Patterico's Pontifications

2/20/2013

Boehner on Sequestration: Oh My God It’s So Dangerous and Unthinkable

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:59 am

John Boehner in the Wall Street Journal:

A week from now, a dramatic new federal policy is set to go into effect that threatens U.S. national security, thousands of jobs and more. In a bit of irony, President Obama stood Tuesday with first responders who could lose their jobs if the policy goes into effect. Most Americans are just hearing about this Washington creation for the first time: the sequester. What they might not realize from Mr. Obama’s statements is that it is a product of the president’s own failed leadership.

The sequester is a wave of deep spending cuts scheduled to hit on March 1. Unless Congress acts, $85 billion in across-the-board cuts will occur this year, with another $1.1 trillion coming over the next decade. There is nothing wrong with cutting spending that much—we should be cutting even more—but the sequester is an ugly and dangerous way to do it.

Cry me a river. It’s a drop in the bucket. Boehner has a point that entitlement spending is not touched by the sequester. So call for entitlements to be cut too. But stop talking about how a relatively piddling set of budget cuts is so awful and dangerous. When you tighten the belt, you feel the squeeze, son.

Boehner does have one good point:

The president got his higher taxes—$600 billion from higher earners, with no spending cuts—at the end of 2012. He also got higher taxes via ObamaCare. Meanwhile, no one should be talking about raising taxes when the government is still paying people to play videogames, giving folks free cellphones, and buying $47,000 cigarette-smoking machines.

The GOP keeps allowing this charlatan Obama to talk about “balance” when 1) they already gave him the tax part of the “balance” and 2) the problem is spending, not taxes. As I wrote last month:

Can’t we just tax the rich? No, for two reasons.

First, even confiscating all millionaires’ taxable income would not close the gap. It’s difficult to find recent statistics for these numbers, but in posts I wrote in April 2011 I quoted people who had examined IRS statistics and found that in 2008, “Taxable income over $100,000 was $1,582 billion, over $200,000 was $1,185 billion, over $500,000 was $820 billion, over $1 million was $616 billion, over $2 million was $460 billion, over $5 million was $302 billion, and over $10 million was $212 billion.” To get that $1.3 trillion you can’t close the gap by taxing rich people. You could confiscate all the income of people with taxable income over $1 million and it would not close the gap by half.

But there’s another problem: it wouldn’t work that well anyway. As I illustrated yesterday, we have had top marginal rates as high as 91% and as low as 28%, and we still get about 18% of GDP in revenues every year, regardless. Extremely rich people change their behavior when you start to confiscate all their money.

We haven’t even addressed paying off almost $17 trillion in debt.

It’s as if you had a large mountain of sand and a small bucket of dirt to haul away, and when you said we should start getting on moving that sand, some yutz starts insisting on a balanced approach: one teaspoon of dirt to be removed for each teaspoon of sand.

Yet Obama continues to play the game of demanding more taxes, more taxes, more taxes, as if that will fix everything. Sweetness and Light notes that Obama vowed in 2011 to veto any effort to undo the sequester — unless Republicans raised taxes on the rich. Which they did, recently. Which they need to keep reminding the public.

We already agreed to move the dirt. Now let’s get to work on the real problem. And Boehner, stop treating the sequester as if it’s this awful and unthinkable set of cuts. You’re part of the problem.

98 Responses to “Boehner on Sequestration: Oh My God It’s So Dangerous and Unthinkable”

  1. “President Obama stood Tuesday with first responders who could lose their jobs if the policy goes into effect.”

    Mr. President, it is unconscionable that you indicate these first responders would be the first ones cut. They should be the LAST ones cut, and it is YOUR JOB to make sure it works out that way. Does their department have an armored vehicle, how many chiefs and liutenants, do they have a diversity office? There are a lot of places even a police department can cut without terminating first responders.

    Mike S (d3f5fd)

  2. Less than 2.5% of FY 2013. Accepting the framing that these are deep and dangerous cuts is silly, orangedude.

    JD (a603bd)

  3. So– it looks like the sequester agreement was a Washington sham on both sides of the aisle. Just a way to avoid a fuss and kick the can a few more months. By the way, Newt is out and about giving speeches. He’s in Chicago this week and has gotten some press. I wish he’d assume a greater statesman’s spokesman role (perhaps as an official spokesman for the RNC) now that he is no longer a candidate. He still explains things such as the sequester and entitlements and Obamacare better than almost any other Republican. And he is not afraid to take it to Obama and the press corps. He should be the one, not Rove who is in our face.

    elissa (1363e7)

  4. As long as there is one Progressive in the government, the gravy-train to Hell will continue, unabated.
    Perhaps the only way to change the mindset that has enveloped the country is to undergo Wiemar-style inflation where people have more and more “cash”, but can buy less and less with it.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  5. elissa, I think Newt is not just trying to replace Rove as a spokesman for the Party, but to totally discredit him as he deserves:
    http://www.humanevents.com/2013/02/20/gingrich-why-karl-rove-is-just-plain-wrong/#.USTDJj_pvUM.email

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  6. Hey, Police, Fire, and Teachers are NOT federal employees, yet. Let the House cut the Obamas where it really hurts them, their entertaining, Travel, and food budgets. Let them eat vegetarian MREs and stay home!!!

