March 1, 2013

"The Sequester Is Not Too Big, It Is Too Stupid."

Headline that sums it up pretty well.

29 comments:

Bob Ellison said...

The author fails to recognize the argument: "The division of the cuts is just as dumb. Mandatory programs represent 57 percent of all federal spending—and will absorb far more over the long run–yet only about 16 percent of the sequester will come from payments to Medicare providers and a small amount of other mandatory spending (Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare benefits are entirely exempt from the sequester)."

Most people think Medicare, SS, and other entitlements are non-rescindable. Truly uncuttable. I promised my son a weekly allowance; how can I take it back?

Entitlement pay-outs are like a stone wall in government spending. Only a revolutionary attack can break through that wall.

bagoh20 said...

If you go and spend so much of your income that you have no choice but to cut back to stay solvent, then calling the decision to cut back stupid is a little off-target. You can do it stupidly, but if the alternative is to not cut back because you know you have no self-control, then it's not a matter of smart or dumb.

Like an addict that goes cold turkey knowing full well that they will suffer withdrawal sickness is not really making a stupid decision. That's simply what you are left with by the earlier ones.

Mitchell the Bat said...

Didn't the rhetoric used to involve a meat axe?

Chip S. said...

The sequester isn't nearly as stupid as that article.

Why, exactly, can't we start cutting discretionary spending before we've reformed entitlements?

The tightly focused process of smartly targeted cuts is called budgeting. Since the Dems don't want a budget, "mindless" cuts are what's available.

MisterBuddwing said...

Most people think Medicare, SS, and other entitlements are non-rescindable.

Social Security is an entitlement? Who knew?

cubanbob said...

When they cut all conference spending and executive jet travel and other perks then I will believe that real cuts are coming. Frankly if this little melodrama give the republicans the stones to simply shut down the government next month and shut it down indefinitely then its well worth the effort.

cubanbob said...

MisterBuddwing said...
Most people think Medicare, SS, and other entitlements are non-rescindable.

Social Security is an entitlement? Who knew?

3/1/13, 8:58 AM

The SCOTUS ruled on this 50 years ago in Nestor. This is why S.S needs to be privatized.

bagoh20 said...

I thought it was obvious before this, but it's abundantly clear now that any cut whatsoever, even if not really a cut will be criticized in a varieties of ways to simply avoid the cutting. This is really the overarching problem of government. Not how much it must occasionally spend to alleviate problem, but that the spending never ends even when the problem does. Other than wars, what other problem has government ever solved where the spending for it ended. Maybe they don't really solve problems.

BarrySanders20 said...

Another verb turned into a noun.

se·ques·ter/sɪˈkwɛstər/ verb (used with object)
1. to remove or withdraw into solitude or retirement; seclude.
2. to remove or separate.
3. Law. to remove (property) temporarily from the possession of the owner; seize and hold, as the property and income of a debtor, until legal claims are satisfied.

Take no solace that this represents anything but theater. That last definition shows that this is only temporary and that possession of borrowed funds will soon return to the desired payees.

Bob Ellison said...

MisterBuddwing, are you under the misapprehension that Social Security is a retirement savings plan?

ricpic said...

Obama's the sky is falling routine is designed specifically so that when the moment of truth comes and the Republicans have to hang tough on GENUINE cuts they'll be cowed in anticipation of even more strident end of the world rhetoric, backed up of course by his lapdog media.

MisterBuddwing said...

MisterBuddwing, are you under the misapprehension that Social Security is a retirement savings plan?

I'm painfully aware of the disconnect between theory and reality, but is there really no difference between Medicare and Social Security? None?

edutcher said...

In the end, this a major media organ calling Little Zero stupid.

That works.

dreams said...

"Social Security is an entitlement? Who knew?"

Everyone I know feels like they're entitled to their social security checks and that includes conservatives who vote Republican. They feel entitled because as they say they paid their social security taxes.

Tim said...

"The Sequester Is Not Too Big, It Is Too Stupid."

Indeed so.

But, all things considered, it really is better than we can expect, no?

edutcher said...

dreams said...

Social Security is an entitlement? Who knew?

