Patterico's Pontifications


Let Us Hear No More of the Word “Cut”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:17 pm

We’ve said this before but we’ll say it again: when they say “cut” you have to ask: from what baseline?

The Department of Transportation’s budget for 2013 is $74.2 billion. The automatic spending cuts would slice $1 billion out of its budget: that is a cut of less than 1.4 percent.

And consider this: even if the cuts go into effect, the Department of Transportation will spend more money this year ($73.2 billion) than it spent last year ($72.6 billion).

A $600 million increase is termed a $1 billion “cut” and they’re talking about sending air traffic controllers home. I call B.S.

Operate on the budget you operated under last year. Let’s START with that.


  1. Ray LaHood, the Sec Trans, is a member of the corrupt Illinois “combine” that runs the state and is composed of both parties. Unfortunately, the previous Speaker of the House, Denny Hastert, is also a member and made sure his kids were well taken care of, like Harry Reid’s kids, while he was in office.

    Comment by Mike K (dc6ffe) — 2/22/2013 @ 5:20 pm

  2. i call b.s. too

    Comment by happyfeet (4bf7c2) — 2/22/2013 @ 5:36 pm

  3. call their bluff, no way they send controllers home without pay … no way …

    Comment by JeffC (63de62) — 2/22/2013 @ 5:47 pm

  4. One of the things that frustrates me about the electorate is that if the American people really had any backbone at all, then whenever politicians tried this trick during budget crises of threatening to cut essential services first they’d be immediately recalled.

    Heck, if we had any backbone, we’d tar and feather them and ride them out of town on a rail as was traditional.

    It really pisses me off.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 2/22/2013 @ 5:52 pm

  5. Ditto.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/22/2013 @ 5:55 pm

  6. 4. SPQR, I’ll bring the wood, kettle and tar.

    Comment by mg (31009b) — 2/22/2013 @ 7:08 pm

  7. oh

    look at that sequester

    it is SO big

    it looks like one of those rap guy’s girlfriend’s butts

    Comment by happyfeet (acd614) — 2/22/2013 @ 7:52 pm

  8. Campbell subbing for Hewitt said that obviously the Mayans got it only a little wrong, the real end of the world will happen when the sequester goes into effect, at least it will if what obama says is true (which it isn’t)

    maybe people should have sequester parties? probably not, too many people wouldn’t get it

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/22/2013 @ 7:58 pm

  9. Most people recognize the “pothole syndrome” when they see it. Unfortunately, the majority of those who voted do not.

    Comment by Mike K (dc6ffe) — 2/22/2013 @ 8:00 pm

  10. ‘Blimey, I didn’t expect the sequester’

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 2/22/2013 @ 8:03 pm

  11. A $600 million increase is termed a $1 billion “cut” and they’re talking about sending air traffic controllers home.

    By what logic?

    Comment by Michael Ejercito (2e0217) — 2/22/2013 @ 8:47 pm

  12. They’ll probably close Yellowstone and Yosemite this summer “to save money.” They always find what we care about and hold it hostage.

    Never, ever will they say “We’re going to furlough 10,000 bureaucrats in the Education, Labor and Commerce Departments, and also IRA agents and EPA regulators.”

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 2/22/2013 @ 9:24 pm

  13. Heck, if we had any backbone, we’d tar and feather them and ride them out of town on a rail as was traditional.

    There would be a lamp pole shortage if I had my way.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 2/22/2013 @ 9:25 pm

  14. I promise I’ll only insert the tip.

    For a certain value of in and a variable amount of “tip”.

    Comment by Jcw46 (f33482) — 2/22/2013 @ 9:38 pm

  15. 12. They’ll probably close Yellowstone and Yosemite this summer “to save money.” They always find what we care about and hold it hostage.

    Never, ever will they say “We’re going to furlough 10,000 bureaucrats in the Education, Labor and Commerce Departments, and also IRA agents and EPA regulators.”

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 2/22/2013 @ 9:24 pm

    Actually they’ll probably shut all the parks down. Even though the rangers and other workers will still be getting paid and only taking one extra day off every two weeks.

    They all know how to play this game.

    Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group Deployment Delayed

    OMFG! Sequestration! The country will be undefended!

    Actually, it will be. But the CNO’s Diversity Department won’t take a hit.

    Comment by Steve57 (60a887) — 2/22/2013 @ 11:04 pm

  16. Forgot to add they’ll never furlough those 10k bureaucrats at the Dept. of Education because then they know they’ll be so little missed they’ll never get them back.

    Despite the rhetoric they only ever cut essential services to hide the fact that at least 50% of what they do is completely expendable.