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  7. Boner is utterly useless, I’ve said so from the beginning. But nooooo, we have to let him crap all over the party because it’s…?

    I never understood that part. Can’t we pay the venal bastard off and get him to go away?

    mojo (8096f2)

  8. Perhaps they could offer him a golfing villa in Bermuda, or the Bahamas?
    He could work on his game, his tan, and just STFU!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  9. askeptic–the people who lived through the great depression knew hard times and want and sacrifice in ways we alive today cannot even imagine. They were made of sterner stuff and understood self reliance. They knew how to make do with the little they had or could afford. They knew how to perform basic household repairs and their own automotive services and how to creatively cook from scratch. Wiemar style inflation may or may not “change the mindset” in my opinion. But experiencing rampant inflation as a nation surely will lead to societal collapse because the coping machanisms of average Americans have been largely lost to history.

    I don’t mean to romanticize the depression folk, and I know that many who comment here are older and do possess some of the fading skills I mentioned above. Some have gardens and raise small animals for food. Some possess firepower for protection. But that is the minority of people who live in the U.S. When the social unrest erupts nobody will be safe.

    Franky, the “that’ll teach ‘em” approach scares me to death.

    elissa (1363e7)

  10. During the summer of 2011, as Washington worked toward a plan to reduce the deficit to allow for an increase in the federal debt limit, President Obama and I very nearly came to a historic agreement. Unfortunately our deal fell apart at the last minute when the president demanded an extra $400 billion in new tax revenue—50% more than we had shaken hands on just days before.

    [...]

    The president has repeatedly called for even more tax revenue, but the American people don’t support trading spending cuts for higher taxes. They understand that the tax debate is now closed.

    The president got his higher taxes—$600 billion from higher earners, with no spending cuts—at the end of 2012.

    say what you want about what an inept p.o.s. boehner is, the man has some scary good negotiating skillz

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  11. I have heard differing things about the impact of the sequester, specifically on the military. Part of the issue is the way the cuts are planned without any discretion as to where and how they are made. Some claim it will seriously hamper battle-readiness. For Obama, that is a feature, as he doesn’t really want the US military anywhere, unless it is a token presence than can win him a political advantage.

    Obama has an agenda to Cloward-Piven us into socialism while our ability to project power around the world is evaporated. Anything that doesn’t further that is a political maneuver to cover for the agenda.

    It was clear from the beginning this was an Obama plan, and I was willing to bet from the beginning the dems would be happy to have it go into effect and damage the military.

    But I, even I, never expected that Obama could actually pull off blaming it on the repubs and talking it up as something terrible, based on piddly domestic spending cuts.

    The dishonesty of the president and the press continue to astound, even when I think I’m beyond being astounded.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  12. elissa, Wiemar-level inflation should “scare us to death”, because it will lead to social upheaval.
    But, if we do nothing, it will come – and is coming!
    Remember, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
    And rampant inflation is the evil that kills all before it, it is the invisible tax that sucks the life out of the poor, and everyone else.
    And a Great Savior shall ride among us, telling us how he alone can save us from perdition, and the Evil of the Wall Street Bankers, if only we will give him the power.
    (I wonder what the uniforms will look like?)

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  13. Once upon a time Obama promised to veto any bill that tried to undo the sequester. Rush says it is getting harder to do parody.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  14. Great Savior shall ride among us, …
    (I wonder what the uniforms will look like?)

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 2/20/2013 @ 9:42 am

    I don’t know about the uniforms, but at least one person thinks the savior will look a lot like Treyvon Martin’s father if Treyvon was Obama’s son.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  15. And instead of a stallion, he’ll be riding a golf cart (solar-powered, of course).

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  16. What has President Finger Pointer done to avoid the sequester other than demagogue the alleged inaction of others while he vacations and campaigns on gun control and immigration? Where is his budget which is once again late? Where is is his statutorily required report to fix deficiencies in Medicare? Why hasn’t the Senate passed a budget in three years or advance any ideas?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  17. 5, 12. Gingrich at his best.

    I agree, social upheaval, martial law, global depression are all the odds on favorite over stasis by 2016.

    At our homestead a generator is the item we most lack, enough to run the water pump. A wood stove would be nice as well, but the worst trouble should come during a summer season.

