published Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Liberals hide truth about sequester: Actual cuts are relatively minimal

The sun still came up, Anne Hathaway is still annoying and it still takes 45 minutes to get a stack of pancakes at Aretha Frankenstiens.

Fears that the federal budget sequester, which went in to effect last night, would end life as we know it have been greatly exaggerated -- as have the actual cuts that that will result from sequestration, and the impact of those cuts.

That hasn't stopped lefty lawmakers and pundits, and their sycophants, from breaking out in "Harlem Shake"-style freakouts as they perpetuate the myth that sequestration would significantly affect government services, bureaucrats' jobs and federal spending.

In a news conference on Thursday, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif, went so far as to claim that sequestration would cost America 170 million jobs. Holy cannoli, Maxine, that's a lot of jobs!

Actually, 170 million is more jobs than there are in the entire country -- about 30 million more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Apparently, Waters is so used to passing budgets that spend more dollars than there actually are to spend, that she didn't realize that it's impossible to lose more jobs than there are jobs to lose.)

Waters, sensing that she was catching a lot of grief for pulling the job loss numbers out of the clear blue sky -- or someplace a lot less pleasant -- marched her spokesman out to admit that the number was incorrect. She meant to say "170,000 jobs," the flack claimed. But even that 1,000-percent reduction to Water's original estimates seem high in the context of the tiny reduction in spending mandated by the sequester.

Water's outrageous job loss exaggeration was far from the only whopper spoken by a Democratic leader on the topic of sequestration. Perhaps the biggest fib of all was told by the head man himself, President Barack Obama.

Obama recently blamed the creation of the sequester -- originally invented as a fallback plan that would be enacted only if more targeted cuts weren't made -- on Republicans. Veteran Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who has been chronicling the Obama White House, responded to Obama's assertion with an op-ed that proved that the sequestration was the Obama Administration's idea.

Showing all the class and restraint of schoolyard bullies, liberals engaged in a broad attack on Woodward (who, let's not forget, was a main player in forcing a Republican president from office), led by White House economic adviser Gene Sperling who sent an email that Woodward described as threatening.

With all the misinformation, exaggerations and downright lies about sequestration, it's time for some actual facts.

Fact 1: The sequester doesn't cut federal spending at all. It only limits projected future spending. As Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute points out, "even if the sequester goes through, the federal government will spend more every single year. In fact, in 2023 it will be spending $2.39 trillion more than it does today."

Fact 2: While the president claims the sequester would "cut" $85 billion in spending this year, because of ongoing federal contracts that can't be touched, spending would be reduced by a paltry $44 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That's just over one percent of the federal budget.

Fact 3: Entitlements won't be impacted by sequestration. Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are exempt from the reductions in future spending.

Fact 4: Discretionary spending will be impacted the most. Even still, with a reduction of only 8 percent, the sequester "would leave domestic discretionary spending, after adjusting for inflation, at roughly the same level as 2009," according to Tanner.

The real problem with sequestration isn't that this invented "crisis" will destroy government's ability to provide services for Americans, it's that it doesn't go far enough in cutting unnecessary spending and reducing the size and scope of government -- even if the left won't admit it.

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nucanuck said...

Every sequestered dollar is some worker's take-home pay. Every job eliminated creates more demand on existing support systems.

If we take the attitude that unemployed people are disposable, then we should sequester and maybe much more. We could also eliminate unemployment benefits and food stamps, hurrying those unfortunates toward their demise, but what if it is our company that suddenly shuts down? Then we become the disposable ones.

The down-side of pure capitalism is that a lot of good people get put in the dumpster. That is exactly why the most successful countries in the world have adopted modified capitalism with social safety nets. They avoid debt crises by taxing for the cost of those safety nets. Those taxes are generally higher than in the US. Those countries are almost all at the top of the happiness indexes, so they must feel that they get value recieved for taxes paid.

Widespread quality of life is the true measure of a country's well-being...not low taxes...not individual wealth.

The libertarian countries, where the governments provide very little are mostly in Africa. US libertarians seem to want the freedom from government and taxation, but not the accompanying chaos. Funny how you can't seem to have it both ways.

March 2, 2013 at 1:37 a.m.
EaTn said...

The Bush tax cuts that were suppose to stimulate private jobs but instead were used to create more wealth is a primary reason we now depend on the govt jobs that will be severely impacted by the sequester. Watch the umemployment numbers--they will tell the real impact.

March 2, 2013 at 6:57 a.m.
lightkeeper said...

