What If Obama Threw A Sequestration Party and Nobody Came?

Federal Spending Without   With Sequester Cuts   Mercatus

Forgive me a random post in the middle of my self-imposed exile but after reading Squatch’s post about the unseriousness of our elite leaders, I couldn’t resist.

In the vein of the old philosophical question – if a tree falls in a forest and there is nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound? – the same goes for the “draconian” sequestration that will not actually cut anything. As Veronique de Rugy deduces from their own data, government spending continues to grow – with or without sequestration - the bureaucrats just don’t get to spend as much as they wanted to:

This week, Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow Veronique de Rugy uses data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to examine the estimated growth in spending without and with a potential Budget Control Act (BCA) sequester. As the chart and the accompanying data show, the purported spending “cuts” arising from the sequester are merely reductions in the overall growth of spending, not actual cuts that would address and relieve the United States’ debt problems.

A larger version of de Rugy’s chart is here.

The main reason that Obama and his cronies are yelling so loud is that as Rick Klein at ABC reports, his audience is already headed for the exits:

Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk. Delays await at airports. Padlocks are ready at national parks.

The nation will suffer greater risk of wildfires, workplace deaths, and even surprise weather events, if government predictions are to be believed. Our entire military readiness and superiority are at risk.

What if nobody cares?

President Obama sure does. He’s making the case, aggressively and comprehensively, that the automatic spending cuts set to go into effect at the end of the month will have a devastating impact, both on the economy and on essential government services.

“They will slow our economy. They will eliminate good jobs. They will leave many families who are already stretched to the limit scrambling to figure out what to do,” the president said Saturday in his weekly radio address.

But there are few signs to suggest the public is listening. A poll out late last week found that barely one in four Americans said they’d heard much about the automatic spending cuts — known unhelpfully for public-comprehension purposes as “sequestration” — and four in 10 said they were comfortable with the cuts going into effect.

Against the advice many of the pundits – neocon RINOs like Bill Kristol included – I think the Republicans should do nothing – at least nothing more than the two sequestration replacement bills that the House has already passed.

Why?

Because I think the worst fear of Obama and the Democrats is that the sequester goes into effect and none of the cataclysms that they are screaming about actually happens. You do have to wonder why our economy can withstand the roughly $85 billion in immediate tax increases that hit on January 1 but can’t take reductions in the rate of spending of about the same amount.

Of course, it can be expected that Obama will try to make this as painful as possible to support his cry for even more taxes but there is danger in that. He could be seen as inflicting unnecessary pain on the American public purely for political gain (and accurately so).

Let it burn.

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20 thoughts on “What If Obama Threw A Sequestration Party and Nobody Came?

  1. I agree with Utah, most private sector businesses can cut 2.5% so I KNOW the Feds can cut that much….and more. Let me take a look at that budget…oh, that’s right, there is no budget.

  2. There appears to be a bias here against poor people. Michael and I have exchanged many words on the subject, but I submit this for your consideration:

    Anyone looking at our debt numbers at http://www.usdebtclock.org, cannot ignore the estimated amount that will be required for unfunded liabilities. The amount is staggering, and is calculated using only three line items (Social Security, Medicare, and Prescription Drug Liability). There is some validity to the argument that these programs should not be considered “entitlements”, because we have all paid into them. However, the fact remains that the amount of benefit received, during a person’s retirement years, far exceeds the amounts paid in.

    If Social Security and Medicare were to be considered self-funded insurance plans, the money collected must be enough, when properly invested, to cover the projected liabilities. This is not the case, and both Democrats and Republicans know it.

    When the solution to this problem lies in the hands of Congress, and Congress is ensnarled in bitter partisan battles, we have little hope of resolving it. The people benefiting from these plans are reliable voters, so both parties must cater to them. The Democrats promise to continue benefits without any changes, with the knowledge continuing this course will bankrupt the country. The Republicans, continually reminds us of the destructive path we are on, but they do it in the limited context of the need to cut spending. To add insult to injury, they propose a fix exempting the very people at the heart of the crisis. Both parties pander to seniors (I am 58 years old) and continue kicking the can down the road. Don’t you think it is time for both parties to get on the same page?