Everyone I know feels like they're entitled to their social security checks and that includes conservatives who vote Republican. They feel entitled because as they say they paid their social security taxes.


That's just the excuse.

Anybody who's been paying attention knows the money that was confiscated in the name of Social Security was spent long ago.

Writ Small said...

Message from government: We are so incompetent at cutting spending, taxpayers must dig deep and keep sending money. Sounds fine. Let me get my checkbook.

Original Mike said...

How can anybody be freaked out about this crummy sequester?

Seeing Red said...

Pubbies were willing to hand the power to Barry & the dems to make the cuts, the Dems declined.

Seeing Red said...

Via Insty - Uncle Sugar found $60 million, tho.

SMART DIPLOMACY: Irked lawmakers say Kerry left them in the dark on Syria aid. “The leaders of the panels that cover foreign policy told The Hill they weren’t briefed ahead of Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement Thursday that America would be sending $60 million worth of food and medicine directly to the rebels battling Syrian President Bashar Assad.”

Seeing Red said...

Maybe they could have cut that shrimp treadmill research?

Seeing Red said...

Via Insty:

First, MSNBC asks this question;

Now, as you may know, because Congress could not agree on how to reduce the federal deficit, starting next month there will be automatic cuts from the federal budget of six hundred billion dollars from the military budget and an equal total of six hundred billion dollars in cuts from non-military government programs and services. Several programs and services are exempt, such as Social Security, but for all other non-exempt programs the cuts are across-the-board so that agencies are not able to choose how much to cut from specific programs. Do you think this set of automatic spending cuts in the military and non-military programs are a good idea, a bad idea, or do you not know enough about this issue to have an opinion at this time?

-----------


Love the phrasing. $600 billion each from Defense & Discretionary.

Larry J said...

When they let the Bush era tax cuts and the payroll tax cuts expire, they said that all of us could afford to live on less income than we had last year. The federal budget is still larger than last year, only it isn't growing quite as much as they'd like (about 2%). And for this, they're claiming the end of the world as we know it? Bullshit.

ErnieG said...

The administration's hysterical reaction to the cutbacks reminds me of this scene in Ghostbusters:

Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor: What do you mean, "biblical"?
Dr Ray Stantz: What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Exactly.
Dr Ray Stantz: Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes...
Winston Zeddemore: The dead rising from the grave!
Dr. Peter Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Lyle said...

Government is government. You cut it anyway you can these days.

We have a partisan President and he is not interested in being a good administrator.

Bob said...

We are a train wreck. Time for some field expedient measures. Sure we'd like to get you to a nice warm sterile operating room but you'll bleed out. So instead we'll use the tools at hand and start to staunch the bleeding. I you had given me a scalpal I would use it. Instead the only tool available is an axe. So it will have to do.

FleetUSA said...

Since the market is modestly up, it is obvious that the market thinks all of Choom's blovating is just that.

Choom seems to be interested in only governing for his small part of the country and not for all Americans.

Sam L. said...

Need to send in someone with a chainsaw to back up the guy with the meat-ax...but there is no guy with a meat-ax, it's an X-Acto knife with a 1/16" blade.

Nathan Alexander said...

The United States political sphere has become like revolutionary China.

It doesn't matter what the truth is. The ruling party isn't interested in the truth.

It is interested only in marginalizing conservatives while keeping low-information citizens in the dark so it can do what it wants.

The news media and approximately 30% of the population is doing all they can to help Obama's administration achieve this goal.

They are succeeding in creating a temporary manufactured reality. I think the hope is that if they keep it going long enough, it will become an actual reality. If they pretend the economy is getting better, somehow consumer confidence will return and the economy will recover.

As such, they can say all sorts of mutually-contradictory beliefs, and not see the conflict.

Just watching MSNBC for 15 minutes, or CNN for 30 minutes, I begin to believe that the entire US has gone fricking nuts.

I have to remind myself it is just the propaganda machine.

But then I remember that there are millions (approximately 60 million? 80 million? 90 million?) who are unable to discern the difference between propaganda and reality.

I'm worried this is not going to end well.

I'm worried that the reason for this madness is the urban-based liberal elite is truly trying to effect a "Hunger Games" society, where the entire nation labors for their convenience and preferences.