    Plain and simple, those of you in urban locales are behind the eight ball.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  18. Where are the advance notices of regulatory change?
    Everything that is required by law of the Executive, is ignored by this Executive.
    I guess he had his fingers crossed when it came to that part of the Oath where he swore to “…faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States…” which last time I checked meant to follow the law as passed by Congress, and signed by The President.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  19. gary, if you already use propane for cooking/heating, get a generator that will run on it too.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  20. Obama is a coward afraid to make cut

    Dennis D (b481af)

  21. 9. In no way belittling your concern, aversion of the worst lacks for opportunity.

    Every one was worried about the cliff, but it isn’t the fall that kills. Its the sudden stop at the bottom.

    Today Greece is on general strike, I think France’s transport unions went on yesterday, today Japan’s Abe says purchases of foreign bonds “will not be necessary”(as if money might exist for the purpose), China has begun yesterday or B4, for the first time since 2011, to issue repos to blot out all the Western liquidity being funnelled to China looking for profits, Spain’s homes are 40% below purchased values, bad loans running 12%, Office Depot just agreed to purchase Office Max following announced plans to close 100-125 of their stores, Sears, K-Mart, Best Buy, Penny’s(300-350), on, and on, and on.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  22. Thanks for linking the Human Events article, askeptic. That’s what I’ma saying about Newt!

    elissa (1363e7)

  23. Are not the majority of the cuts outlined for the military simply a reduction of the baselined increase?

    What I can’t understand is the number of people who believe Obama’s shtick, that the elimination of a single government job spells certain death for thousands of seniors and school children.

    Biff Wellington (413d6c)

  24. Even Howlin’ Howie Dean sometimes mistakenly allows some truth to slip into what he is saying:

    “Former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean, speaking with Scott Rasmussen on What America Thinks, said that “somebody has to tell the middle class that either your taxes are going to go up or your programs are going to get cut or else we’re going to go into financial oblivion, and nobody really wants to tell them that.””

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  25. 19. We’re on natural for furnace and water. But yes, another need.

    The main thing in our favor, of course, is we’re a half hour from riff-raff, on high ground, no street lights, no bus lines, no approach from the north at all, ..

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  26. Yes, there will be pain, but the pain will be within the Civil Service that has been riding the gravy-train, and in the NGO’s that will see their government subsidy dry up – and that is how it should be.
    There needs to be an absolute freeze on government hiring, a RIF by attrition.
    If some “vital” position needs to be filled, somebody else needs to be RIFed to make room for the new-guy. Openings should be filled by laterals from other parts of the force.
    Civilians at the Pentagon should be replaced by CO’s/NCO’s/EM currently on active-duty.
    This is what the government looked like prior to FDR, and it could again.
    Remember, back then, gov’t worked a 5-1/2 day week!

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  27. This may be hard to imagine, but consider the opportunity that Boner is passing up. Instead of cowering before the might press and hte one’s 51% majority, Boner could pretend just for a little while that he is the grownup in the room, and the Senate and the Administration are tardy little scalawags who once again have neglected to complete their homework. Given our therapeutic age, Boner must avoid coming across like all the great teachers we used to have in our public schools …scoldings with a mixture of outrage, saracasm, and a tinge of saddness over our failings. Instead the correct response today is to provide additional training for the slovenly students, all the while carefully avoiding calling them slovenly. After all we still “love” them despite their failings right? Boner could have a detailed plan of action for both the President and the Senate with well marked milestones to help them track their progress. The plan and the associated charts would have to be very simple in order to get the press to understand what he is saying, and he’d have to avoid really complex things like working on a complete budget. Instead it should focus on the baby-steps of political progress. Things like hth one getting the support of a majority of his own party to back each of his small proposals. Or the Senate taking up one of the House’s many bills and chewing on a small portion of one of them. Or having the “authors” of bills actually read them before putting forward for passage, and verifying they did so by requiring them to take a multiple choice test based on the content of “their” bill. Having charted such a course for the country, the Boner could then adjorn the House and encourage his fellow Congressmen to volunteer as tutors while the other two parties in this drama attempt to correct their deficiencies.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  28. 25- Sounds like you’ve laid-out your defensive perimeter.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  29. 24. “middle class..your programs..or else”

    The people who will riot hail from the lower classes following interruption of their programs. Moreover, oblivion is now inevitable.

    I’m as shocked as anyone that Amerikkka chose this course.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  30. 27- A great step back (and forwards) would be to rid themselves of the consolidated appropriations bills that spread across multiple Departments and Agencies. Each aspect of the gov’t should be funded separately, with The Congress pulling back the authorizations they have given the bureaucracy to write enabling regulations.
    When the crunch comes, Congress (those intrepid 535 individuals) will be held responsible for the actions of the millions in the bureaucracy, so they need to start exercising some proper oversight and control. Of course, this will probably require a complete rethinking of the committee structure (just why is the DHS answerable to about one-dozen committees anyway, ten years after it was cobbled together?), and will require the Members on both sides of The Hill to do something more than preen before cameras.

    askeptic (b8ab92)

  31. I found this “interesting”:
    http://noisyroom.net/blog/2013/02/19/rioting-across-america-the-great-depression/

    I am not sure just what part of 2-2=0 people in Greece and such do not understand when they go on strike and just increase their misery.

