Jonathan Karl at ABC breaks the media code of silence:

Devastating Sequester Spending Cuts? Give Me a Break!

The Sky is Falling! Maybe, but it really shouldn’t be.

The Obama administration’s list of what will happen if upcoming spending cuts go into effect is downright terrifying. In recent days, officials have warned of more forest fires, workplace deaths and, heaven-forbid — chicken shortages.

And today the White House brought out Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to warn of big air travel delays across the country as air traffic controllers are forced off the job because of budget cuts.

LaHood even suggested that some smaller airports – he specifically mentioned the airport at golfing paradise Hilton Head, S.C. — might have to reduce hours of operation or even temporarily close. That should catch the eye of avid golfer and Speaker of the House John Boehner.

There’s no doubt that the automatic spending cuts set to go into effect on March 1 will cause some real pain and many economists believe they would hurt the economy. But all the dire warnings give the impression the cuts are much larger than they actually are.

Take today’s White House example: The Department of Transportation.

The Department of Transportation’s budget for 2013 is $74.2 billion. The automatic spending cuts would slice $1 billion out of its budget: that is a cut of less than 1.4 percent.

And consider this: even if the cuts go into effect, the Department of Transportation will spend more money this year ($73.2 billion) than it spent last year ($72.6 billion).

The administration is saying that the Department of Transportation cannot squeeze 1.4 percent of its budget without sending air traffic controllers home and that they cannot find a way to operate effectively this year with a budget that is actually larger than the budget they had last year.

That may be true, but it raises larger questions about the government’s ability to find relatively modest savings without cutting essential services.

Now if we can just get them to admit that the sequester was Obama’s idea in the first place.



About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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70 Responses to THE SKY IS(n’t) FALLING!

  1. myiq2xu says:

    Bob Woodward:

    Obama’s sequester deal-changer

    Misunderstanding, misstatements and all the classic contortions of partisan message management surround the sequester, the term for the $85 billion in ugly and largely irrational federal spending cuts set by law to begin Friday.

    What is the non-budget wonk to make of this? Who is responsible? What really happened?
    The finger-pointing began during the third presidential debate last fall, on Oct. 22, when President Obama blamed Congress. “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed,” Obama said. “It is something that Congress has proposed.”

    The White House chief of staff at the time, Jack Lew, who had been budget director during the negotiations that set up the sequester in 2011, backed up the president two days later.

    “There was an insistence on the part of Republicans in Congress for there to be some automatic trigger,” Lew said while campaigning in Florida. It “was very much rooted in the Republican congressional insistence that there be an automatic measure.”

    The president and Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.

    Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.

    Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid. A mandatory sequester was the only action-forcing mechanism they could devise. Nabors has said, “We didn’t actually think it would be that hard to convince them” — Reid and the Republicans — to adopt the sequester. “It really was the only thing we had. There was not a lot of other options left on the table.”

    Bob Woodward used to be a journalist back in the 70’s so I’m sure he knows what he’s talking about.

  2. HELENK says:

    of all the threats of the things that would happen if the sequester goes through like

    lead paint
    criminals going free
    less first responders
    airport delays
    less money for healthcare

    did anyone hear any mention of

    less pay for politicians
    fewer vacations for the backtrack family separately or together
    no money to ME countries that hate our guts

    I did not

    • Constance says:

      Very true, how dare Democrats threaten law abiding tax payers. They want our country as we knew it to fail.

  3. myiq2xu says:

    Bobo Brooks:

    The D.C. Dubstep

    On July 26, 2011, Jack Lew, then the White House budget director, went to Harry Reid’s office for a budget strategy session. According to Bob Woodward’s book, “The Price of Politics,” Lew told the Senate majority leader that they had come up with a trigger idea to force a budget deal.

    “What’s the idea?” Reid asked.

    “Sequestration,” Lew responded.

    Reid folded himself over with his head between his knees, as if he were going to throw up. Then he came upright and gaped at the ceiling. “A couple of weeks ago,” he exclaimed, “my staff said to me there is one more possible” enforcement method: sequestration. Reid said he had told his staff at the time, “Get the hell out of here. That’s insane. The White House surely will come up with a plan that will save the day. And you come to me with sequestration?”