No Mr.Editor, here you go again with your lying, in denial out of touch with reality articles. There will be thousands of jobs lost due to congress unwillingness to work with the President. Conservatives in Washington are doing what they were sent there to do by republican racist bigots and tea baggers, and thats to fight him tooth and nail even if it means deliberate sabotage to jobs, the economy and whats fair and the American people know it. These republican racists will do anything to keep this first African American President from being noted in history as a great President.Your articles Mr Editor are a lying piece of crap...please try again with fact not fiction.

March 2, 2013 at 7:37 a.m.
328Kwebsite said...

It takes 45 minutes to get --one-- pancake at Aretha Frankenstein's. Please do some basic research before writing. Thanks.

March 2, 2013 at 8:27 a.m.
Lr103 said...

The only reason conservative GOP wants to destroy the federal government is because that's where women and minorities have made the most advances and obtained the greatest gains in owning their own businesses. Where the federal government has provided support through government loans, federal grants, federally back guaranteed loans and other subisidies.

The right wing private sector has also advanced gained greatly by way of that same federal government help. Of course they will never openly admit to this.

March 2, 2013 at 9:59 a.m.
conservative said...

"Apparently, Waters is so used to passing budgets that spend more dollars than there actually are to spend, that she didn't realize that it's impossible to lose more jobs than there are jobs to lose."

Oh, but I'm sure at least some of the regular kooks who comment here believe that and may try to justify it.

March 2, 2013 at 10:20 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

nucanuck said... "Every sequestered dollar is some worker's take-home pay. Every job eliminated creates more demand on existing support systems."

Some overpaid government bureaucrats compensation. Cry me a river.

March 2, 2013 at 10:25 a.m.
conservative said...

nucanuck said... "Every sequestered dollar is some worker's take-home pay. Every job eliminated creates more demand on existing support systems."

Every government job created creates more demand on existing support (the taxpayer victums of Socialist central planners )systems.

March 2, 2013 at 10:37 a.m.
rick1 said...

Nucanuck, you don't seemed concerned that Obama's golf weekend with Tiger Woods cost taxpayers over a million dollars, that is enough money to save 341 federal workers from furlough.

If cutting the spending by $85 billion will bring on Armageddon, why hasn't increasing government revenue by $137 billion on January 1st of this year resulted in an economic boom?

March 2, 2013 at 10:52 a.m.
conservative said...

Notice also rick1 that money stolen from the taxpayer to create Socialist government jobs is not deemed a harship or even a moral wrong on that taxpaying victum by Socialists such as nucanuck.

March 2, 2013 at 11:04 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

So, as far as this editor is concerned, mere sequestration isn't enough. He thinks we ought to be going full tilt with austerity. Yeah, that's worked out well for Europe, hasn't it? It doesn't take a PhD in economics to know that austerity will do one thing and one thing only: create more austerity, in the form of more job losses and more poverty. Just because the government cuts spending to the bare bones, where is the job growth going to come from? We will have even more people unemployed and no jobs for them - and with all-out austerity, a huge reduction in unemployment compensation, food stamps, and welfare.

You wing-nuts who think spending cuts and lower taxes are the answer and that the free market will suddenly and miraculously turn itself around once we sacrifice more working class lives on the altar of crony capitalism are as deluded as a kid believing in the tooth fairy. Corporations and the rich are sitting on huge piles of cash now and those "job creators" are not creating jobs. What is more austerity going to do that will make them suddenly decide to create jobs? You believers in pure, unfettered capitalism are as childish and half-witted in your belief about the sanctity of the free market as Bible thumpers are about their sky daddy and their "inerrant" Bible.

March 2, 2013 at 11:14 a.m.
rick1 said...

conservative, you are spot on and liberals like nucanuck honesty believe people like you and I and others who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution are extremists.

I do not remember who said this but unfortunately this is where we are headed.

"When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work, because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation!"

March 2, 2013 at 11:17 a.m.
conservative said...

Rick1, I believe that was pastor Adrian Rogers.

March 2, 2013 at 11:21 a.m.
nucanuck said...

rick1,

Personally, I favor a balanced budget, paying down debt, and taxing for what we spend. The question is how do we get there without destroying the good with the bad? I am not at all sure that spending and then trying to inflate away the consequences is the right thing to do. Strong cut-backs and the ensuing deflation may well be the better course, but I can understand why no politician in power would willingly choose that course.

We are entering a slow growth, no-growth world reality (even necessity) and debt will be our biggest enemy without that growth. Continued growth only means environmental degradation is excellerated.