    Somebody on Beck was saying the place for investment is farmable land (sitting on top of natural gas or oil is even better, I imagine).

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  32. It’s way too late now, but I wonder often how very different things might be if we were not governed by an insulated cabal of professional lifer politicians in both parties who are all about power and raising money and winning the next election. The model of citizen representatives who would temporarily leave their communities and businesses/professions to go to Washington and serve–and then return to them as was the case in the early days of the republic– might have had better results and provided more informed and honest governance on the real issues.

    elissa (1363e7)

  33. “I am not sure just what part of 2-2=0 people in Greece and such do not understand when they go on strike and just increase their misery.”

    MD in Philly – Striking in Europe is performance art and mostly and excuse to get drunk. Why do we care?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  34. It’s spin. The cuts will be unpleasant so the GOP doesn’t want to be associated with them. Exhibit number one million and five that the GOP doesn’t really want to cut anything. At least the Dems are honest that they want higher taxes to pay for social spending. That’s at least a plan. It’s a BAD plan but it’s a plan.

    time123 (066362)

  35. -Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/20/2013 @ 10:35 am–

    Gee, Dr. Dean knows exactly what needs to be said and wishes “somebody” would say it. How cute. Plenty of Republicans have been saying exactly that. But if what he really meant was “someone” from the left needs to say it but nobody will, then why doesn’t he do it? He could write a few nice diaries at Kos, or pieces for TPM or the Daily Beast. Maybe an op-ed for the NYT or Boston Globe. Courage, Dr. Dean. Courage.

    elissa (1363e7)

  36. “But if what he really meant was “someone” from the left needs to say it but nobody will, then why doesn’t he do it?”

    elissa – He sort of accidentally did say it without acknowledging the points you make, which are the points that need to be hammered home in the media.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  37. “It’s spin. The cuts will be unpleasant so the GOP doesn’t want to be associated with them”

    time123 – Complete BS. The House has passed two bills addressing alternate cuts and Romney ran on a platform including entitlement reform. Where are the Democrat proposals? Bueller…Bueller…..

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  38. It’s spin. The cuts will be unpleasant so the GOP doesn’t want to be associated with them.

    2.45% of FY 2013 is not unpleasant. Draconian.

    Exhibit number one million and five that the GOP doesn’t really want to cut anything.

    We will be happy to reform Medicare, Medicaid, Soc Sec, and repeal ObamaCare.

    At least the Dems are honest that they want higher taxes to pay for social spending.

    They can’t even be honest about being honest. They speak of it as revenues, fair share, all couched in class warfare rhetoric.

    That’s at least a plan. It’s a BAD plan but it’s a plan.

    JD (b63a52)

  39. Sequester information is starting to filter through the federal workforce. No jobs will be “lost” — the reduced operating budgets for the balance of this fiscal year will be achieved with rolling fuloughs. My component was notified that if nothing happens to alter the circumstances between March 1 and Sept. 30 (end of fiscal year), furloughs of 14 days for each employee will be imposed through the remaining 5 months of the fiscal year (starting in April, because of notice periods required by law).

    But, as anyone who has done the math knows, the expense to operate the federal government is a small fraction of overall goverment spending. I know from friends that entire programs funded by the government and operated by third party contractors are subject to termination for the remainder of the fiscal year — so the employees of those third party contractors are at risk to lose their jobs.

    And as Patrick mentions, there is no sequestration of the biggest single component of federal “spending” — the transfer of assets from one generate or class of residents to another, in the form of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    shipwreckedcrew (4ae072)

  40. Well, just so long as everything is “balanced”.

    elissa (1363e7)

  41. Obama paid golf instructor Butch Harmon $1K an hour to give him golf lessons this past weekend.
    Could Obama please pay Art Laffer $1K an hour to give him economic lessons next weekend ?

    Elephant Stone (8001b9)

  42. 34 -”At least the Dems are honest that they want higher taxes to pay for social spending”

    What’s honest about advocating policies that will make it impossible for this country to honor any of the so-called promises the Dems have made to get elected. If increasing REVENUE was as simple as raising TAXES, then your premise would be correct. But increasing taxes while simultaneously increasing regulations and economic uncertainty are certain to reduce the GROWTH of our economy, which is the only way this country can stave off insolvency. The real jobless numbers tell the tale. Higher taxes are the one sure way to disable this economy and ensure that our “promised” entitlements will not be fulfilled.

    The Dems could have, with equal “honesty”, advocated massive investments in cold fusion as an answer to public power needs. But here the Dems knew that the public and even the media might recall that cold fusion didn’t work out so well. So they played our foolish countrymen along with solar- and wind power as far as that charade could take them.

