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Big U.S. budget cuts begin as both sides trade blame

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During one of the presidential debates, Obama declared that he did not propose the sequester, but that Congress did. Drawing largely on the reporting of Bob Woodward, it has been concluded that concluded that the Presiden't claim was a big, fat, Pinocchioan fib.

The sequester was clearly an idea advanced by the White House in order to avoid a second debt-ceiling showdown in Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.

I voted for President Obama both times and I like him but I just want to get some facts in here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Jonathan Chait and Ezra Klein have some interesting points about how we got into this mess:

So let’s back up. Murphy’s initial view was that to unlock GOP votes for a budget deal, Obama just needed to endorse chained CPI and more means-testing in Medicare. Then it was pointed out that Obama has endorsed means-testing in Medicare, so Murphy wondered why he didn’t endorse chained CPI as part of a deal. Then it was pointed out that Obama did endorse chained CPI, at which point Murphy called chained CPI “a gimmick,” and said Obama had to endorse raising the Medicare age, drop his demands for more revenue as part of a deal and earn back the GOP’s trust.

In other words, for the GOP, "compromise" means "complete surrender." They don't seem to understand that their positions are essentially those held by Romney, which is why he and the GOP lost so thoroughly in the most recent elections.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/03/02/this-is-why-obama-cant-make-a-deal-with-republicans/?tid=pm_pop

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Many conservatives are willing to accept the cuts as the only way to reduce government spending, even though the budget knife cuts into cherished defense programs.

Buried at the bottom of the article where nobody reads of course.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

What a day....

More good news from the US.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

"Big budget cuts" lol

The US Federal Government spends around $10 billion per DAY. What good could this insignificant amount accomplish?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Many conservatives are willing to accept the cuts as the only way to reduce government spending, even though the budget knife cuts into cherished defense programs.

sailwind: Buried at the bottom of the article where nobody reads of course.

Then those Republicans need to get on stage and announce to the entire country that they're satisfied with the cuts that are going to take place. I really have no idea how you are reconciling the facts that Republicans are saying that Obama owns this while at the same time forgetting that their position from the beginning was no new taxes with only spending cuts....something that is happening now. It's like getting your position and blaming the other guy for the damage.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I really have no idea how you are reconciling the facts that Republicans are saying that Obama owns this while at the same time forgetting that their position from the beginning was no new taxes with only spending cuts.

He owns it and your also not correct that the Republicans didn't offer new taxes along with the spending cuts.

479 days ago

Durbin: GOP proposal on tax increases could be 'breakthrough'

Washington (CNN) - The Senate's number two Democrat said Wednesday the surprising proposal this week by Republicans to include tax increases for the first time as part of a deficit-reduction deal might be a "breakthrough" that could lead to a hard-sought agreement in the congressional super committee.

Durbin didn't endorse the specific GOP offer - which would raise hundreds of billions of dollars by eliminating many deductions for individuals from the tax code while lowering income rates for all taxpayers - but said he was "definitely" encouraged that Republicans had put tax increases on the table.

"The fact that some Republicans have stepped forward to talk about revenue I think is an invitation for Democrats to step forward and talk about entitlement reform as well as spending cuts. Therein lies the core of an agreement," he said. "I'm glad the conversation is under way."

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/09/durbin-gop-proposal-on-tax-increases-could-be-breakthrough/

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Talking about furloughs, Congress should set the example and should cut their own salaries.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It would be nice to get the Tea Party to DONATE all of their salaries back to the Federal government, maybe this is the only way they will begin to feel our pain!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

sailwind: Washington (CNN) - The Senate's number two Democrat said Wednesday the surprising proposal this week by Republicans to include tax increases for the first time as part of a deficit-reduction deal might be a "breakthrough" that could lead to a hard-sought agreement in the congressional super committee.

Are you saying that the Tea Party agreed to $800 billion in new revenue? The mythical offer was done before Beohner knew just how radical and fragmented his own party was. They threatened him with his job. Now we have the Republican's only proposal: no new revenue period. Is it out of spite or was it always that way whether Beohner knew it or not?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Super,

Are you saying that the Tea Party agreed to $800 billion in new revenue? The mythical offer was done before Beohner knew just how radical and fragmented his own party was.

I understand that you have fully bought into the biased media narrative and Democrat talking points that the Republican party has been taken over by radical Tea Party extremists, who hold the country hostage to their decadent backward uncompromising ways. It is unfortunate you still actually believe that the media feed Obama friendly information is accurate and that the media doesn't just serve as flacks for him and his Administration. Some background information never brought to the fore and it never will be by our so called media on the Tea Party and the Republicans regarding the sequester, the super committee and on tax hikes:

Toomey emerges as surprise Tea Party Republican voice on ‘supercommittee’

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) will serve as the de facto Tea Party voice on Congress's "supercommittee" following his surprise appointment to the deficit-reduction panel.