    Sequestration may have seemed insane back then. But politicians in both parties are secretly discovering that they love sequestration now. It allows them to do the dance moves they enjoy the most.

    Democrats get to do the P.C. Shimmy. Traditional presidents go through a normal set of motions: They identify a problem. They come up with a proposal to address the problem. They try to convince the country that their proposal is the best approach.

    Under the Permanent Campaign Shimmy, the president identifies a problem. Then he declines to come up with a proposal to address the problem. Then he comes up with a vague-but-politically-convenient concept that doesn’t address the problem (let’s raise taxes on the rich). Then he goes around the country blasting the opposition for not having as politically popular a concept. Then he returns to Washington and congratulates himself for being the only serious and substantive person in town.

    Sequestration allows the White House to do this all over again. The president hasn’t actually come up with a proposal to avert sequestration, let alone one that is politically plausible.

  4. HELENK says:

    the latest threat : sequester is going to starve the pandas

  5. Lulu says:

    Dire results from a sequester are backfiring. Threats of long lines at airports have people saying they cannot afford to fly anywhere so what do they care. Releasing prison inmates who are too expensive to keep locked up at the same time the administration is running a anti-second amendment and self defense campaign is loony and counter-intuitive. If they threaten IRS furloughs during tax season there will be a national celebration. Let’s send all of the federal minders home for a couple of months and see who squeals first. It won’t be the general public but the vile progs will be confused without someone telling them every move to make or how they are supposed to avoid harming themselves. They are afraid of how well, not perfect but not bad, things will go without them and that scares the hell out of them as they need us more than we need them.

    • Erin says:

      Sadly, nothing new in this particular scandal. It’s a long standing issue in the Church hierarchy that periodically reoccurs. It won’t ever go away under the current paradigm for who qualifies to be a priest. Things that would diminish the odds of this kind of scandal repeating are not likely to adopted by the Church because it would change the rules for who can be a priest.

  6. myiq2xu says:

    New England braces for third snowstorm in three weekends

    If this warm weather keeps up I’m gonna have to mow the yard soon.

    • elliesmom says:

      It’s just a case of media hyperventilation. We’re fine. We’re actually behind in the number of snow days kids usually have by now because the storms have come on weekends. The number of inches expected has been dropping steadily all week. It’s going to be in the high 30’s, low 40’s all weekend and all next week. How much snow can survive that? But panicking people is good for ratings.

      • DeniseVB says:

        Our local weather people drive us crazy with their teasers that by the time they tease OMG!OMG!OMG! YOU’RE ALL GOING TO DIE! then tell us to tune in at 5, they could have given us the forecast ! Ratings!! Especially those school kids 😀

      • yttik says:

        Yesterday we had 50 mph wind, rain, snow, hail. Trees were down on the power lines and a branch hit my car and scared the crap out of me. When we needed the weatherman to provide a little warning, he was nowhere to be found. Well actually, he was busy reporting about snowmageddon and completely ignoring us.

        • Constance says:

          As usual, no one but the east coast has weather or natural disasters. As soon as enough people wake up and drop cable bundles these “national news/east coast channels are going to have a rude awakening. Seriously how would Eastcoast people feel if they had to subscribe to about 10 Seattle news channels in their mandatory bundle? Well that is how we all feel about out mandatory East coast basic bundle.

  7. driguana says:

    Where are all the townspeople with torches and pitchforks???

  8. piper says:

    A funny u-tube done by Capitol Steps on the health law called Take 10 Pills sang by the ever ‘delightful’ Nancy P.P.

  9. HELENK says:

    per joey gaffe : no ordinary American cares about their Constitutional rights. facebook questions are plants

    does anyone want to tell Joey that for over 200 years

    “Ordinary Americans” took an oath to uphold the Constitution” “Ordinary Americans” fought for the rights that the Constitution gave them.

    I do not know what happened to the democratic party but every day they make me ashamed that I ever voted democratic

  10. HELENK says:

    how long before meeeeschele adopts this and uses it for a all expense paid tour of our country???

  11. driguana says:

    aaaahhhh…troop and drone deployment to the West African country of Niger……home of the richest uranium deposits in the world…haven’t we been here before??,0,7202135.story?track=lat-email-topofthetimes

  12. HELENK says:

    dippy debbie spouts off again. should we all raise a Rubio water bottle to her

  13. DeniseVB says:

    Things that make you go hmmmmm?

