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by jest

GOP tries to unhoist themselves from their own petard by undoing their own cuts

6:16 pm in Uncategorized by jest

Oh boy.

Those small gubmint, CUT SPENDING!!#$!@#$@#!, austerity boys are at it again.

If you don’t recall, after the Super Duper Budget Committee debacle Ezra Klein made us aware of the following:

Republicans scored what they thought was a big win by persuading Democrats to accept a trigger that consisted only of spending cuts. The price they paid was 1) concentrating the cuts on the Pentagon while exempting Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare beneficiaries, and 2) delaying the cuts until January 1, 2013.

So now there are two triggers.

One is an extremely progressive spending trigger worth $1.2 trillion that goes off on January 1, 2013.

The other is an extremely progressive tax trigger worth $3.8 trillion that goes off on…January 1, 2013.

Well, we all knew that wasn’t going to stand.

So now the GOP, and your boy Lieberman, have collectively said “Whoopsie!!!” and are trying to undue all this “cut the military budget” foolishness.

Politico:

despite a veto threat from President Barack Obama, congressional Republicans and a handful of Democrats have vowed to somehow unravel the spending cuts this year — which are scheduled to hit defense and domestic programs equally in January 2013.

“I’m very concerned about the defense cuts in sequestration, but it’s also the cuts to nondefense discretionary [that] are also devastating,” Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) told POLITICO. “Ultimately, I think there’s a very strong feeling that it’s not going to go into effect.

“The Department of Defense just can’t sustain additional cuts beyond what they’ve already taken without seriously jeopardizing … the national security capability,” said Cord Sterling, vice president of legislative affairs for the Aerospace Industries Association, a group lobbyist that has been talking with lawmakers and staffers on the impact of sequestration.

 

Yes, we will be jeopardizing national security: prior to these cuts the US would have spent more on defense than the rest of the world combined. After these cuts, the US will… spend more on defense than the rest of the world combined….

And thank you Politico, for having the courage and audacity to ask a completely unbiased defense industry lobbyist about the savagery of defense industry spending cuts. Their views were both unexpected and refreshing!

Nonsense, cont’d:

California Republican Buck McKeon, the powerful chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Boehner ally, has introduced a bill that would trim the federal workforce and use those savings to offset one year of automatic cuts to both defense and domestic programs.

McKeon’s measure, which has 25 co-sponsors, would prevent federal agencies from hiring more than one worker for every three who leave until the workforce slims down by 10 percent. As he introduced his bill in December, McKeon said the first round of budget cuts to the Pentagon had already cleared “a lot of waste, fat and even muscle out of the military” and that further reduction “cuts us to the bone.”

 

So basically, he wants to fire workers and use the money to go kill people. In the midst of an unemployment crisis. Hopefully some of the money will trickle down to a few domestic programs, but who cares they’re just a bunch of black freeloaders anyway.

by jest

Ezra Klein on the next opportunity for Democrats to snatch Defeat from the jaws of Victory

10:25 am in Uncategorized by jest

Step AWAY from the Jaws (Photo: willem83, flickr)

Step AWAY from the Jaws (Photo: willem83, flickr)

Those of us in the know have been fully aware that the best outcome from the Super Duper Committee was no deal.

Young Ezra points out that a confluence of events, through no help of Democrats BTW, would result in a policy more progressive than our Democrat “friends” ever would have passed on their own:
The GOP’s dual-trigger nightmare

Imagine if the Democrats offered Republicans a deficit deal that had more than $3 in tax increases for every $1 in spending cuts, assigned most of those spending cuts to the Pentagon, and didn’t take a dime from Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare beneficiaries. Republicans would laugh at them. But without quite realizing it, that’s the deal Republicans have now offered to the Democrats.

How the hell did this happen?

In August, Republicans scored what they thought was a big win by persuading Democrats to accept a trigger that consisted only of spending cuts. The price they paid was 1) concentrating the cuts on the Pentagon while exempting Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare beneficiaries, and 2) delaying the cuts until January 1, 2013. That was, they figured, a win, as it eschewed taxes. Grover Norquist’s pledge remained unbroken.

But 12 years earlier, George W. Bush had set a trigger of his own. In order to pass his tax cuts using the 51-vote budget reconciliation process, he had agreed to let them sunset in 2010. A last-minute deal extended them until the end of 2012.

So now there are two triggers. Read the rest of this entry →

by jest

The Strategery of David Plouffe

7:48 pm in Uncategorized by jest

"Strategery 1"

"Strategery 1" by John O Dyer on flickr

You really can’t make this shit up:

 

First, Plouffe suggested, Obama has an opportunity to improve his standing among independent voters — many of whom deserted the Democrats in the 2010 midterm election — by working with Republicans toward bipartisan deficit-reduction measures.

Second, Obama has managed to move toward the center without losing significant support among core Democratic voters. The president’s job approval rating among Democrats, Plouffe said, is in the 80% to 90% range in many states. (Nationally, it’s about 77%, still respectable.)

Third, demographics help the Democrats. One of the keys to Obama’s victory in 2008, Plouffe noted, was high turnout among young, black and Latino voters, all groups that heavily supported the Democrat. Next year’s electorate should include even more minority voters than last time.

Fourth, Obama is a seasoned campaigner who ran a long, tough election campaign in 2008, and he still has the team that helped him to victory in place .

First: The “bipartisan” debt deal was an absolute failure, leading to a downgrade anyway, and resulted in all kinds of economic shenanignans, including today’s 400 point drop in the Dow.

Second: The idea that Plouffe could try to spin the notion that the base is willing to eat this shit sandwich would be laughable, if it weren’t so insulting. Read the rest of this entry →