The sequester, who's fault is it, and what longterm impacts will it have.

As some if not all of you know, as of yesterday, Friday March 1st 2013, massive cuts were made to almost every single part of the United States government with the exception of Medicare and welfare programs such as food stamps.

For those who don't know what the sequester is, here is how the offical OMB (Office of Management and Budget) report describes the sequester.

"In August 2011, bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate voted for the threat of sequestration as a mechanism to force Congress to act on further deficit reduction. The specter of harmful across-the-board cuts to defense and nondefense programs was intended to drive both sides to compromise."

Offical OMB report
Guardian artical
NPR article about GOP and Democratic response to the Sequester
Mother Jones article explaining what exactly the sequester is

So, what do you think will be the long term impacts of the sequester, and who is to blame?

I personally think that the long term effects will pretty bad. It will have an effect on almost everyone in the US, and with less federal spending on projects in various states, as well as decreased budgets for federal employees (many will be either fired, suspended without pay, or be forced to take one day off a week, thus cutting 20% of their pay), we very well could see a second recession if a significant portion of the population has to start making even deeper cuts to their family budgets.

Both sides are to blame for this mess, though I will say that it seems like the Democrats were trying a lot harder to avoid this than the Republicans, who were stonewalling to the end. Ultimetly, I think that people will blame the Republicans for this. The Democrats and the White House have been very agressive in going after Republicans for their tactics. This could have the forseen consequence of really hurting the Republican party and perhaps causing a major rift considering part of the party is the classic "rah rah military spending" crowd, and the other half are more the "all taxes are evil and the government is evil" crowd.

It went "over the edge of the fiscal cliff" the last time too. Yet, absent the sensationalism and hysteria blown up by the media and various politicians, the cliff was actually a very slow slope, and things were (temporarily) rectified shortly after.

I doubt there's anything in the law which stop the cuts from being reversed after they've taken effect. If so, then it'll presumably be rectified once a negative impact is on the horizon for a majority of the voter groups for both parties. Of course, expecting American politicians to reach a compromise seems rather like expected retards to attain Ph.D. degrees, but necessity is the mother of invention. The top republicans do seem to have moved ever so slowly away from the tea party line, and this'll provide an excellent platform to further do so.

GrimTuesday:

Both sides are to blame for this mess, though I will say that it seems like the Democrats were trying a lot harder to avoid this than the Republicans, who were stonewalling to the end. Ultimetly, I think that people will blame the Republicans for this. The Democrats and the White House have been very agressive in going after Republicans for their tactics. This could have the forseen consequence of really hurting the Republican party and perhaps causing a major rift considering part of the party is the classic "rah rah military spending" crowd, and the other half are more the "all taxes are evil and the government is evil" crowd.

Actually it's neither crowd. It's the "not do anything Obama wants" crowd that we should worry about. This has been a constant since Obama first took office - the Republicans lost so they've done everything in their power to prevent any progressive bill from passing simply because they can. New Secretary of Defense? Filibuster! Closing tax loopholes? Vote down! It can be an idea that comes right out of their mouths but if Obama likes it, the idea of support becomes toxic. Fox is calling for impeachment every other day. Why can't we do the same for the House?

Remus:

GrimTuesday:

Both sides are to blame for this mess, though I will say that it seems like the Democrats were trying a lot harder to avoid this than the Republicans, who were stonewalling to the end. Ultimetly, I think that people will blame the Republicans for this. The Democrats and the White House have been very agressive in going after Republicans for their tactics. This could have the forseen consequence of really hurting the Republican party and perhaps causing a major rift considering part of the party is the classic "rah rah military spending" crowd, and the other half are more the "all taxes are evil and the government is evil" crowd.

Actually it's neither crowd. It's the "not do anything Obama wants" crowd that we should worry about. This has been a constant since Obama first took office - the Republicans lost so they've done everything in their power to prevent any progressive bill from passing simply because they can. New Secretary of Defense? Filibuster! Closing tax loopholes? Vote down! It can be an idea that comes right out of their mouths but if Obama likes it, the idea of support becomes toxic. Fox is calling for impeachment every other day. Why can't we do the same for the House?