    Just kids, or is the OFA taking advantage of kd “pranks” ? We know how they feel about Clint. 😛

    Doesn’t a 911 call bring up caller i.d./address/ and a gps map ? I mean, before you launch an all out war on someone’s private residence there should be some sort of confirmation?

  14. wmcb says:

    So Ted Cruz is a slavering maniac for pointing out that communists exist in academia. And that, in fact, there are more Marxists than Republicans in academia.


    Problem is, he is correct. Here is how they describe themselves:

    “As two professors explained in the Stanford Law Review in 1984: ‘A large segment of the [critical legal studies] membership forms part of the revisionist wing of Marxism. These members remain faithful to the central premises of Marx’s thought, especially to the view that the material conditions of life are the engine of social history. Their course is defined by the magnetic pull of Marxism.’”

    So, how is Cruz cray-cray? Or is the rule now that academia can spew any sort of garbage they want, be as Marxist as they want, but no one is ever allowed to point that out to the public, or disagree?

    If Cruz, or anyone, was demanding we shut down the free speech of communists, or throw them all in jail, I’d be right there on the front line saying STOP THAT SHIT. But he didn’t. He merely used his own free speech and pointed out that this trend exists, and that this trend is, in his opinion, a bad thing.

    • wmcb says:

      And BTW, this method is how the vile progs took over the Democratic Party. There were those who had very extreme views, and pushed them every chance they got. But they preferred to remain in the shadows. And anyone who pointed out that they were there was poo-pooed and called crazy for getting agitated over a few far left insignificant nothings who had no effect on the party as a whole.

      Until the fuckers took over, the coup was complete, and all the cockroaches came scurrying out of the shadows.

      You are free to have whatever political philosophy you’d like in this country. Got no problem with that. What you are NOT free to do is shut other people up from pointing out your dangerous philosophies as DANGEROUS. You are not free to remain safely in the shadows and have no one object or call you out.

      If more Dems had done that, perhaps the party of JFK would not now be the party of fucking Van Jones.

      • swanspirit says:

        This morning on Up Obamas Butt with Chris Hayes , while he was discussing whether ” the Republican party should exist ” he added that hispersonal views were ” far to the left of almost anyone else on the left “, so he has to be a communist or marxist himself , or the lefty equivalent .

        • wmcb says:

          I disagree with Hayes on almost everything, but I will give him props for being honest. In a weird way, I feel much the same about Van Jones. He is who he is, and is not hiding it. I think he’s batshit, but he’s not lying and calling himself a centrist Dem or anything.

          Political discourse is better in this country when all is out in the open, and we can have the debate. Let’s have the damn debate. But the extremists don’t want that. They want to hide in the corners and weasel their way to power over an ignorant public.

      • Constance says:

        I get how the Democrats turned against women and The People in general but when, why and how did the corporate media turn against women and The People? Corporate media should be concerned with making a profit by providing The People with what they want, instead they are concerned with attempts at brainwashing the stupid and of course they consider all of us stupid. I think the best way for real people to take back cultural power is to destroy the current media model (mandatory bundles of crap no one would pay for) and teach people how to cut the cable (but still get their same shows) to save themselves money but also to stop the brainwashing. Of course young kids especially young women don’t sign up for cable so it won’t be long until corporate media loses power anyway.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Sarah Palin gave Cruz a leg-up, so he must be destroyed !

  15. HELENK says:

    no money for Benghazi security, the sequester is going to kill this country but the state dept has money to spend $250,000 for a you tube channel for Afghanistan.
    priority a little screwed up maybe?

  16. swanspirit says:

    OT this is a must read

    His rationale speaks to the real cost issue associated with medical-malpractice litigation. It’s not as much about the verdicts or settlements (or considerable malpractice-insurance premiums) that hospitals and doctors pay as it is about what they do to avoid being sued. And some no doubt claim they are ordering more tests to avoid being sued when it is actually an excuse for hiking profits. The most practical malpractice-reform proposals would not limit awards for victims but would allow doctors to use what’s called a safe-harbor defense. Under safe harbor, a defendant doctor or hospital could argue that the care provided was within the bounds of what peers have established as reasonable under the circumstances. The typical plaintiff argument that doing something more, like a nuclear-imaging test, might have saved the patient would then be less likely to prevail.