    And Elissa’s point in 32 is on target. Politicians come in all stripes right now, provided you limit the genotype to those who never worked for a living in the private sector. There are a far too many that spent their formative years as legislative assistants (and dare I mention interns) and they naturally seek out the opportunities that open up to them within the party system. If they are well grounded before entering this system, they can preserve some integrity. But if all they know is politics, there’s not much under the hood. The hand full of “outsiders” that entered Congress as a result of the tea party uprising is healthy, but it is such a tiny fraction, particularly when you consider the weight of the congressional staff system, and the resident bureaucracies.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  43. bobathome, really needed to deliver a rant to “rebute” someone who wasn’t saying what you edited his comment down to?

    SPQR (768505)

  44. “No jobs will be “lost” — the reduced operating budgets for the balance of this fiscal year will be achieved with rolling fuloughs.”

    shipwreckedcrew – I’m not sure I understand. Government departments will experience a normal amount of attrition every year through departures and retirements. Forcing rolling furloughs on employees implies the departments are increasing compensation for remaining employees, replacing departing staff or even expanding. Can you elaborate?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  45. 43 – My point in commenting on 34 was to refute the implied connection between raising taxes and paying for the so-called entitlements. Raising taxes does not necessarily result in increased revenues. Increased taxation always discourages the taxable activity, and this can reduce the revenue collected from the tax since fewer will be paying it. It is not enough to say that “It’s a BAD plan but it’s a plan.” It is a fundamentally dishonest plan. If Walmart had a bad month after middle income workers got a 2% raise in their FICA (taking it back to 6.5%), the country will have a bad year when everyone gets whacked with enormously increased taxes spread out over a constallation of new taxes. Where will the growth come from? We are borrowing $4,000 per year per person to pay for our outrageous social expenditures right now. If new taxes are assessed to collect this amount, and of course these taxes will fall on the working fraction of the country, amplifying the average to about $10,000 per taxpayer, I can’t imagine what our country would look like. But it wouldn’t be good.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  46. “$47,000 cigarette-smoking machines”

    Wait what?

    Kaitian (9660c3)

  47. “43 – My point in commenting on 34 was to refute the implied connection between raising taxes and paying for the so-called entitlements. Raising taxes does not necessarily result in increased revenues.”

    bobathome – I understood what you meant. The inability of Democrats to admit that people change their behavior in reaction to incentives is perfectly illustrated by Gov. Moonbeam’s walkback of his “Happy Days Are Here Again” pronouncement about budget surpluses based on an anomalous blip in January 2013 cash receipts.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  48. @37 Romney picked Ryan as his running mate and then disavowed the Ryan budget. It was at that point I started to really wonder what he’d do if he were elected. When he started coming up with those vaguely defined tax deduction caps I gave up on him. Cuts will be unpleasant for someone, unless a politician says with some level of specificity what they want to cut I don’t believe they’ll do it. Basically, I didn’t believe Romney would actually make meaningful cuts to entitlement spending. Obama obviously won’t either.

    time123 (066362)

  49. It’s hard to decipher the doublethink, Obama arranged the sequester back a year and a half ago,
    and now think it’s the worse thing ever, or evah, as Taylor Swift might put it.

    narciso (3fec35)

  50. @42 Yup, there’s a complex relationship between how taxes are done and how much money is collected.

    I do think that disagreeing about the mechanics of that relationship is different from wanting hurt the US economy.

    time123 (066362)

  51. Well one thing that struck from Comptroller Chang’s report, was sales tax revenue was down 70%
    this quarter, that’s a sign you’re doing something wrong.

    narciso (3fec35)

  52. I do think that disagreeing about the mechanics of that relationship is different from wanting hurt the US economy.

    What if someone understands the mechanics, but not the results?

    JD (b63a52)

  53. “@37 Romney picked Ryan as his running mate and then disavowed the Ryan budget.”

    time123 – Precious. They had no platform at all because the Democrat Racist Media Industrial Complex claimed Romney disavowed Ryan’s first entitlement reform package.

    Next.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  54. If it weren’t for all those ATMs displacing human bank tellers during the past four years, the unemployment rate wouldn’t be so high.

    Elephant Stone (622dfb)

  55. @52, well, if they can prove their understanding of the mechanics adn results I’d like their chances at a Nobel Prize in Econ. ;)

    time123 (066362)

  56. “I do think that disagreeing about the mechanics of that relationship is different from wanting hurt the US economy.”

    time123 – Disagreeing in not the correct word. “Ignoring” is more appropriate.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  57. “@52, well, if they can prove their understanding of the mechanics adn results I’d like their chances at a Nobel Prize in Econ. ;)”

    time123 – Yes, nobody has ever heard of behavioral economics before this post. I just invented the term. Please nominate me for my Nobel.

    SCHWING!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  58. Nobels are pretty much meaningless. See Krugman. Gore. Obama.

    JD (b63a52)

  59. “Nobels are pretty much meaningless.”