Those were the the two groups between whom I think there could be rift between, thus splitting the party. What you said is true to a certain extent, but I think that we have to remember that this is an entirely manufactured crisis that never had to happen. The Democrats could have prevented this shit by not letting it start.

captcha: it hurts

yes captcha, the stupidity behind this whole debacle does hurt.

Well republicans are at fault, if they hadn't decided to play chicken with the US economy we wouldn't have needed sequestration in the first place.

Overall effect 700,000 lost jobs in two years. A reduction in GDP growth, possibly a lot less inspections by the FDA, ATF, and fewer people to work cases in the FBI. The military will rebound, I assume DHS will put their cuts towards something that won't risk national security if they can. I'm not one to think the sky is falling but you can expect the recovery to probably take an extra half a year to a year to pick up steam now.

Edit: as for me I talked to someone else today that said lab at my university are already cutting funding and I'm starting to believe the summer programs I've applied for don't already have the funds from NIH. If that's the case it means there will be less openings for paid summer research... making a already tough selection process that much fucking tougher.

Well it's resulting in a 40% cut in the income of my parents, who are nearing retirement age. That's kind of a huge amount, so that really sucks.

Personally, I've started digging a bunker in my back yard that way when the inevitable fall of civilization comes crashing down on us I will have someplace to hide at night while I spend my days scavenging for whatever supplies may be left in our world gone mad. In fact I'm shocked that we still have such things like electricity and the internet. I have to imagine that they will be failing us shortly.

It can't be said enough that for any person to think that the USA can get by only spending slightly more than we did the year prior is flat out insane. With steep "cuts" like that taking effect it won't be long until our nation starts to crumble and is ultimately overrun by the Chinese who will enslave us all and force us to make cheap consumer electronics.

Spending and debt increases every year under this administration,
not proportional to population or aging members of society,
but to the blind ambition of a party and their lobbyists who
always want more. There's been no significant spending cuts.
at some point, it has too be called what it is:
"too much".

strumbore:
Spending and debt increases every year under this administration,
not proportional to population or aging members of society,
but to the blind ambition of a party and their lobbyists who
always want more. There's been no significant spending cuts.
at some point, it has too be called what it is:
"too much".

Too much ?!?!? How can you say that? I mean just today as I was building my bunker to prepare myself for the fall of civilization I watched an elderly couple get into a fight with a stray dog over who got to lick the inside of a discarded tuna can. These cuts that aren't really cuts are hurting people in this country. How can we expect the government to make due when we roll back the spending levels all the way back to last year.

Do you remember 2012?!?!? Poor children were put in Thundredome style arenas and forced to fight to the death. Disabled children were given medical care only after they defeated a grizzly bear in unarmed combat. Our fighting men and women were made to make due not with guns but sharpened tree limbs and there were only enough of those for about a quarter of our soldiers so they had to share their sticks with three of their fellow soldiers.

Good lord man, think of the elderly, think of our troops, think of the children, most importantly though think of the politicians because they can not and will not go without.

Bentusi16:
Well it's resulting in a 40% cut in the income of my parents, who are nearing retirement age. That's kind of a huge amount, so that really sucks.

How's that? The sequester shouldn't be cutting that deeply.

LetalisK:

Bentusi16:
Well it's resulting in a 40% cut in the income of my parents, who are nearing retirement age. That's kind of a huge amount, so that really sucks.

How's that? The sequester shouldn't be cutting that deeply.

Their both having their working hours reduced by 20% so their only going to be working 4 out of 5 days, and their taking a minor paycut. The extra day off isn't paid.

Assuming the sequester actually happens.

Bentusi16:

LetalisK:

Bentusi16:
Well it's resulting in a 40% cut in the income of my parents, who are nearing retirement age. That's kind of a huge amount, so that really sucks.

