Sequester Of Doom?

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Dan Pfeiffer at the White House blog:

Solving the Sequester: The Facts

With less than three weeks before devastating, across the board cuts – the so-called “sequester” – are slated to hit, affecting our national security, job creation and economic growth, we must make sure we are having a debate over how to deal with these looming deadlines that is based on facts- not myths being spread by some Congressional Republicans who would rather see these cuts hit than ask the wealthiest and big corporations to pay a little bit more.


So we’re looking at “devastating” cuts, eh? I’ve also heard them called “cataclysmic” and “draconian.

Here’s the straight skinny:

The Sequester Explained

The Budget
Control Act (BCA) requires a cut of over $1 trillion in spending through a sequester. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is given authority to carry out the sequester. We do not yet know OMB’s interpretation of the Act, but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assumes that the sequester is intended to makecuts to discretionary appropriations and mandatory spending that add up to $1.2 trillion (less assumed debt service savings) over nine years, beginning in 2013.

[...]

Real level of program cuts is $984 billion. This is because $216 billion of the $1.2 trillion will come from assumed interest savings.

• Cuts are evenly divided between each of the nine sequester years. Therefore,each year, OMB must sequester $109 billion from projected spending.

• Annual cuts are split evenly between the non-­‐exempt portions of defense(function 050) and non-defense spending – an approximate cut of $55 billion to each. Cuts are spread among discretionary and non-­exempt mandatory spending. Defense and non-defense discretionary spending will be cut to lowest levels as a percentage of the economy in the modern era.

• Most mandatory spending is exempt from the sequester, including: Social Security, retirement programs, veteran’s benefits, refundable tax credits, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), unemployment insurance, food stamps (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and a host of other programs (mostly those benefitting individuals with low incomes).


$109 billion a year in cuts? ZOMG! That’s like losing 200 Solyndras or 2 Sandy aid bills!

Actually, since the federal government spends approximately $3.6 TRILLION dollars a year, $109 billion is like 3% of the federal budget (according to my feeble math skills.) As a matter of fact, it’s less than 10% of the annual deficit.

IOW – if the sequester does kick in, we’ll just be going into debt a little slower.

BTW – Sequestration was originally Obama’s idea.


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85 Responses to Sequester Of Doom?

  1. myiq2xu says:

    Holy Shit!

  2. myiq2xu says:

    Report: Dorner ‘Preoccupied’ with Race, Saw LAPD as Racist

    Christopher Dorner, the former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer who is on the loose after murdering a Riverside police officer and two others, saw the LAPD as a racist organization and was “preoccupied” with race.

    According to LAPD internal documents, police officer Theresa Evans, whom Dorner accused of kicking a mentally-handicapped suspect in the face during an arrest in 2007, said Dorner told her he felt the LAPD was a racist organization and he was planning on suing the Department at the end of his probation and was building a house in Las Vegas.

    Evans, in the report, claims Dorner told her on the first day they worked together, “about a personnel complaint that he initiated against some of his classmates in the academy,” and “Dorner made it clear that he was unhappy with the adjudication of the complaint and he felt the LAPD was a racist organization.”

  3. Had to laugh at this one- hazardous waste by products of solar

    http://news.yahoo.com/solar-industry-grapples-hazardous-wastes-184714679.html

    While solar is a far less polluting energy source than coal or natural gas, many panel makers are nevertheless grappling with a hazardous waste problem. Fueled partly by billions in government incentives, the industry is creating millions of solar panels each year and, in the process, millions of pounds of polluted sludge and contaminated water.
    To dispose of the material, the companies must transport it by truck or rail far from their own plants to waste facilities hundreds and, in some cases, thousands of miles away.
    The fossil fuels used to transport that waste, experts say, is not typically considered in calculating solar’s carbon footprint, giving scientists and consumers who use the measurement to gauge a product’s impact on global warming the impression that solar is cleaner than it is.