    JD – Everybody wants to pay higher taxes because it’s patriotic, or something.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  60. Nobody was shifting income around at the end of 2012 to avoid higher taxes in 2013, prepaying special dividends, prepaying bonuses, attempting to sell their TV networks to Al-Jazeera, etc.

    All stories to the contrary are just unpatriotic, racist, homophobic propaganda designed to undermine the agenda of the most transparent President EVAH!

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  61. if you asked me which I’d rather have a nobel prize or a dozen donuts I’d pick the nobel prize but just cause I think it comes with a check

    happyfeet (4bf7c2)

  62. Even a New York Times news article has Obama as a little bit of a charlatan (about the effects of the sequestration)

    I’ll get the lionk later.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  63. One thing I didn’t like about the Boehner article.. He talks about free cell phones./

    Thjat is not paid for by the government – and these phones themselves cost less than $10! So the article is not completely honest.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  64. I don’t know pikachu, considering who they are giving it to, it might be in monopoly money

    narciso (3fec35)

  65. This is the New York Times news article which somewhat accuses Obama of being a charlatan:

    Obama’s Forecast on Cuts Is Dire, but Timing Is Disputed By MICHAEL D. SHEAR and MICHAEL COOPER

    Excerpt:

    But even if March 1 arrives without a deal to avert the cuts, it may be some time before many take effect. White House officials have said that the planned cuts would take $85 billion out of the budget this year. But the actual impact of cuts felt this year might be only about half that much, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in a recent blog post.

    The office wrote that “discretionary outlays will drop by $35 billion and mandatory spending will be reduced by $9 billion this year as a direct result of those procedures; additional reductions in outlays attributable to the cuts in 2013 funding will occur in later years.”

    In the short term, officials at a variety of agencies said, the automatic cuts will take some time to put in place as officials readjust their priorities.

    Officials at the Department of Homeland Security said that travelers should not notice any significant reductions in Transportation Security Agency staffing at airports in the first few days after the automatic cuts. And the number of air traffic controllers will not immediately be reduced, they said…..

    ….White House officials said they still believe that the automatic cuts will be severely disruptive right away. And they said decisions to cancel or reduce programs might not be able to be reversed a month or two later.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  66. The bulk of the Nobels are given out by the Swedes, farmers by heritage. You know, the real ones like Chemistry and Physics.

    For some reason they let their former suzerain, Norway, give out the Peace prize. Once upon a time my ancestors were known as the Berserkers. Bane of civiliation, usurpers of thrones, rapers and pillagers. They once capture Seville. The fathered children all over Europe and the New World.

    Today they horde seeds and give Peace prizes to terrorists and gay prostitutes.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  67. But the New York Times editorial page editor sort of disagrees:

    The Sequester Is Not an Abstraction

    …When Republicans threatened to put the government in default in 2011 unless the Democrats agreed to slash spending, they didn’t tell the public what that would really mean, for either regular discretionary spending or health-insurance programs like Medicaid and Medicare. They expected Mr. Obama to specify actual cuts, hoping he would then share the blame for unpopular reductions in government services.

    And when he came up with the deliberately onerous sequester plan in order to prevent disaster, Republicans readily agreed rather than raise taxes a dime. (Twice, actually, if you count the failure of the “super-committee” for the same reason.)

    So it’s ridiculous for Republicans to claim the sequester is really Mr. Obama’s idea, as if a kidnapper’s relatives deserve blame for paying the ransom. (“The President’s Sequester,” as Speaker John Boehner now calls it.) Republicans love the idea of reducing spending but prefer to remain in the shadows when the cuts actually materialize…..

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  68. This is the cellphone line that bothered me in the Boehner article: (it’s just wrong)

    Meanwhile, no one should be talking about raising taxes when the government is still paying people to play videogames, giving folks free cellphones, and buying $47,000 cigarette-smoking machines.

    Now the Lifeline program greatly expanded. That’s becausxe these telephone companies have been mailing people offers and telephoning them, (never really explaining that someone might not be eligible if they already have Lifeline)

    It probably should not have been extended to cellphones. It made it into a different program.

    A landline cannot get lost (if it plugged in) and it’s always available at home. Of course there’s no actual cost to the telephone company for installation so they like it better.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  69. pronoun trouble, in that piece ‘he’ refers to Obama, so he did come up with it,

    narciso (3fec35)

  70. 67. I really haven’t kept abreast of the Times as the old grey whore slips into coma.

    Compared with serious journalism, e.g., The National Enquirer, its intrigues certainly amuse. Still, its no Onion.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  71. What Boehner writes is they were fighting over the debt limit. He doesn’t say why. So he and Obama had negotiated something, but then, he says, Obama suddenly wanted $400 billion in new tax revenue over ten years (they had agreed to $800 billion – now he wanted $1.2 trillion)

    So he negotiated with Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell a plan for a supercommittee. If it didn’t become law, the debt limit would not be increased again in a few months.

