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by
Rick Moran

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October 20, 2013 - 2:05 pm

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew signaled the intention of the administration and Democrats to alter the automatic cuts in the budget known as the sequester that were agreed to by both sides in 2012.

CNNMoney:

“As independent economists and business leaders will tell you, these cuts have already slowed economic growth, just as the economy was getting traction,” he wrote. “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that by the third quarter of next year, sequestration will have reduced real gross domestic product by as much as 1.2 percent, which means as many as 1.6 million fewer American jobs.”

The blanket cuts are a product of the 2011 fiscal stalemate and subsequent failed attempts to produce an alternative. The sequester is widely disliked but took effect anyways, shaving spending from nearly every piece of the federal budget, except funds for mandatory programs like Social Security.

Even some Republicans who favor cutting government spending see the sequester cuts as too indiscriminate.

“The real problems are that we’re continuing to spend money that we don’t have on things that we don’t need,” Sen. Tom Coburn said Sunday on NBC.

“There’s tremendous amounts of waste and fraud. We have to protect the promises made to American people. And we can do that, but we can do that spending a whole lot less money than we’re doing today,” he continued.

The next scheduled round of cuts will be even deeper.

The debt ceiling deal Congress reached this month funded the government at current levels and put off a decision on the sequester until January 15.

But their track record of resolving these issues isn’t great.

Lew, however, said the U.S. remains a stable “backbone of the global financial system.”

The problem is one of perception. What the Democrats see as “indiscriminate” cuts, Republicans see as a down payment on future savings. Sure, the GOP would not object to tweaking cuts to some agencies and departments to make sure vital services are funded — as long as they’re offset by cuts elsewhere. But the whole point of the sequester was that Democrats refused to cut just about anything except the military and wanted to raise taxes on the “rich” again. They will use the exact same strategy this time as well.

Democrats sent a clear signal by naming avowed socialist Bernie Sanders to the special budget committee. It means they will be extremely inflexible on entitlement reform. This doesn’t bode well for the fate of negotiations as the Republicans should make reform of Medicare and Social Security their number one priority.

In the end, it probably won’t matter. The atmosphere in DC is as toxic as it’s ever been and neither side seems willing to come down from the mountain to negotiate in any meaningful way. So we will get 4 months of chest thumping and posturing from both sides until the deadline looms again and another exercise in can kicking occurs.

You would think they’d grow tired of playing the same games.

Rick Moran is PJ Media's Chicago editor and Blog editor at The American Thinker. He is also host of the"RINO Hour of Power" on Blog Talk Radio. His own blog is Right Wing Nut House.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Goal number one for Commander Zero is to crush the GOP. Goal number two is to win the House elections in 2014. Goal number three is to enshrine his policies as the bedrock of the Democratic Party for the next generation. He will do absolutely anything to accomplish those goals. Expect more war, not less.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"You would think they’d grow tired of playing the same games."
Why? They all live fat and retire rich. If the House Republicans really wanted to change things they would be constantly passing bills taking money away from things that are not popular and giving to things that are. When the Senate ignores it raise a stink. Off the top of my head example: some department is caught wasting money on lavish conferences? Pass a bill reducing their funding and raise funding for wounded veterans by the same amount. There's got to be a thousand ways they could be raising hell. Sort of a Robin Hood strategy.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Republican leadership keeps folding. Why shouldn't the Dems expect them to fold on this?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (17)
All Comments   (17)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
A variation of an oldie-but goodie...

A son named GOP comes home from a party and tells his dad that he just had sex. The proud dad asks, "how was it?"

"Great! Except my ass really hurts."
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"You would think they'd grow tired of playing the same games."

Except, the only game they are playing is King of the Mountain, and they will do whatever it takes to make sure that they stay in that lofty position -
and can kicking is one of the things they do best.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Note to Tom Coburn, and the other members of the "Waste-Fraud-Abuse Chorus":
The only way to cut WFA by 50% (or any other number) is to cut government spending by by that same amount!
WFA is integral with the conduct of government.
Facts are sometimes so inconvenient.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the republicans blow the sequester it's time to lock and load.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree. I can sort of understand caving on obamacare, but if the repubs cave on the sequester or taxes, it will be time to bail on them and go 3rd party.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
To ask is to answer.

It will be much harder for the press to spin this like the shutdown, so McConnell will probably just have to be given a bridge, not a dam.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Goal number one for Commander Zero is to crush the GOP. Goal number two is to win the House elections in 2014. Goal number three is to enshrine his policies as the bedrock of the Democratic Party for the next generation. He will do absolutely anything to accomplish those goals. Expect more war, not less.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"You would think they’d grow tired of playing the same games."
Why? They all live fat and retire rich. If the House Republicans really wanted to change things they would be constantly passing bills taking money away from things that are not popular and giving to things that are. When the Senate ignores it raise a stink. Off the top of my head example: some department is caught wasting money on lavish conferences? Pass a bill reducing their funding and raise funding for wounded veterans by the same amount. There's got to be a thousand ways they could be raising hell. Sort of a Robin Hood strategy.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Great post...however, honestly, after this recent "well, we fought and lost" debacle, I'm not sure the GOP is a) united enough to do this, or b) strong enough to do this...and that's disappointing to me
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
You left out smart enough as well.

We so need a new party.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, since the Republicans as much as handed the Dems a no-upper-limit- debt-ceiling hike, why are they worried about sequester? They can just go ahead and 'borrow' more money to cover what they're not getting now.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are two parts to the spending limit. First is the debt limit; the second is the budget. The "shutdown" was from the non-existent "budget", or rather, a series of a dozen or so "continuing resolutions".

ANY organization can do just fine on 99% of what they got last year, so I recommend a budget that's 99% of the "sequester" numbers - and the next budget 99% of THAT. We need to bend the spending curve down a bit.

Of course, I'd recommend a 50% cut to the National Park Service, after their insanely spiteful "Barry-cade" stunts. I would, further, legislate that in the next shutdown, they have to lock the doors and GO HOME.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
At the very least, Congress should pass a law prohibiting the NPS from closing private/contractor facilities operating on NPS owned but not controlled land. Examples would be Colvin Run Mill Park in Fairfax, VA, and the Cliff Restaurant in San Francisco, plus the stupid stuff like parking lots at Mount Vernon and along the George Washington Parkway and at Mt. Rushmore.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Republican leadership keeps folding. Why shouldn't the Dems expect them to fold on this?
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Stupid Party seems to go out of its way to alienate their base, grassroots supporters every chance they get. They don't realize we're getting tired of this BS. When they co-opted Rubio, and made him their "face" for Amnesty--oh, I'm sorry, "Immigration Reform," they lost me and more than a few of my friends forever.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
The GOP is running scared right now, led by spineless RINO's like McCain and company...and they are deathly frightened of the MSM and their violent rhetoric blathering support for King O...
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The GOP is running scared right now"

Not sure you even need to include "right now". Running scared of the press seems to be their default setting.
49 weeks ago
49 weeks ago Link To Comment
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