  4. Somebody says:

    It is approximately 3% of the budget, but it’s coming out of a much smaller portion of the overall budget. I went looking for graphs or pie charts or something to show that and there are so many different versions it will make your head spin. Basically from what I can see general discretionary government budget where half the cuts will come from is about 1% of the total budget. FYI that’s down from years past because typically general discretionary in the past has always been between 2% and 3% of the total budget. Some portions are directly funded so the actual total is around 4% That sliver of the budget is what funds most agencies or what most people think of as the federal government. I presume the percentage of the total budget has gone down because we’re spending so much more.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=federal+budget+pie+chart&hl=en&client=ubuntu&tbo=u&channel=fs&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=ovwYUYeJDYf88QTIuoCwBA&sqi=2&ved=0CE0QsAQ&

    The other half of the cuts will come out of defense, but only out of the discretionary part of the defense budget. I’m not sure what portion of the DOD budget is considered discretionary because every click gives me a different answer.

    The point being is that the cuts will have more impact than 3% spread across the entire budget, but again most of the “cuts” are actually cuts in growth rates. As I said last night there are plenty of ways for agencies to absorb the “cuts”, but they won’t absorb them in a reasonable manner.

    • Somebody says:

      Oh man that link sucks, sorry. I went through all those stupid pie charts and found one that had things broken down completely showing, social security, interest on debt, blah, blah. Because many of them just have vague categories…….but it seems my link shows you ALL the pie charts……..hanging my head in shame, sorry.

  5. votermom says:

    • Blessyourheart says:

      Equality for gays and lesbians is not a “pet agenda” you moronic, bigoted piece of shit. Fuck off and die, and take your nazi, genocidal pope with you.

      • piper says:

        did you forget to take your meds again

      • votermom says:

        I love having fans. :roll:

        • lyn5 says:

          I thought Thomas Barrow was the nasty one.

        • yttik says:

          Nobody ever sees the irony in claiming to promote peace, tolerance, and equality with words like, f-off and die you nazi!

        • votermom says:

          Tom’s becoming a sympathetic character lately; O’Brien has totally been stealing the show as the evil genius lately.
          (Edit I haven’t seen last night’s ep yet – no spoilers!)

        • lyn5 says:

          Last night’s episode sealed the deal for Tom as a sympathetic character. I have mixed feelings about that. I started on Wednesday and watched all the episodes up to last night’s show, which was good.

        • votermom says:

          Seriously though – at least you have a chance when you buy a lotto ticket.
          People who think they can browbeat, scream, and guilt-trip the Church into change have not been paying attention to the last 2000 years. Those are not the levers the Church responds to. The would be better off taking a page from Martin Luther’s bible.

        • indigogrrl1 says:

          FTR ~ Im gay but…
          I was disappointed in Downton Abbey last night. It strains credulity to imagine that the very same Lord Grantham who is furious over a daughter writing for a newspaper, views the drop of a fork as a shame upon the household, and won’t let the women of Downton visit Matthew’s mother because of the cook’s past indiscretions would not only overlook what Thomas did, but defend him with “he can’t help himself” and then participate in a cover up when the police arrive. The whole episode was tainted with a too modern sensibility. I’m just not buying it. That would not have happened in the real world.

        • swanspirit says:

          Avoiding scandal at all costs by keeping the police out of any Downton affair is well within the purview of the ” Lord of the Manor ” I think .

        • indigogrrl1 says:

          yeah maybe that…but the whole “he can’t help it” stuff. carson’s reaction was closer.

        • Constance says:

          And you haven’t truly lived until you’ve had a Nemesis!

      • elliesmom says:

        Don’t you just hate it when you put a pair of shoes on and they hurt?

  6. votermom says:

  7. votermom says:

    One very interesting aspect of Pope Benedict’s resignation is that he is in a unique position to influence who gets picked next by the Conclave. In fact who’s to say he hasn’t already?

  8. myiq2xu says:

  9. myiq2xu says:

  10. yttik says:

    I bet the President is all annoyed that the Pope news is going to be distracting from his SOTU address.

    As to budget cuts, I don’t know what’s wrong with our government. One of our elected morons was talking about how we must invest in infrastructure and education or the economy is going to collapse. I’m like, yeah, that’s why all these companies have moved overseas, because of the infrastructure and education systems in….Mexico, India, and China.

    • Somebody says:

      Haha, good one!

      I do see the point in improving or maintaining our infrastructure for commerce as well as the general public. What I take issue with are stupid projects like bridges to nowhere or state of the art airports somewhere in BFE.