I don't see the amounts involved in the sequestration as hugely harmful. I do see the sequestration as not helpful, just symbolic, and a stupid way to do business. The country won't be helped, many good things will be cut along with the bad...and what have we done toward a real plan...nothing really. Partisan politics at its worst!

March 2, 2013 at 11:34 a.m.
Livn4life said...

The only thing that matters obviously to the leftist media is THAT the Obama Administration can lie and pin something else on those awful, horrible, evil Republicans. Guess what, that is right on target. But never mind what he said before, any leftist is free to lie lie lie and it's okay. But that is the America we live in. And I would love to see documented proof of that "happiness" index of other countries posted previously.

March 2, 2013 at 11:45 a.m.
rick1 said...

nucanuck, I agree politicians both Democrats and Republicans only care about getting elected and getting re elected and both parties want to control our lives. They are going different directions to get there but I believe this is what the established GOP wants as much as the Democrats do.

We need another President like Calvin Coolidge. Read what was issues he faced when he became President. Sounds like the same types of issues we are facing today.

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-on-the-right/030113-646389-calvin-coolidge-cut-size-of-government.htm?p=full

Our government is out of control and is looking at taking our 401 saving plans. May want to read this as well.

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/030113-646474-obama-and-new-bureaucracy-targeting-401k-savings.htm

March 2, 2013 at 11:59 a.m.
nucanuck said...

L4l, do your own research. Different polling surveys come out several times a year with happiness, contentment, well being surveys. Most show the same names at the top, over and over. Surely you have seen them, they are not obscure or partisan as far as I can tell.

March 2, 2013 at 12:17 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rick1,

Maybe we are out of control, but just as likely is that our size, diversity, and complexity have combined to make governance nearly impossible. I don't buy into the evil politician crap. I tend to believe that the DC culture corrupts the best that we send and that petty partisan issues and the pressure to gain power combine to make the problems even worse.

I think that we may be too big to govern well.

March 2, 2013 at 12:25 p.m.
rick1 said...

nucanuck, since you believe in government control of our lives I guess you would not find the DC culture that corrupts or the pressure to gain power could lead to evil.

March 2, 2013 at 12:53 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"nucanuck, since you believe in government control of our lives..." - rick1

I cannot speak for nucanuck personally but I think I speak for most liberals and most rational people everywhere when I say that NOBODY - liberal, conservative, libertarian, or independent - believes in government control of our lives. You wing-nuts just like to portray liberals in a grossly distorted way that makes it easier for you to revile us. Just because we believe that the free market needs sensible restraints and because we believe in social and economic safety nets does not mean that we want a "nanny state" (another misleading term that you wing-nuts like to use). You are crazy enough to think that no government, or extremely limited government, will magically lead to some kind of utopia of individual freedom, and you don't have the common sense to see how you would not even be enjoying the freedoms and prosperity you have today without a government that enabled you to get where you are. You don't think, you just get a warm and fuzzy feeling about this notion of individual freedom that can never really exist within the bounds of society anyway.

Hell, complete individual freedom does not exist in any form, really. Remove yourself from the constraints of society and its man-made laws and see how long you last in the wild, by yourself, being subjected to the even harsher and more relentless laws of nature. If you are living and breathing there are necessary laws that we must adhere to, whether you like it or not. If you choose to be a member of society, then you accept the laws within the framework of that society and we elect people to serve in our government to enact and uphold those laws for us. That is what government is. It is US - you and me and everybody else. And yet, that is what you government haters are calling the "problem" and what you want to dispose of...so that you can live "free." What a joke.

March 2, 2013 at 1:27 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Another thought on the subject: we do have a problem with our government as it is today, and the problem is that it is owned by big business and the super rich. Too many of our elected officials are in the pockets of special interest groups and lobbyists and they are serving the wrong people, and until we get the money out of politics to the extent that it is, we will indeed have a corrupt government passing the wrong laws for the wrong reasons. But the government haters not only don't acknowledge the corrupting influence of the powerful special interests, they think that as long as Washington keeps passing laws that favor the free market and those interests and ignore or, worse yet, further oppress the average person, then government is doing the right thing. It doesn't make any sense at all but such is the "logic" of the government haters.

March 2, 2013 at 1:54 p.m.
rick1 said...

Rickaroo, how do you feel about Mayor Blommberg's Super PAC giving $2 million to endorse Robin Kelly who is running on democratic ticket to fill the U.S. House seat formally held by Jesse Jackson Jr.?