How's that? The sequester shouldn't be cutting that deeply.

Their both having their working hours reduced by 20% so their only going to be working 4 out of 5 days, and their taking a minor paycut. The extra day off isn't paid.

Assuming the sequester actually happens.

That'd be a 20% cut plus whatever the minor pay cut is then, not a 40%, assuming they both make about the same. 20% out of two halves each is still 20% out of the whole. That's still a shitload of a paycut, though. Is it straight to 8-hour 4 days or are they doing the 10-hour 4 days some agencies have been going to?

The thing is, the "compromises" would've probably been as bad for low- and middle-class but without cutting defense spending, so of the various options - even though this is painful - this might be the best available. At least it actually does what it's supposed to: Reduce spending across the board rather than take it from the people only. I generally find the idea of reducing spending in a crisis to be rather backwards thinking, but at least it's a way to reduce the bloated and wasteful defense spending that's sucking so much money away from more worthwhile and important endeavours. Hell, improving basic infrastructure would be a nice way of investing money to get the country up to snuff and also stimulate the economy.

They're sucking the nation dry of funds but allow bailouts for high payed executives and their supporters. When you have disaster in the press it is only because some political party wants to stir shit up while the real story is ignored.

LetalisK:

Bentusi16:

LetalisK:
How's that? The sequester shouldn't be cutting that deeply.

Their both having their working hours reduced by 20% so their only going to be working 4 out of 5 days, and their taking a minor paycut. The extra day off isn't paid.

Assuming the sequester actually happens.

That'd be a 20% cut plus whatever the minor pay cut is then, not a 40%, assuming they both make about the same. 20% out of two halves each is still 20% out of the whole. That's still a shitload of a paycut, though. Is it straight to 8-hour 4 days or are they doing the 10-hour 4 days some agencies have been going to?

8-hour four days a week is what it is supposedly gonna be.

Bentusi16:
8-hour four days a week is what it is supposedly gonna be.

That doesn't get around simple math; (Mom income -20%) + (Dad income -20%) =/= (Mom + Dad income - 40%)

Anyway, the fault obviously lies on Obama and his inability to preform a Jedi mind-meld.

Bentusi16:
Well it's resulting in a 40% cut in the income of my parents, who are nearing retirement age. That's kind of a huge amount, so that really sucks.

Make no mistake your parents aren't having their hours reduced because the government absolutely has to do that. Not at all, this is just a case of both sides fucking inflicting as much pain as humanly possible so that people will put pressure, presumably on the other side, to give way to their political demands. Your parents are being used as pawns in the political process by a bunch of politicians who couldn't give a fuck less about them.

The sequester is all of 85 billion in total cuts. Only half of that 85 billion is slated to take hold this year and the rest will take place down the road a ways. However, they aren't really cuts because we are still going to be spending just as much, if not more, than we did last year. So in reality the only real cuts are being made to the projected increases to last year's budget. Last I checked civilization wasn't crumbling at our feet in 2012 so this really shouldn't be an issue.

I mean sure if you listen to the news you'd be expecting civilization to start crumbling any minute now. Hell ol' Maxine Waters claimed this sequester would cost us 170 million jobs and with only 140 million total jobs in this country that would mean 30 million people will need to be rehired then fired again.

Every last one of the crooked fucks is way more interested in playing a game of chicken for political gain than they are in fixing the problems. The fact these useless pricks draw a salary from the American tax payers should be enough to make any sane person throw up in their mouths a little.

In order:

The sequester: A bad idea from the start that Democrats should've recognized wouldn't achieve the desired effect.

The blame game: Basically, two thirds of the government: the entire legislative and executive branches. The president and both houses of congress, and every single member thereof, all share some measure of the blame.

The impact: It will, without a doubt, slow if not stop and very likely reverse what recovery we have had so far. So much for the NYSE's record high, eh? These inflexible, across the board cuts are pretty much the worst thing we could do right now.

