Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Frenzy over sequester hits Capitol Hill

This from POLITICO:
The showdown over the sequester is at full force on Capitol Hill this week.

With former Vice President Dick Cheney set to arrive in Congress on Tuesday for a rare talk with House Republicans about looming cuts to the Pentagon, partisan sparring continued to escalate: Democrats repeated their hard line on the sequester and expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the rich as Republicans accused their counterparts of inviting another recession.

The House this week will vote on a defense spending bill as well as a plan ordering the Obama administration to say how it would go about implementing the $500 billion in defense cuts set to kick in on Jan. 2.
 Chart: From the National Review
It all adds up to a preview of the year-end battle royal expected to dominate Washington.
“You have found over the last several months, people have started to become more and more aware of what’s going on,” said Republican Rep. Randy Forbes, who represents a defense-heavy district in southeastern Virginia. “The unbelievable result of sequestration is starting to hit home to people and they’re starting to say, ‘My gosh, these guys can’t be serious about letting this happen.’”

The flurry of activity was triggered by a sequester deadline enacted into law almost a year ago to force Congress to reach a deficit-reduction deal. It was meant to force Congress to deal with its deficit problem — or else face $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts to defense and nondefense programs that neither party wants.

Now the reality of those cuts — and the inability of Capitol Hill to cut a deal to avoid them — is coming into focus.


Anonymous said...

I hate politicians but they just gave us what we asked for. We wanted our cake and eat it too and they were more than willing to accomdiate that. Now they can't sustain it and we want to complain about them not doing the job. Heck folks, these are the people we sent to office to make the decisions which we wanted made.

Just like our overweight population that wants a magic bill to make them look thin, muscular and sexy with no effort and limited expense of their part, it doesnt exists. Just like these folks we either have to cut our intact or increase our effort but probalby both. Diet and Exercise, Spending reductions and increases tax revenue.

Richard Day said...

Perhaps, but I'd argue that we didn't all want the partisan gridlock we've been getting from Washington lately.

I didn't want a debt ceiling standoff or the (anything but) Supercommittee which led to sequester. So much posturing.

I wish we hadn't conducted two wars and expand the pharmaceutical industry without paying for them. I wish they hadn't deregulated investment banking. I wish AIG had been required to maintain sufficient funds to actually be an insurance company. I wish investment schemes that could topple the entire economy had been illegal.

Be that as it may, and recognizing that debt reduction is important to our long-term prosperity, I wish the federal government had assisted homeowners (not just bankers) and stimulated the economy through public works so that we might regenerate a productive economy that was capable of reducing the deficit.

Folks have to have homes and jobs, or the our economic troubles will only continue. I fear that our weakened economy will only take that much longer to heal.

Remember, it's wasn't all that long ago that we ran a surplus.

You may be correct. The enemy may well be ourselves. But what has always saved us from ourselves in the past was an enlightened statesmanship that placed the needs of the nation above narrow interests.

Where are today's statesmen and women?

Anonymous said...

They don't exist anymore in the romanticized sense that we preceive they may have in the past. Backroom deals have been being cut between politicians in during the very construction of our country's birth.

I am not sure what the answer is anymore when those we have elected seem to be so heavily influenced by special interests and the toxic polarization of the parties who seem more focused on harming one another than working for the people who elected them. But as I mentioned above, I think that the politicians are not strictly to blame in that I see the same uncompromising, one sided views in many of our fellow citizens who often visit the ballot box the most and get the biggest exposure by our media.

As most of my posts indicate, I am no conspiratorialist but I do not trust our government to effectively serve us. And I agree with each of your examples above about the government run amuck when it comes to genuinely protecting the people who voted for them instead of those organizations who paid for their ability to be politicians.

At once I just selfishly hoped to put in my years and retire but even now I realize there is no guarantee of that anymore much less escape from the ever growing disconnect between our leaders and our people.