March 2, 2013 at 2:19 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rick1,

As in all things, we need balance. We are badly out of balance now with Congress beholding to the corporate interests that finance the election cycle.

Rickaroo nails it in his last two posts.

March 2, 2013 at 2:32 p.m.
gjuster said...

You would be surprised to find that many in the Tea party believe that corporate/government capitalism (economic fascism) is at the root of our problems. (Includes most of the unions too) Pure capitalism would be a good thing - but we haven't seen it in my lifetime. The bigger government gets, the more we will see this economic fascism controlling DC. This country was founded on and by the individual states. The central power of the federal government was to be limited for the very reasons we see now. Absolute and corrupt power from DC. It's very difficult to remove a sitting congressman (see Alexander) - it's much easier to change a state elected representative.

March 2, 2013 at 2:47 p.m.
rick1 said...

nucanuck, don't you think spending is a problem?

March 2, 2013 at 2:58 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rick1,

Spending is or can be a problem when the money is borrowed. Debt is where trouble comes from.

If the question is: don't I think that the government should spend less, then the answer would be yes. That doesn't mean that we would agree on what should be cut and what should be increased.

In the early 1980s a Republican strategy emerged that essentially was to cut revenue and not worry about spending in the short term. The thinking was that they could "starve the beast" and force the cutback in entitlement programs over time. From that moment in time the debt curve has grown steeper and steeper. We got more and more tax cuts and larger and larger revenue short-falls. Maybe that policy has taken 30+ years to work through the system and we are now about to eviscerate social programs. I hope not, but we are coming into very difficult times where unintended events can quickly materialize.

The net result of that intentional imbalance between revenue and spending has bankrupt the country. The US will default one way or another...excess money creation beyond growth is a backdoor default.

...so yes, spending can be a problem.

March 2, 2013 at 5:22 p.m.
rick1 said...

nucanuck, I have to respectfully disagree with you on tax cuts causing rervenue short falls. Presidents Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush all cut the tax ratesthem in the 1980s. Yes Clinton cut capitial gains taxes in 1997 and the economy took off and revenues increased as well.

When Coolidge cut taxes the economy expanded 59% from 1921 to 1929 and revenues received by the treasury increased from $719 million in 1921 to more than $1.1 billion 1929.

Under Kennedy the economy grew by 42% an average of 5 percent a year from 1961 to 1965. Tax revenue to the U.S. Treasury increased by 62%.

Under Reagan revenues (from all taxes) to the U.S. Treasury nearly doubled. According to the Budget of the U.S. Government, FY 1997, Office of Management and Budget. Revenues increased from roughly $500 billion in 1980 to $1.1 trillion in 1990.

Under Bush the economy expansed for 50 months and created 8.1 million jobs through 2007, and tax revenues also increased due to economic growth.

Here are some other positive effects of the Bush tax cuts on income, captital gains and dividend taxes:

GDP grew at an annual rate of just 1.7% in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts. In the six quarters following the tax cuts, the growth rate was 4.1%.

The S&P 500 dropped 18% in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts but increased by 32% over the next six quarters.

The economy lost 267,000 jobs in the six quarters before the 2003 tax cuts. In the next six quarters, it added 307,000 jobs, followed by 5 million jobs in the next seven quarters.

http://blog.heritage.org/2011/06/22/morning-bell-the-truth-about-tax-cuts/

http://www.mackinac.org/article.aspx?ID=676

http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/09/the_successful_clinton_economy.html

March 2, 2013 at 6:43 p.m.
nucanuck said...

rick1,

Pre 1980, US debt was relatively small and stimuli (tax cuts or deficit spending) had a big impact. Since 1980 the debt to GDP has been on the rise even as revenues expanded. That resulted in an ever weaker economic foundation as debt became more and more of a factor. 2001 would have been a major recession that cleansed the system had Greenspan not lowered rates to near zero and pumped the housing market into la la land. (I think that was a mistake.) Bush's tax cuts provided some stimulus, but combined with the massive unfunded war spending, the US managed a mild recovery until 2007-2008 when the wheels came off. Debt grabbed us by the neck after three decades of excessive growth. The whole Bush era was more of a story of rising debt than rising revenue. The revenue numbers don't really mean much if debt increases faster at the same time. And that is what happened. Taxes were too out of line with spending...they still are. I would have favored a war tax. That would have gotten us out of the Middle East years ago and possibly slowed the debt growth.

If Congress were required to tax for what they spend, they would spend far less.

March 2, 2013 at 7:56 p.m.
fairmon said...