Super Not Cosmo:
The fact these useless pricks draw a salary from the American tax payers should be enough to make any sane person throw up in their mouths a little.

Who thought up that idea?

GrimTuesday:
As some if not all of you know, as of yesterday, Friday March 1st 2013, massive cuts were made to almost every single part of the United States government with the exception of Medicare and welfare programs such as food stamps.

Well that's one small bonus you've got, at least. Here in the UK we've got another round of impending cuts to spending, and every minister is screaming that their department is the most important and that they need the money most, so all of the cuts should be taken from the welfare budget.

Because Conservatives gonna Conservative, I suppose.

They're cutting the future increases of funds to the federal budget, right?

So first they obliterate private industry and pump more money to failing large-scale industries which only brings them to buy out the failed industries and more mergers with the money, then they force a lot of unemployed people to seek jobs from the federal government (Like the TSA) which makes them dependent and now they'll start cutting the federal budget slightly... Goodbye the good 'ol USA, you're fucked.

SonicWaffle:
Because Conservatives gonna Conservative, I suppose.

To a large extent, the UK Conservative Party have not been conservative for about 35 years.

The neoliberal agenda which the modern Conservative Party heavily leans towards is contrary to innumerable deep-seated tenets of British conservatism. Thatcher's radical reform of the 1980s was profoundly un-conservative in nature, demolished conservative traditions along with others, and centred the party around a London-centric corporate class rather than their traditional supporters in the rural shires. Whilst she shattered the unions and socialism, this could be overlooked; now that it is long past it can not. Given the Conservative Party has tried to reinvent conservatism as radical, bold reformism, it is no surprise that traditional conservative minds wonder whether their votes are better placed elsewhere.

Agema:

SonicWaffle:
Because Conservatives gonna Conservative, I suppose.

To a large extent, the UK Conservative Party have not been conservative for about 35 years.

Big C Conservative to denote party affiliation.

Little c conservative to denote an adherence to a less specific and party-focused set of beliefs.

At least, this is the way I've always written it. In the modern Conservative party, and the narrative which the country as a whole has been sucked into by the right-wing (and even the less right-wing media outlets who play follow-the-leader) newspapers, the welfare system is entirely the province of "scroungers" and lazy do-nothings whose families have spent multiple generations doing nothing but claiming benefits.

Whether or not this aligns with traditional conservative beliefs, demonisation of welfare recipients is an obvious part of the modern Conservative agenda, and pushing further welfare cuts over, say, military cuts certainly fits with the image of the party.

I can't help but think that if some of the budget cuts involved congress's pay, this crap would have been sorted out ages ago.

Glasgow:
They're cutting the future increases of funds to the federal budget, right

No, they are cutting the budgets for the various programs now. Really, they could just pass a budget which gives the programs being cut that much extra money when those perticular cuts kick in, but that will probably not happen

So first they obliterate private industry and pump more money to failing large-scale industries which only brings them to buy out the failed industries and more mergers with the money,

The main reason they bailed out those businesses is because our economy would have collapsed had they not stepped in. Granted, there should have been conditions and the top brass of those corporations should have been fired without any golden parachute, but it hardly obliterated private industry.

then they force a lot of unemployed people to seek jobs from the federal government (Like the TSA) which makes them dependent

Except that the government isn't really hiring any significant number of people at any level. Sure some positions are filled, but the government has actually been cutting federal jobs.

and now they'll start cutting the federal budget slightly... Goodbye the good 'ol USA, you're fucked.

Lets not be melodramatic now, the good 'ol USA is going to be fine, it will just be a bumpy road.

The government has had months to fix this specific problem, and it wouldn't have been a problem in the first place if we'd fixed the debt issues years ago. If it's what needs to happen to see things changed, then it's what needs to happen. Shit needs to get done one way or another, as devastating as this may be at least it's something instead of nothing. Maybe it'll make Congress realize they're a bunch of idiots.

 

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