The freshman senator has taken on an outsized role in Congress since being sworn into office eight months ago, and now will serve as a conservative anchor to the panel charged with finding more than a trillion dollars in deficit cuts.

Toomey, however, emphasized the need for bipartisanship on the panel shortly after being named to it.

“This has to be done in a cooperative fashion,” he said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “It has to be an exercise in finding common ground.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/176285-toomey-emerges-as-surprise-tea-party-voice-on-supercommittee

The tax hike deal I posted earlier, guess who sponsored and was behind it?

High praise for Pat Toomey’s efforts on supercommittee

“So to say that Republicans were not willing to put new tax revenue on the table is just absolutely wrong. In fact, my counterpart the Democratic whip Dick Durban called this offer a breakthrough because it was different. It was a way to try to go partway to meet the Democrat demands for new taxes but without doing so in a way that would stifle economic growth.”

In addition to the $250 billion in taxes garnered from eliminating deductions for the wealthy, Kudlow and Kyle also noted that this figure understated the amount of revenue increases in the proposed package, with additional money coming from cost of living adjustments, across the board levying of government fees, and asset sales.

“It was $500 billion,” Kyle stated, quoting the cumulative increase in revenues in Senator Toomey’s deficit reduction package.

http://www.examiner.com/article/high-praise-for-pat-toomey-s-efforts-on-supercommittee

2 ( +2 / -0 )

These are cuts in Discretionary spending, not mandatory. Discretionary.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sail, your story made me teary-eyed and all about bipartisanship; however, an unfortunate fact about Toomey and his doomed efforts to persuade his fellow GOP members: NONE of his revenue ideas made it into either of the two pieces of legislation the House GOP passed. Talking about a man brave enough to stand up to radicals in his party is nice, particularly now while he still has a seat (you know they'll be gunning for him in '14); absence of result makes it nonsense.

This is particularly so as the two House bills expired with the last Congress, anyway, and Boehner's stance is no new revenue, not in any form or at any time, perhaps forever.

The GOP apparently has three points from which they will not budge:

Deficit reduction MUST be instituted immediately (quite a turnaround from the last time their party held the presidency; wasn't it Cheney who said "Deficits don't matter"?); Deficit reduction must be composed entirely of spending cuts; If in accordance with points 1 and 2, they will negotiate, providing they do not sniff any possible advantage accruing to Obama (which they always do;ttheir paranoia is such that they can't even negotiate with themselves).

Sorry, Sail - Obama has made clear he's given up on Boehner and his House regarding this issue; instead, he'll try to get done what he can get done with his eye on exposing to voters the rotten state of the GOP by '14. Likely by then, even voters in North Carolina and Texas will have had enough with this party.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NONE of his revenue ideas made it into either of the two pieces of legislation the House GOP passed.

NONE of his tax revenue ideas ever made it out of the Senate super committee period. The Democrats killed it in the cradle in less than 24 hours.

If you wish to try and muddy the waters that's on you but the House had nothing to do with the Senate super committee and it could only act on proposed legislation out of the committee if the super committee would have been able to compromise and hammered it out and send it to the house for approval, denial or to be amended and reconciled then sent back to the Senate for the final vote.

Toomey: Dems Rejected Compromise, Demanded $1 Trillion Tax Hike

On November 7, Republican senator Pat Toomey proposed a compromise on taxes to members of the supercommittee tasked with cutting the deficit. “There was a moment there, a 24-hour period, when several Democrats expressed a great deal of interest in the framework I laid out,” Toomey tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD. Dick Durbin, the second ranking Democrat in the Senate, called Toomey's proposal a "breakthrough."

“We thought we were making real progress," Toomey says. "Then the [Democratic] committee members, I think, checked in with some of their Senate colleagues and really allowed themselves to be swayed by the left-wing of their caucus. They backed off, retreated, from the progress we made that night. And from that moment on, it never felt like we were close.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/toomey-super-committee-democrats-rejected-compromise-demanded-1-trillion-tax-hike_610027.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sailwind: It is unfortunate you still actually believe that the media feed Obama friendly information is accurate and that the media doesn't just serve as flacks for him and his Administration.

Beohner's own words as of 2 days ago: ""This discussion about revenue, in my view, is over," Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters at the White House today. "It's about taking on the spending problem here in Washington."

