes.


This will actually be a problem. They're talking Reduction in Force (RIF) cuts next year. Basically, the govt may start firing people.
2013-07-02 11:08:54 AM  
1 votes:

Philip Francis Queeg: cman: Dusk-You-n-Me: cman: The sequester was pushed as something that would slide us back into a recession. That was the big talking point.

Whose talking point? The CBO said it would cut GDP growth by about 1.5%. Nothing about a recession.

Are you serious? I know that Americans have short attention spans, but Jesus. It was the biggest talking point in the media.

From your link...

The latest warning about the dangers of the "sequester" -- the $85 billion in -- comes from Bank of America chief economist Ethan Harris. In a research note on Friday, Harris writes that he expects this painful shot of austerity to slow GDP growth to just 1 percent in the second quarter, with job growth averaging less than 100,000 per month for those three months.

That is not exactly recession territory, but it is dangerously close. Harris's numbers match up pretty well with those of other private-sector economists, including Macroeconomic Advisers. The the sequester would gouge about 1.25 percent from GDP growth in the second quarter, leaving growth at a paltry 1.2 percent. Macro Advisers said the sequester could cost the economy 700,000 jobs through 2014.


You might want to start reading more than the headline of the articles you link to.


Now why would I do that?

/Kidding
2013-07-02 11:06:35 AM  
1 votes:

cman: Are you serious?


Yes.

That headline: The Sequester Could Cause A Recession

Quite a big difference between could and would.
2013-07-02 11:01:30 AM  
1 votes:

Pocket Ninja: There would be one-hour waits at airport security....but none of those things happened.

That did happen, you pair of miscreants. It was only undone because the gutless yambags in Congress decided they didn't want to deal with their own fallout as they were leaving for a recess.

As for the rest...well, we all know that if you get stabbed with a knife in the belly and don't die instantly on that spot, you're going to be totally fine.


That and making air travel even more inconvenient would be a burden on well off people who travel a lot for business.
2013-07-02 10:59:13 AM  
1 votes:
So basically they just held up our government and trashed the credit rating for nothing.
2013-07-02 10:46:29 AM  
1 votes:

vpb: Unless you're poor and rely on community health centers or one of the other health programs cut, but I guess subby didn't include them in "we".


Those things don't get reported on in the news, so it's all good. Out of sight, out of mind.

But God help us if a Congressperson has to wait at an airport an extra hour. They put a stop to THAT particular cut-back right quick.
 
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