    When Obamacare was being debated, Republicans pushed this kind of commonsense malpractice-tort reform. But the stranglehold that plaintiffs’ lawyers have traditionally had on Democrats prevailed, and neither a safe-harbor provision nor any other malpractice reform was included.

  17. myiq2xu says:

  18. myiq2xu says:


  19. HELENK says:

    obamacare and the 29ers. or how obamacare creates a permanent low income class

  20. HELENK says:

    at one time I would have said that this was unthinkable, now the way things are going in this country I am not so sure that it will not happen

  21. HELENK says:

    WOW who knew that backtrack was saving the planet with high unemployment

  22. HELENK says:

    movie being made about Benghazi by friends of the SEALS that were killed there

  23. HELENK says:

    from 2008 to 2012 real federal spending increased by $822.90 per person

  24. Somebody says:

    I’m probably wasting my time here, but here goes.

    As to the DOT sequestration and the closing of control towers/furloughs of ATC.

    This is my understanding and it’s based on information given to FAA employees. Apparently the way this bill is written $600 million of the proposed $1.2 billion cut to DOT will come from the FAA. (Apparently this is how the bill is written)

    Now as to the $600 million cut from the FAA again the bill specifies that certain things are exempt and therefore must come from operations. The air traffic operations budget is approximately 1/3 of the FAA budget and 90% of that 1/3 portion of the budget goes to salaries.

    So as you can see it amounts to much more than the touted 1.4% in your link above…….BECAUSE of how it is applied. My understanding is it is applied that way because that is how the law is written. It was purposely written this badly, the idea was that Congress nor POTUS would ever let these kinds of cuts to essential services go through.

    It’s not that the agencies couldn’t absorb the cuts, many of them could absorb far larger cuts. It’s that there is no flexibility in how those cuts are to be implemented. I don’t know who to point fingers at for how it’s set up……..was that part of it also Obama’s idea? What burden does Congress bear?? Who actually wrote this, didn’t anybody think it all through?? Why not at least act now to allow flexibility?

    The closing of control towers and the slow down of air traffic is not hysterics it is in fact a reality. The plans are in place.

    This is from a grunt worker peon level, but what I see is, this indeed is real and the above is the explanation for why it is the way it is.

  25. foxyladi14 says:

    Everyone should share this every where thank you Somebody. 🙂

  26. Somebody says:

    Sure you guys. Look I honestly don’t know where to point the finger. I understand that this whole sequestration idea originated in the WH. However does that mean the wording and/or implementation originated there? That I don’t know.

    I’m not familiar with the pentagon cuts, but my understanding is there are some similarities. The way this thing is written there is very little flexibility so that the cuts are concentrated in certain areas.

    We all know there is fat to be cut and I have to say I have precious little faith that the actual fat will be cut, but without more flexibility the odds are pretty much zero.

    • Somebody says:

      I’d also like to add, you know federal employees are taxpayers too. We’re concerned about the deficit and debt, maybe even a little more than some others since our livelihood is tied to this mess.

      I know the image many people have of a federal employee is that of the GSA bureaucrat in the hot tub; but that is far from the average federal employee I know. The few times we’ve ever been on government travel we’ve been nickel and dimed, absolutely no hot tubs! I’m pretty sure they nickel and dime the peons so that the fat cats get the hot tubs, but don’t quote me on that!

  27. driguana says:

    Let’s not just tax the rich, let’s tax the fat cats, too!!! Especially the Congressional fat cats!

    • Somebody says:

      Well I am mildly curious about the 3 million dollars to run a Senate office. Kudos to Rand Paul for returning $600,000 back to the treasury. I know it’s a bit of grandstanding on his part. But isn’t it possible that if he could save that amount, then perhaps other Senators could follow suit, lead, put their money where their mouth is so to speak???

      The fat cats I was referring to are government bureaucrats, LOL! However, I suppose Congresscritters qualify too, especially with all their insider trading. We should all be getting a cut of their insider trading because if not for us they wouldn’t be there! They can deposit our share directly into the US treasury.

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