You can keep extracting tiny pieces of information to try to cloud the overall picture all you want. It's a staple of AM radio. But making me believe that Republicans, as a group voting in agreement, along with their Tea Party counterparts, were unable to reach a deal despite their good faith effort to increase revenues is just silly to me. You can mention individuals all you want and keep quoting articles and I'll just keep pasting direct quotes from the Republican leadership. The Tea Party prides themselves on being unbending to their principals and it's a selling point I know you're repeated for them in the past. The problem was not their generosity being ignored.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Laguna: Sail, your story made me teary-eyed and all about bipartisanship

“When I first came into office, the head of the Senate Republicans said, ‘my number one priority is making sure president Obama’s a one-term president.’" -- Mitch McConnell

When you build up in your mind that you're going against a socialist dictator from Kenya it makes sense that stopping him would fulfill your job description of doing what's best for America. The problem is that now Republicans are slaves to the paranoia they helped to create.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sorry, Sail - Obama has made clear he's given up on Boehner and his House regarding this issue; instead, he'll try to get done what he can get done with his eye on exposing to voters the rotten state of the GOP by '14. Likely by then, even voters in North Carolina and Texas will have had enough with this party.

I also need to ask this. Your recent position the past couple of months since the election is that the Republican party only kept the House Congressional majority during Obama's re-coronation due to gerrymandering. It was my impression that you considered overturning the gerrymandering advantage to be about on the same par as the likelihood of Obama actually being asked a tough question by the press. Do you now think this so called gerrymandering advantage is not going to be a factor in 2014?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

“When I first came into office, the head of the Senate Republicans said, ‘my number one priority is making sure president Obama’s a one-term president.’" -- Mitch McConnell -

Super,

Your repeating a thoroughly debunked Liberal talking point. Washington Post even had to call it out.

Generally, Democrats suggest that McConnell believed that no problem is bigger than getting rid of Obama, but it is clear that he is speaking in a political context — that the goals of Republicans could not be achieved unless Obama is defeated in his race for reelection. A case in point: the health care law could not be overturned unless Obama is defeated.

Moreover, McConnell goes on to say that he does “not want the president to fail” and cooperation was possible “if he’s willing to meet us halfway on some of the biggest issues.” McConnell in fact cited an extension of the Bush tax cuts — and Obama did strike such a deal shortly after the midterm elections.

The Pinocchio Test

There is no doubt that McConnell said he wanted to make Obama a one-term president. But he did not say it at the start of Obama’s term; instead, he made his comments at the midpoint, after Obama had enacted many of his preferred policies.

Perhaps, in Obama’s memory, McConnell was always uncooperative. But that does not give him and other Democrats the license to rearrange the chronology to suit the party’s talking points.

Two Pinocchios

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/when-did-mcconnell-say-he-wanted-to-make-obama-a-one-term-president/2012/09/24/79fd5cd8-0696-11e2-afff-d6c7f20a83bf_blog.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You can mention individuals all you want and keep quoting articles and I'll just keep pasting direct quotes from the Republican leadership.

Please do. It's my experience that they are rarely ever given in any context, usually are completely distorted and usually then spun by the Obama's friendly media so that it gets repeated as gospel by your typical low information voter (See above).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, Republicans didn't keep their mandate by getting 1 million fewer votes than Democrats in the House, that's for sure. And it wasn't through Tea Party elections which took a hit.

Let me ask you this. If the problem simply boils down the press lying to us on everything Obama does, why do you have members of the Republican party talking about "soul searching" and not being the "party of stupid?" Are those Republicans also being duped by the press? And why do you have Republicans and their supporters directly threatening other Republicans, saying they will do their best to get them out of office because they aren't "real conservatives?" More media issues? Why is a guy like Karl Rove embroiled in a battle with Republicans who feel he is now officially RINO? Is it the media who is creating these conflicts or is the party really fractured?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Beohner's own words as of 2 days ago: ""This discussion about revenue, in my view, is over," Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters at the White House today. "It's about taking on the spending problem here in Washington."

Super,

The first part is pretty important for overall context and it shouldn't have been left out of his remarks by the Media.

"Let's make it clear that the President got his tax hikes on Jan. 1," Boehner said. "This discussion about revenue, in my view, is over. It's about taking on the spending problem here in Washington."

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/boehner-discussion-about-revenue-is-over

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"If the problem simply boils down the press lying to us on everything Obama does, why do you have members of the Republican party talking about "soul searching" and not being the "party of stupid?" Are those Republicans also being duped by the press?"

I'd also like an answer to this having asked the question repeatedly on a recent thread without an answer.