    But Obama didn’t want that, and proposed another Doomsday plan: the sequester. Boehner doesn’t mention that Obama wanted it 50% defense cuts and the Republicans accepted. He also doesn’t say that now the House tried to substitute some non defense cuts but Democrats won’t go along. They want taxes.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  72. Like I said before unless you’re Bond, you don’t play Le Chiffre, but Obama came up with it, much Vader’s deal with Lando,

    narciso (3fec35)

  73. “And when he came up with the deliberately onerous sequester plan in order to prevent disaster,”

    Such fatuous nonsense. Barky is the bagman. Sure his bluster is practiced and polished but ‘ideas’, please.

    Defense was already pruned $45 Billion per, this is just another $22 Billion. At worst 15%. The Chiefs could pay for the whole schlemiel by walking away from the Raptor.

    “Cry me a river”, indeed.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  74. Of course, it’s fatuous nonsense, but it’s his fatuous nonsense.

    narciso (3fec35)

  75. Why do we care?
    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/20/2013 @ 11:06 am

    My concern is not so much with the Greeks as it is with the Americans in the linked video of riots and calls for general strikes during the depression.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  76. MD in Philly – Well, we had the dress rehearsals with the Obama supported OWS movement.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  77. Keep your ammo dry, and close.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  78. Of course, a good deal of the problem, in Greece, is that they hiked taxes on people who had little money left.

    narciso (3fec35)

  79. Today Greece is on general strike, I think France’s transport unions went on yesterday…Spain’s homes are 40% below purchased values, bad loans running 12%
    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/20/2013 @ 10:31 am

    I am not sure just what part of 2-2=0 people in Greece and such do not understand when they go on strike and just increase their misery.
    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/20/2013 @ 10:58 am

    Countries like Greece and France (or Argentina, Venezuela, Mexico, etc), and, closer to home, cities like Detroit, Michigan, fascinate me because they’re a daily reminder of how bad things can get — year after year, if not decade after decade — as the political lunacy that contributed to the downfall of such societies never changes, and possibly becomes even worse.

    It’s hard to sympathize with people caught up in such places if their voting patterns contributed to the existence of self-destructive liberal politicians and loony-left policies and attitudes. IOW, if people are their own worst enemy, then c’est la vie, baby. So when someone proclaims, “don’t cry for me, Argentina,” I’ll reply: Don’t worry. I won’t.

    Mark (25e2eb)

  80. And, if they sing “I Left My Heart In San Francisco”, we can auction it off for a transplant.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  81. And Boehner, stop treating the sequester as if it’s this awful and unthinkable set of cuts. You’re part of the problem.

    I’d like to nominate this for Understatement Of The Year.

    Ghost (2d8874)

  82. Boner is an idiot, on a good day, and i haven’t seen him have one of those yet.

    he’s just an orange RINO crybaby with no business holding the position he’s in.

    that he’s there is a condemnation of the GOP’s national organization, but i firmly believe those worthies would rather retain their personal places at the trough, and all their perks as a feckless minority party than do what is necessary to win.

    redc1c4 (403dff)

  83. I don’t like Boehner going on about the smoking machine and the video games; medical research (which is what they are) is one of the better uses of taxpayer money. Ultimately it should be funded by the private sector, because there’s nothing in the constitution authorising Congress to spend money on it, but it should be one of the last things cut, and it’s certainly not frivolous, as Boehner makes it out to be.

    Milhouse (15b6fd)

  84. Boehner wants us to forget that he voted for sequestration, as did a large number of Republicans. And if it does damage to the economy, as it certainly will, guess who Republicans will immediately blame? Their dysfunction continues to expand, to their own longer term detriment.

    Perry (329aa5)

  85. Perry – your full throated opposition to Obama’s sequester, the one he vowed to veto any changes to, is noted.

    JD (a603bd)

  86. @ JD

    Gore got his for mastering the beard and sweater look at a late age. Obama got his because it was easier than mailing one to everyone on earth who wasn’t GWB. What did Krugman do to get his?

    time123 (066362)

  87. Time – he was the smartest demonic dwarf of the decade.

    JD (b63a52)

  88. He started out in ‘Time Bandits’

    narciso (3fec35)

  89. And if it does damage to the economy, as it certainly will
    – The endless loop of ‘the government must have more of our money in order to use it to stimulate the economy’.
    Good job, Perry.

    Icy (d08929)

  90. These cuts are piddily. For chrissakes, it’s been 2 years since this agreement was reached and now they are complaining?

    And guess what, had the Senate or the President delivered a budget, they would have had these cuts baked in already. The reason it’s “scary” is because they sat on their collective asses and figured someone would blink first. Hadthey initiated cuts from the beginning of this fiscal year, they’d be 5 months into the cuts already (or ~half) and wouldn’t have to cram 12 months of reduction into the last 7 months of the fiscal year. If this doesn’t show that Washington will never, ever cut anything, then nothing will.