    Comment by Steve57 (60a887) — 2/22/2013 @ 11:06 pm

  17. The entire DC establishment needs to be cut back to “the snow list”.

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 2/22/2013 @ 11:17 pm

  18. I heard a guy somewhere, I think Fox News, saying the problem with the sequester is the cut is indiscriminate. It will be around 5 percent across the board.

    His whole point was the cut would be disastrous for some departments, but not others. In other words, it would be OK if the cuts were for some “wasteful” programs, but not the “essentials.”

    Really? Cutting the next increase in the federal budget by 5 percent will cause cataclysmic failures in governmental services?

    What a load of crap. I can’t think of a single federal program that would be crippled by sequester, including the Department of Defense.

    This whole drama is being ginned up by the left to make people think their only hope is government.

    Comment by Ag80 (b2c81f) — 2/22/2013 @ 11:23 pm

  19. I’m still waiting for a refund on my 2011 taxes which I filed on 10/15/12. They haven’t sent me a notice saying they found any discrepancies and when I check “Where’s My Refund” it says my return is still being processed. As far as I’m concerned, they’re hanging on to cash because of the debt ceiling. It’s already been reported that 2012 refunds are behind schedule.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 2/22/2013 @ 11:28 pm

  20. I’m a sell the last of my savings bonds this year for to pay 2012 taxes

    I love that

    it’s hard to articulate why I just get a kick out of it is all

    Comment by happyfeet (acd614) — 2/22/2013 @ 11:36 pm

  21. I was going to say something about how I bet these clowns won’t see sequestration cut a dime from their budget.

    EEOC goes to bat for drunken steelworkers; strikes out

    But Paul Mirengoff at Powerline beat me to it:

    Finally, the Court pointed to the practical difficulties (noted above) of detecting individualized signs of impairment in the setting of a steel plant in which employees wear masks and other heavy equipment. In this context, it’s worth pointing out again that the EEOC’s pre-suit investigation was so poor that, as the Court found, the EEOC didn’t bother to visit the plant in question before it filed suit. Your tax dollars at work — or in this instance, not.

    …If this suit is typical of the kinds of lawsuit the government brings — and in my 35 years of practicing law, it is not a complete outlier — then the sequester can’t come soon enough. Sadly, though, just as with “fraud, waste, and abuse,” governmental absurdity seems immune from cuts.

    What the GOP ought to do while the Obama administration is wailing about how disaster looms is monitor what the feds keep doing. And publicize it.

    While actively endangering national defense and public safety in their classic “shoot the hostage” negotiating technique they’ll keep doing the above kind of crap. Which, really is just another variation of their “shoot the hostage” impulse.

    They can’t help themselves.

    Comment by Steve57 (60a887) — 2/22/2013 @ 11:43 pm

  22. But you don’t understand, the DOT projected a 2013 budget of $74.2 billion and it is being cut $1 billion. That’s a real cut in government accounting. Never mind that their 2013 cut budget of $73.2 billion is $600 million more than the 2012 budget of $72.6 billion, their 2013 budget was cut.

    Never trust government accounting, it’s most likely a lie.

    Comment by Tanny O'Haley (4c5a96) — 2/22/2013 @ 11:59 pm

  23. 7. No, those are Oliver Willis’ cheeks.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/23/2013 @ 6:22 am

  24. Just like half of Obamaney care gets paid for with ‘cuts’ to Medicare, half the Sequester is lumped on the back of Medicare.

    Anyone seen where these cuts’ verification is documented? Is it just up to Sebelius’ discretion?

    I’ve got this nasty racist thought it’s all straight up B.’effin.S.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/23/2013 @ 6:29 am

  25. “Cut”, from my understanding is to only cut the additional spending. Kind of like cutting the end of a tree branch (or weed), but letting it continue to grow. It’s only a slowdown of the continued spending.

    Found this book, A TIME TO STAND by Oliver & it’s provocative so I recommend it. It’s about decent Americans taking a stand against federal tyranny & ends up the small, American town folks end up starting the 2nd American Revolution. It’s good & the sequel THE DIARY is even better so I recommend it for what’s happening nowadays.

    IF the spending cuts can go to the core of our government then we’ll see real reductions in spending, but this isn’t what all today’s news is about. It’s only a smoke screen & I am sure, from what they have said, 800,000 people will not/not lose their jobs. More scare tactics.

    Comment by OhioRiver (05a392) — 2/23/2013 @ 7:01 am

  26. I suggest the GOP stop talking about cuts but rather stand for a spending freeze! All of us out here have had to actually find real cuts in our budgets to cover the rising cost of living. Let us see how the Dems can possibly defend against freezing the massive federal budget. That would give us a true ‘cut’ without having to defend it. With the wars winding down and Obama’s ‘recovery’ going into its fourth year surely we can freeze spending! Make the Dems defend increasing the federal budget!