How can this incredible and impossible media conspiracy be taking place under our blinkered eyes to make the Republicans seem to be at civil war, especially when they recently held what even they called and "Autopsy" to discuss their crushing election loss in November?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And what about Karl Rove Sail?

Is he now part of the media conspiracy when he sets out to take on the tea party to save the GOP from itself?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Let me ask you this. If the problem simply boils down the press lying to us on everything Obama does, why do you have members of the Republican party talking about "soul searching" and not being the "party of stupid?"

The lost an election with 7.9 percent unemployment hanging around the neck of the incumbent. Soul searching would normally be in order as this should have been unheard of though but they and myself still didn't grasped the reality as it is almost to frightening to actually contemplate. In the words of another that I had read awhile back " Obama has completely removed an investigative and anti-authoritarian media (in Mencken's famous adage, one committed in part "to afflicting the comfortable") from the political dynamic. Obama operates with the most massive propaganda arm ever been seen in modern history. He is essentially invulnerable. At no point did Romney/Ryan come close to addressing this sick truth so dangerous to our society and freedoms"

We also just saw this in action with how they went after Woodward to get him removed from the investigative reporter scene. Also anything that works to portray the Republicans as fractured, in disarray and as extremists works in Obama's and the Democrats favor. This is the new media reality and the Republicans just haven't been able to adjust to all very well at all so far.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And what about Karl Rove Sail?

How many candidates did he back get elected the past three election cycles Madverts?

Yes, let's keep Karl around with his stellar track record of late.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

These are cuts in Discretionary spending, not mandatory. Discretionary.

And you don't HAVE to give people health benefits apparently -so watch that space carefully! And seriously, the ability to stick it to the President gave the leader of the House a real Boehner! Have you seen anyone more pleased with such a daft outcome?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"How many candidates did he back get elected the past three election cycles Madverts? Yes, let's keep Karl around with his stellar track record of late."

Well Sail, you successfully circumvented any replies on the questions asked about voices from within the party itself showing deep divisions.

As to Mr Rove, I think you're putting the bar pretty high to expect him to achieve election results, not only after the Bush train-wreck, but seriously John McCain chose an absolutely ludicrous running mate - and heh, Mitt Romney? Seriously, it's the media's fault for showing the world what a monumental gaffe Sarah Palin is all day? Man, this conspiracy fever has gotten a hold of you so bad you still can't even come out and say that ridiculous woman is why Barrack Obama soundly won the 2008 election. I think to be honest in fact that this is when you started your onslaught on the media. Me - well, I see it as a vessel to avoid admitting you're a sore loser to the Democrats and would rather the reason be a perceived ganging up on the party, rather than the inevitable implosion coming from within. But I digress....

Come now - have a stab at the question again please;

If as per you constant theme of conspiracy that the media are to blame for everyone thinking there is a civil war going on in the party caused by the hijack from the tea party radicals, then how come some voices from within the GOP are making such noises themselves, and how come heavyweights (contrary to your assertion of irrelevance) like Karl Rove are making moves to prevent the Tea Party destroying the party any further?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Even conservative "journalist" from the Fox "NEWS" network Charles Krauthammer believes there is an "internal civil war" among House Republicans. Heh, only he believes it was ignited by....yup, you guessed it - our Obammunist born on Pluto, Barack Hussein McMarxist!

"He’s been using [the fiscal cliff talks] — and I must say with great skill, and ruthless skill and success — to fracture and basically shatter the Republican opposition," Krauthammer told Fox News host Sean Hannity.

http://www.politico.com//blogs/media/2012/12/krauthammer-obama-caused-gop-civil-war-152935.html

Heh, I realize FOX is the only media you surely trust, despite it being nothing more than a Republican propaganda channel, but surely you aren't planning to integrate even them to the conspiracy.....

......are you?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Obama has completely removed an investigative and anti-authoritarian media

Kinda ironic you citing that after citing in an above post the number of Pinocchio's the WaPo gave to a recent Obama statement, Sail. There are two things that you apparently don't realize about the media (aside from the fact that it is not normally capitalized):

First, it is a bloodthirsty industry akin to the Paparazzi. Obama, being the first black president, obviously invites hagiographic articles and photo shoots, but really, anyone with an invitation could do those. What makes the name of journalists - and in this competitive time, making a name is all - is a scoop; it doesn't matter whether the scoop is for or against the White House - if there is dirt, there is gold. That is modern journalism; even the most die-hard Obamaite journalist would crucify him in words if cause were found.