    Simply put: Get a graph that shows spending during the last 10 years, with the correspondig “response” to the credit crash in 2008, which has been on auto-pilot, quote Rahm’s “Never let a crisis go to waste” and say, Mr. President, what’s your plan? We agreed on cuts in 2011 for 2013, you had 2 years to come up with a plan for alternative cuts. Where TF is it?

    Start passing other house bills and business and move forward. This ship has left the port.

    Steve_in_SoCal (457fff)

  91. these cuts are piddly but I still love them very much

    happyfeet (acd614)

  92. This sounds to be good, at least on the surface:
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/02/signs-of-intelligent-life-in-the-house.php

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  93. 93. I’m hoping Mr. Speaker, with this lamentation, is mainly positioning for the low information voter.

    Who, of course, are watching Kimmy.

    gary gulrud (dd7d4e)

  94. 6. Comment by PCD (1d8b6d) — 2/20/2013 @ 8:38 am

    Hey, Police, Fire, and Teachers are NOT federal employees, yet.

    But the federal government makes grants to state and local governments. That’s the argument.

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  95. Comment by bobathome (c0c2b5) — 2/20/2013 @ 12:01 pm

    The Dems could have, with equal “honesty”, advocated massive investments in cold fusion as an answer to public power needs.

    Cold fusion would work, and I wonder if that’s been causing all these problems with lithium batteries. Fleischman and Pons also had these rather unpredictable explosions. I wondered if that could explain some of the explosions of lithium ion batteries. Maybe it is hard to get a controlled reaction but cvareful studying of this might find a way.

    Yes, cold fusion might be true after all, according to an article in last November’s Discover magazine, only it takes place in a different way than Fleschman and Pons said.

    It seems like maybe that when a lot of electricity is concentrated around hydrogen, some of the electrons merge with the protons and become neutrons.

    That would normally not have much of an effect – the neutrons decay soon – they have a half life of 20 minutes.

    But if there are lithium atoms nearby they can enter the lithium.

    The lithium quickly decays to beryllium which splits fissions into two helium atoms.

    Normally to get nuclear fusion going you need a temperature of 2.4 million degrees. That’s when two protons hit each other. But here you are using neutrons.

    http://discovermagazine.com/2012/nov/27-big-idea-bring-back-the-cold-fusion-dream

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  96. Neutrons created by lightning:

    http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v108/i12/e125001

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  97. 94, Sammy, that is wrong too. Show me in the Constition where those payments are authorized. You can’t and you Libs can only break laws.

    PCD (1d8b6d)

  98. If John Boehner had just half a brain, this is the kind of statement he would make:

    Ladies, gentlemen I believe it’s time for the American people to hear the truth.

    The President who is responsible for running up trillion dollar deficits every year he has been in office; the President who is responsible for spending over three-and-a-half trillion dollars just this year; this president is telling the American people that the world will end if the growth of government spending is slowed down just this much (makes sign with thumb and forefinger).

    This is a scene we have seen played many, many times before. There is even a name for it: the Washington Monument ploy. In the past, if the ruling class in the Washington establishment did not get its way, they threatened to shut down the Washington Monument because that’s where the budget ax would fall. President Obama has taken the Washington Monument ploy, dusted it off and Supersized it. He’s telling us that if this minuscule reduction, not an actual cut, but a reduction in the rate of growth occurs we would lose our police, our firefighters, our air traffic controllers, our teachers and our baby sitters. He has sent his surrogates out to tell us that we would be waiting for hours to board planes. He and his Defense Secretary have told us that this would destroy our military. He has delayed the deployment of an aircraft carrier scaring the people of Virginia to death. Between now and March first I expect that there will be predictions of water turning to blood, fiery hail, the sun blotted out and plagues of locusts if he does not get his way.

    And the ladies and gentlemen of the press have lapped up every prediction of doom and even expanded on them. Well, I’m tired of it. I refuse the play the game any longer. Let’s make something very clear. If the President does not believe he’s up to running the government on a mere $3.5 trillion dollars a year, he should resign and let’s find someone who can. If the members of the Senate and the House don’t believe that they can find a way to fund the essential duties of the government without borrowing twenty trillions from generations yet unborn, they should leave and let someone else do it. If the members of the media will not do their duty to report honestly instead of fanning the flames of fear, they should find another line of work.

    The sequester is a baby step in the direction of fiscal responsibility. The one bad part about it was that it does not distinguish between programs that are essential and programs that are a waste. In that respect, it was deliberately designed to be a bad idea. It was designed by the White House, but it was passed by the Congress so we are all to blame. But here we must stop because the horrible results that the President has predicted will not come to pass … unless he deliberately creates them. His is the responsibility actually fulfill the oath of office he took. If instead, he prefers to give speeches, stumble from crisis to crisis and conduct a perpetual campaign, please step aside Mr. President and let’s find someone who can do the job.

    Moneyrunner (40a5bc)


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