      Education, well that’s really an entire thread all of its own. IMO things are not as black and white as the R’s or the D’s would like everyone to believe. Both sides have some valid points and both sides ignore many factors that play into the national and international statistics. Like anything else it’s all politics.

      • yttik says:

        I’m all for education, but we have thousands of colleges grads who can’t find a job.

        I’m all for bridges too, even bridges to nowhere, LOL! “Nowhere” of course, was the airport in Ketchikan, my old stomping grounds. You actually have to take a boat to the third largest airport in Alaska, which is just crazy because it’s such a short distance and a bridge would be so much more logical. Also in an emergency, a plane crash or something, you have to wait for reinforcements to come across the water. Hey, we’ll get you to the ER…in about an hour and a half.

  11. DeniseVB says:

    Michelle is stacking her SOTU box with the parents of the slain Chicago girl and people like you and me !

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/la-pn-hadiya-pendleton-state-of-the-union-20130211,0,2767526.story

    • yttik says:

      Of course, NOT any of the parents opposed to excessive gun control.

      I saw a facebook today that said, “gun control is like trying to stop drunk driving by going after sober drivers.”

      • yttik says:

        Oh, the Tea Party just sent out a better one!

        “Gun control is like trying to reduce drunk driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.”

  12. SHV says:

    “$109 billion a year in cuts? ZOMG! ..”
    *********
    That is pissing in the wind compared to the trillions of dollars (>&16) of free money that Obama has given to the bank/financial industry. In Sept. the US treasury began buying $45 billion of Mortgage Based Securities (MBS) per month at face value. These MSBs are likely worthless.

    • HONK! Bartender, I’d like to buy a round of FREE MONEY! Back door bailout, leaving the homeowners themselves out in the cold. AGAIN.

      • SHV says:

        It’s really another example of how the Obama administration is using “Red Queen” economics to keep our very sick economy barely afloat. Forget intermediate and long term consequences; just keep pushing money faster and faster into the financial industry to delay the collapse. The rational is to keep our God Emperor from looking like the fool that he really is.

    • foxyladi14 says:

      Amen Amen Amen!!!!!!

  13. DeniseVB says:

    LOL, the GOP put out a refresher on previous Obama SOTU’s ….

  14. votermom says:

    Ouch!

  15. I can’t get past the first quoted line. The grammar is atrocious and the sentence structure is completely butchered. I mean, FFS, how hard is to find someone with decent writing skills?

    • yttik says:

      They actually demand poor writing skills in public school these days. Seriously, I corrupted my child by teaching her how to write a paper full of nonsense that would get an A. It was all about sustainability, methodology, and continuous sequences. Just one big run on sentence of fancy and meaningless words, not unlike a presidential speech.

      • elliesmom says:

        Standard public school essay – Four paragraphs of four or five sentences each. Topic sentence, two or three descriptive sentences, and a “clincher”. Must use “continuity words” like “then”, “first of all”, and “lastly” to connect paragraphs and sentences to each other. They have professional training for teachers in all subjects to teach “writing across the curriculum”, and give out big posters to hang in your classroom to remind the kids how they should be writing. Said posters must be taken down during standardized testing. Students are graded on paragraph and sentence structure, spelling and grammar. They can use a dictionary during the test. Vocabulary words must be appropriate but do not have to be “difficult” words. No grade given for content or veracity of statements made. I got paid to grade these things. I had a checklist of things to look for. Count up the checks and you get the grade. Sad.

        • Constance says:

          I was impressed with how my kids Catholic school taught them to write. First they trained parent volunteers (who are we kidding, they trained Moms) then they had the kids write and turn in the papers. They didn’t get a grade but a list of suggestions. The kids made the improvements and turned it in again and got another list of suggestions. Then they traded papers with 5 other kids and made suggestions on the other kids work. Finally weeks later they got a grade but it was mostly for progress. My husband writes like an Engineer, I am a disorganized writer and not a linear thinker but both of my kids were turned into very good writers. I know they didn’t learn it at home.

    • catarina says:

      Ayup, that’s my ‘temp’ Senator.
      Between him and Lie-awatha, we here in Ma are in good hands…NOT

      • elliesmom says:

        I’m actually surprised Devil Patrick isn’t running for the senate seat himself. Unless Obama gives him a cabinet post, his career is sort of stymied. He’s not term limited, but he says he’s not running for another term as governor.

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