Second, I think that you overestimate the power journalists have over public opinion. In our fragmented news world, most stick to the news sources that bolster their existing opinions - and, believe me, those who oppose Obama have had no shortage of sources of anti-Obama information. The fact that these tidbits do not go viral is not due to journalistic intimidation; it is that they are not considered by the public at large to be worthy of consideration.

All presidencies try to control the narrative as best they can, and that means co-opting journalists whenever possible; remember, though, that no journalist has ever achieved fame by being a mouthpiece, not long ago and not now. That is capitalism at its best.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Obama is already trying to walk back the fear mongering from "immediate, painful spending cuts” a week ago because he was trying to scare people into supporting a repeal of sequester and trying to intimidate the Republicans into caving to him once again to “It’s conceivable that in the first week, the first two weeks, the first three weeks, the first month … a lot of people may not notice the full impact of the sequester” when they held firm under the weight of the propaganda war. I don’t know if the GOP could have won political points with a backbone in the past, but this is sure a damn good place to start.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sailwind: Obama operates with the most massive propaganda arm ever been seen in modern history.

This is turning into a laminated card for an argument, something that gets pulled out and shown every now and then to give a free pass on something that you can't otherwise explain in a favorable light. There's not much I can do with that.

"Let's make it clear that the President got his tax hikes on Jan. 1," Boehner said. "This discussion about revenue, in my view, is over. It's about taking on the spending problem here in Washington."

This is a man who had just lost his Plan B vote because his own party wouldn't support it. More evidence of fracture, and more evidence that there are those in the Republican party who won't vote for increased taxes under any circumstances.....even if becomes common sense because of the expiring tax cuts anyway.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We all need a little context here. We are talking about 'massive' cuts that amount to something like 2% of government spending. Actually, the govt is still slated to spend more in 2013 than in 2012. So really, what this means is that the rate of GROWTH in government spending is lower than expected. Never mind that overall, govt spending is up 40% in the past decade.

Imagine if the situation was personal. Imagine if YOUR boss told you that your salary would be reduced by 2%, or that the raise you were expecting was being cut from 3% to just 1%. How would you react? Would you cry and scream, rend your garments? Would you stop buying food for your family? Cut the electricity to your house? Or, could you possibly find ways to economize that did not dramatically alter your life. Perhaps a family camping vacation instead of Disneyland. Eating out once a week instead of twice. Putting off buying the newest iPhone.

Obama is doing the former. He is trying to scare the public by deliberately making cuts that are visible, when it is not necessary in the slightest. He doesnt care about anything but scoring political points, even at the expense of his country. It's disappointing to see him behave that way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a man who had just lost his Plan B vote because his own party wouldn't support it.

Which wouldn't have been brought up in the Senate and would have been votoed by the president in any case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans refused Saturday to concede any culpability for failing to stave off huge, automatic spending cuts -

Another hack reporting job by the Associated Press. The sequester does not "cut" anything. It simply reduces the amount of increase from the previous fiscal year. It's like saying that since I got a two percent raise last year but only got a one percent raise this year, my salary was cut. No it isn't cut, it's raised by one percent. It's not as big of an increase as expected, but it is still an increase - not a cut. It's as if simple logic doesn't apply within the city limits of Washington DC.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That is modern journalism; even the most die-hard Obamaite journalist would crucify him in words if cause were found.

Good luck naming one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The circus acts continue; there is no financial cliff; there will be no pay for congressmen or congress women until the problem is resolved; $85 billions is "peanuts" in the budget. The total cost for the sequester needs to be taken out of foreign military aid and foreign welfare. Why should the USA taxpayer suffer when these two areas are never cut?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Superlib: This is a man who had just lost his Plan B vote because his own party wouldn't support it.

Lizz: Which wouldn't have been brought up in the Senate and would have been votoed by the president in any case.

His own party voted against him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Vast Right-Wing Conspirator: We all need a little context here. We are talking about 'massive' cuts that amount to something like 2% of government spending. Actually, the govt is still slated to spend more in 2013 than in 2012. So really, what this means is that the rate of GROWTH in government spending is lower than expected. Never mind that overall, govt spending is up 40% in the past decade.

Well remember, Obama owns this. Why not thank him and show your support for his idea on spending cuts.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sailwind: The lost an election with 7.9 percent unemployment hanging around the neck of the incumbent. Soul searching would normally be in order as this should have been unheard of though but they and myself still didn't grasped the reality as it is almost to frightening to actually contemplate.

May I ask what the result was of your soul searching and that of the Republican party overall?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The US economy is extremely dependent on government spending. Cut spending the economy crashes. Print money to pay for entitlements, social programs, and more stimulus, the economy crashes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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