    Comment by TexasMom2012 (cee89f) — 2/23/2013 @ 7:23 am

  27. yes we were all warned
    but we were not prepared for
    ZOMBIE Sequester

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (eefb4b) — 2/23/2013 @ 7:32 am

  28. Obama is doing this sequester because he loves the country. Or something.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (431f3a) — 2/23/2013 @ 7:48 am

  29. On the other hand, I’m just trying to figure out exactly which country it is that Obama loves.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (431f3a) — 2/23/2013 @ 7:53 am

  30. 0bama’s self-love
    launched billion gag reflexes
    Preening Narcissist™

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (eefb4b) — 2/23/2013 @ 8:10 am

  31. Obama dances
    As permadusk settles on
    Ungrateful nation

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (ca65d0) — 2/23/2013 @ 9:25 am

  32. Well, if we have to have a “Baseline”, how about we use the FY-1989 Budget?
    Otherwise, we should revert back to the the parameters contained in the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 (and repeal the 1974 Budgeting Act).

    Comment by askeptic (2bb434) — 2/23/2013 @ 10:20 am

  33. No need to meditate when sheer panic is available;

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 2/23/2013 @ 10:46 am

  34. My sense is that people got pretty worn out with the “fiscal cliff” crisis meme and are therefore a little more skepical about (or perhaps bored with) the “sequestration” crisis meme. The Obama admin’s need to keep the citizenry bathed in a constant state of crisis adreneline may be reaching levels too much for even average lazy Americans to bear.

    BTW, does the next crisis meme have a name yet? Is there a list they keep somewhere like the hurricane name list?

    Comment by elissa (a55268) — 2/23/2013 @ 11:21 am

  35. next up is the debt ceiling one I think

    Comment by happyfeet (acd614) — 2/23/2013 @ 11:25 am

  36. Apocamalaise Redux

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (90ec41) — 2/23/2013 @ 11:29 am

  37. Ace has a good post up on the sequester:

    Federal Workers Have A Sad Over Furloughs.

    Unemployment has been around 8% (officially, it’s higher) for 4 years. While private sector workers lost their jobs the size of the federal civilian workforce has grown under Obama.

    Now that the pain (relatively slight) is hitting the bureaucrats, hold on a minute, now we have a crisis!

    …God only knows how America will survive without BLS economists and unemployment quality assurance workers on the job for a few less days a year. We all know it’s jobs like that which make America great.

    …The GOP shouldn’t be running away from sequester and blaming Obama, they should be apologizing to the American people that this is the best they can do.

    I wish someone would ask Obama why it’s OK for his administration to forge an “expert opinion” to justify a moratorium that puts productive Gulf oil industry workers to go on unemployment and food stamps, but not for former federal workers to do the same.

    Nancy Pelosi tells me that unemployment benefits are the best stimulus there is; isn’t it just as stimulative for ex-federal employees to be receiving those benefits, too?

    Comment by Steve57 (60a887) — 2/23/2013 @ 12:18 pm

  38. sequester scam makes

    winter of our discontent


    Comment by felipe (3243af) — 2/23/2013 @ 1:02 pm

  39. lapdog media
    no interest in Teh Truth
    so disconcerting

    Comment by Colonel Haiku (90ec41) — 2/23/2013 @ 1:53 pm

  40. Why is the GOP shouting “this is BS” from the rooftops, or at least going on comedy shows and talking about it?

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 2/23/2013 @ 2:22 pm

  41. Oops, why isn’t….

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 2/23/2013 @ 2:22 pm

  42. Why is the GOP shouting “this is BS” from the rooftops, or at least going on comedy shows and talking about it?

    Exactly. Hell, Boner penned an oped talking about how horrible it will be.

    They should go on every Sunday talker and quote from Woodwards book.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 2/23/2013 @ 3:20 pm

  43. JD, they ought to go on every show they can and laugh at Obama calling this the “meat cleaver” approach to cutting teh budget.

    And show how it’s more like the “toe nail clipper” approach to cutting spending increases.

    But, yeah, they should talk about Woodward’s book, too.

    Comment by Steve57 (60a887) — 2/23/2013 @ 4:11 pm

  44. Cut fed’ral spending?
    So hot! It is to die for!
    Love the sequester.

    Comment by The Haiku Avenger (af9ec3) — 2/23/2013 @ 4:16 pm

  45. 42, 43

    Exactly You Guys!

    Comment by Patricia (be0117) — 2/23/2013 @ 5:27 pm

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