Government is too big to manage and too big and powerful to give up anything. Congress can only stay in office if they spend money.

Are they threatening to pare back consultants, conferences, travel and other nonessential fluff? Hardly. It shall be air-traffic control. Meat inspection. Weather forecasting.

A 2011 Government Accountability Office report gave a sampling of the vastness of what could be cut, consolidated and rationalized in Washington: 44 overlapping job training programs, 18 for nutrition assistance, 82 (!) on teacher quality, 56 dealing with financial literacy, more than 20 for homelessness, etc. Total annual cost: $100 billion-$200 billion, about two to five times the entire domestic sequester.

Duplication and over lapping are evident but not addressed. The budget is so complex it is not understood by anyone in Washington D.C. The make work jobs are not being considered as opportunities to reduce spending. Every spending activity affect someone in one of the members of congress district and he will not allow that to be discontinued.

March 3, 2013 at 5:38 a.m.
nucanuck said...

And just where has the really big government spending spree taken place?

It's not welfare moms, not the unemployed, not Medicare, not any of the things that we most complain about. Nope, none of those. The really big out-of-sight money is going to the banks and the military.

The Federal Reserve has expanded its balance sheet by $2.5 trillion in a little over four years. They have loaded themselves down with toxic bank liabilities in exchange for fresh new money which is now owed by the taxpayers of America. What's even worse, many billions of that Fed/taxpayer money went to big foreign banks to try to save them from collapse. It's a dirty little game. The Fed sells Treasury bonds which they themselves then buy (because there is no demand) and add it all to the public tab. Of course they should go to jail for that, but instead, we praise them for saving us.

Then there is the military. In the last ten years the military has spent over $2 trillion more than would have been the case by fighting endless wars...with no taxes to pay for the extra expense.

We are reducing and closing useful public services in order to subsidize our banks and fight a phantom war on terror (and support military contractors). Those are the floodgates locked on "OPEN". Plug those holes and the rest becomes manageable.

March 3, 2013 at 10:43 a.m.
joneses said...

Actually nucanuck John Kerry just pledged 250 million dollars to the terrorist organization The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to strengthen their military. Do you find it odd that obastard is strengthening the military of our enemy's and weakening ours? And you liberals will still give him a pass. Unbelievable!

March 4, 2013 at 9:22 a.m.
Handleit said...

Why are we so distraught about sequestor in this country and not complaining about the millons of dollars being sent to the Middle East? I have always been taught to take care of my family before I help my neighbor. Our representatives, Republicans and Democrats alike, are destroying this country. They worry more about every other countries business than our own. It is time to run everyone of them out of office and start anew.

March 4, 2013 at 9:24 a.m.
nucanuck said...

joneses, I assume that you don't pay close attention to US foreign policy or you would know that the US has been giving over $1 billion a year to Egypt's military for more than a decade. A 75% reduction is still too much, but at least Obama is moving in the right direction. I feel your embarrassment for knowing so little.

March 4, 2013 at 9:50 a.m.
joneses said...

nucanuck

You have only spewed false information that suits you failed liberal mind. I should have spelled it out for your weak mind. I should have said obastard approved another 250 million to go with the 1.5 billion obastard has already committed to. You stupid ass liberals actually think it is okay to give obastards favorite terrorist organization, The Muslim Brotherhood, money to strengthen their military and weaken ours. You and people like you are pathetic POSs!

March 22, 2012

Despite the recent anti-American activities in Egypt the Obama Administration told Congress today it will waive democracy requirements and release $1.5 billion in US aid to the Muslim Brotherhood dominated government in Egypt.

The Obama administration told Congress on Thursday it will waive democracy requirements to release up to $1.5 billion in aid to Egypt despite concerns that the country is backsliding on commitments it made to democratic governance and rule of law.

U.5 officials and lawmakers said Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has determined that it was in the U.S. national interest to allow $1.3 billion in military assistance to flow. She also certified that Egypt is meeting its obligations to the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, which frees up an additional $200 million in economic aid, they said.

March 4, 2013 at 12:12 p.m.
Leaf said...

joneses, you are nasty and ignorant. That is all.

March 4, 2013 at 12:58 p.m.
joneses said...

leaf,

You are a fool.

March 4, 2013 at 1:13 p.m.
nucanuck said...

joneses, you are right and I am wrong. The $1.3 billion in military aid that Congress has appropriated for many years for Egypt was held back, but not terminated. The $250 million is to support the stabilization of the new democracy and is seperate from the military aid.

March 4, 2013 at 1:23 p.m.
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