    Besides Social Security and Medicare, Republicans like to emphasize the need to cut “welfare”. Their propaganda machine attempts to convince many that the majority of welfare recipients are deadbeats, or people who have other financial means but scam the system. I would suggest that it is quite the opposite.

    Our “safety net” programs are direct transfers to people who are less fortunate in various ways and need our help. From programs assisting the aged and disabled, to the unemployed and the working poor, I find very few conservatives who will admit that these are not admirable programs, but they tend to revert to the “welfare queen” stereotype. If only the bums would get a job, everything would be okay.

    Beyond that premise that welfare is a moral obligation, there is another good reason for continuing it. The costs of welfare programs reduce other costs which taxpayers bear. For example, if you are out of a job, and your kids are going to bed hungry, what would you do? The fact that welfare programs probably reduce property crimes to a great degree is never mentioned as part of the debate. I believe throwing people off welfare and unemployment willy-nilly, especially during a period of high unemployment is asking for an increase in crime.

    If most of us agree that some welfare programs are desirable, then we shouldn’t we shift the conversation to why more and more people are qualifying for benefits? Why don’t we address the root causes of our excessively high unemployment? Why don’t we address the problem of substandard wages? Why don’t we address the explosion of unwed mothers? When we face the facts that the scammers are few and the real need is great, perhaps the Republicans will end their divisive tactics.

    These are all big line items in the national budget, but when they are addressed independently, I believe they lose the important context of how our budget woes are exacerbated by a weak economy. You see, I believe the elephant in the room continues to be ignored.

    • “There appears to be a bias here against poor people”

      Open ended horse-manure. You clairvoyant as well? No one I have interacted here has a bias to poor people …. only those who intentionally make/keep themselves poor in an effort to avoid honest work for a honest dollar … manipulating the system.

      The truly disadvantaged get a lot of charity from myself, and others here. You need to read more threads in history, my friend.

    • I would agree if welfare was a program to help those who can’t help themselves – but it isn’t. Since the New Deal, “welfare” has been used as a tool of social engineering and political patronage. In the 30′s, welfare programs were a reaction to the poor, today the poor react to welfare programs – their behavior is modified by the availability of federal and state money.

      Welfare may not be the problem but the politics of welfare are.

      • “Welfare may not be the problem but the politics of welfare are.”

        I certainly agree with that statement. The Democrats promise to keep the benefits coming, while the Republicans demonize the poor. If they are truly just concerned with cheaters, IMO they failed miserably in disseminating their message. Neither party addresses how to reduce it.

        Better enforcement would surely reduce the dollars spent on welfare programs, but it may not be cost effective (cost more to enforce than saved from cutting off cheaters). I know, that is a bitter pill to swallow, but may actually be true.

        When 4% unemployment was considered “full employment” I considered the explanations for how that could be plausible (why full employment is never 0% unemployment). On at least a couple of occasions, articles in the business section of the News Herald stated “economists” now consider 6% unemployment “full employment”. I cannot accept that, nor the implications of such a statement.

        It’s been five year since the slide, and we still hover around 8%. Will this become the new level of “full employment”? I hope not.

        • Steve, I think you should very much like daddy’s post! It is awfully funny! Off on a tangent now, I know, but it is indeed your fault! Oh, the article! Aw, crap! Now I have to do the search thingy….well, well, well; it appears as if I’m not the RNL retard after all! Here we go: http://therionorteline.com/2013/02/06/the-clowns-are-running-the-country/

          Вы находитесь. Я сделал всю работу, из-за вашей некомпетентности! Существует причина, что я был шпионом, и вы не были! ~ Наташа

  3. LOL That’s a good one. Just makes what I was talking about even worse. If they can get enough people off the unemployment roles and stop having any hope finding another job, the official unemployment rate may get down to the target of 6%.

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