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Reich writes: "Bear in mind, finally, the sequester is just starting. The sheer scale of it is guaranteed to make it far more apparent in coming months. Some 140,000 low-income families will lose their housing vouchers, for example. Entire communities that depend mainly on defense-related industries or facilities will take major hits."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)


The Stealth Sequester

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

09 April 13

 

o far, the much-dreaded "sequester" - some $85 billion in federal spending cuts between March and September 30 - hasn't been evident to most Americans.

The dire warnings that had issued from the White beforehand - threatening that Social Security checks would be delayed, airport security checks would be clogged, and other federal facilities closed - seem to have been overblown.

Sure, March's employment report was a big disappointment. But it's hard to see any direct connection between those poor job numbers and the sequester. The government has been shedding jobs for years. Most of the losses in March were from the Postal Service.

Take a closer look, though, and Americans are starting to feel the pain. They just don't know it yet.

That's because so much of what the government does affects the nation in local, decentralized ways. Federal funds find their way to community housing authorities, state unemployment offices, local school districts, private universities, and companies. So it's hard for most Americans to know the sequester is responsible for the lost funding, lost jobs, or just plain inconvenience.

A tiny sampling: Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts is bracing for a cut of about $51 million in its $685 million of annual federal research grants and contracts. The public schools of Syracuse, New York, will lose over $1 million. The housing authority of Joliet, Illinois, will take a hit of nearly $900,000. Northrop Grumman Information Systems just issued layoff notices to 26 employees at its plant in Lawton, Oklahoma. Unemployment benefits are being cut in Pennsylvania and Utah.

The cuts - and thousands like them - are so particular and localized they don't feel as if they're the result of a change in national policy.

It's just like what happened with the big federal stimulus of 2009 and 2010, but in reverse. Then, money flowed out to so many different places and institutions that most Americans weren't aware of the stimulus program as a whole.

A second reason the sequester hasn't been visible is a large share of the cuts are in programs directed at the poor - and America's poor are often invisible.

For example, the Salt Lake Community Action Program recently closed a food pantry in Murray, Utah, serving more than 1,000 needy people every month. The Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium is closing a center that gives alcohol and drug treatment to Native Alaskans.

Some 1,700 poor families in and around Sacramento, California are likely to lose housing vouchers that pay part of their rents. More than 180 students are likely to be dropped from a Head Start program run by the Cincinnati-Hamilton County (Ohio) Community Action Agency.

Most Americans don't know about these and other cuts because the poor live in different places than the middle class and wealthy. Poverty has become ever more concentrated geographically.

A third reason the sequester is invisible is many people whose jobs are affected by it are being "furloughed" rather than fired. "Furlough" is a euphemism for working shorter workweeks and taking pay cuts.

Two thousand civilian employees at the Army Research Lab in Maryland will be subject to one-day-per-week furloughs starting on April 22, for example, resulting in a 20 percent drop in pay. The Hancock Field Air National Guard Base is furloughing 280 workers. Many federal courts are now closed on Fridays.

Furloughs spread the pain. The hardship isn't as evident as it would be if it came in the form of mass layoffs. But don't fool yourself: A 20 percent pay cut is a huge burden for those who have to endure it.

Bear in mind, finally, the sequester is just starting. The sheer scale of it is guaranteed to make it far more apparent in coming months.

Some 140,000 low-income families will lose their housing vouchers, for example. Entire communities that depend mainly on defense-related industries or facilities will take major hits.

If you thought March's job numbers were disappointing, just wait.

With the sequester, America has adopted austerity economics. Yet austerity economics is the wrong medicine at exactly the wrong time. Look what it's done to Europe.



Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His latest is an e-book, "Beyond Outrage." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause.

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-31 # MidwestTom 2013-04-09 10:46
When a country cannot afford what it's politicians have promised, something has to give. Accelerating taxation on those with assets of more than $10 million would be a good start. Increasing taxes on those young professional making over $250,000 but probably spending most of it, is a mistake. Take away the incentive to become a surgeon or to start a business, and you hurt everyone. Tax those that have already made it during the past low tax years levels the playing field some. Everybody is going to live poorer, because the country is getting poorer every day.
 
 
+33 # mdhome 2013-04-09 12:09
I always thought the idea of a tiny tax on the stock market, a tiny tax on every transaction could eliminate the deficit, easy.
 
 
-37 # edge 2013-04-09 13:32
Quoting mdhome:
I always thought the idea of a tiny tax on the stock market, a tiny tax on every transaction could eliminate the deficit, easy.


A TINY TAX!

That is a joke!
There is no tax that stays small in America, once enacted it goes on forever.
Give a politician a tax and he will spend MORE!
 
 
+24 # dkonstruction 2013-04-09 14:45
Quoting edge:
Quoting mdhome:
I always thought the idea of a tiny tax on the stock market, a tiny tax on every transaction could eliminate the deficit, easy.


A TINY TAX!

That is a joke!
There is no tax that stays small in America, once enacted it goes on forever.
Give a politician a tax and he will spend MORE!



New York State adopted its stock transfer tax in 1905! Unfortunately, since 1979 the state has basically rebated it to those who had to pay it. If the state actually collected it (as well as the millionaire's tax that our democratic governor renew in full) we would actually have a surplus of $6-7 billion instead of the $10 billion deficit (as of prior to the most recent budget).

And, how much is this draconian tax after more than 100 years?


Selling price Rate (cents per share)

Sale or agreement to sell at less than $5 per share 1 ¼ ¢
Sale at $5 or more but less than $10 per share 2 ½ ¢
Sale at $10 or more but less than $20 per share 3 ¾ ¢
Sale at $20 or more per share 5 ¢
Transfers of stock or certificates of interest other than by sale 2 ½ ¢

So, yes, A TINY TAX...which if actually collected would have spared the state from the horrible cuts foisted on us by both Political Parties because neither one had the balls to say let's actually collect a tax that's on the books instead of giving it back to those are supposed to be paying it.
 
 
+3 # RLF 2013-04-10 05:29
But if we don't rebate it...they will move to New Jersey. This is always the arguement. This is the way that big corporations get subsidized by the small businesses and mom and pop shops. This country is not friendly to small business because big corps can't compete without their subsidies and corp. welfare.
 
 
+5 # dkonstruction 2013-04-10 10:00
Quoting RLF:
But if we don't rebate it...they will move to New Jersey. This is always the arguement. This is the way that big corporations get subsidized by the small businesses and mom and pop shops. This country is not friendly to small business because big corps can't compete without their subsidies and corp. welfare.


I've lived in NYC all my life. I remember when businesses were leaving during the city's fiscal woes in the 1970s and when services and everything else were drastically cut. There was a study done asking these businesses (mostly larger corporations) why they were leaving the city and business taxes was not the cause. The businesses listed the following: 1) High cost of housing (meant they had to pay their employees more); 2) Lousy public transportation (workers were late to work often); and 3) Lousy public schools (meant they had to pay their workers enough that parents could send their kids to private schools).

So, the argument that businesses are going to leave NYC because of business taxes was bogus then and its bogus now.
 
 
-2 # edge 2013-04-10 06:23
And now you want to add ANOTHER tax!!!

When I was a kid in NJ there was ZERO Sales Tax.
They ONLY wanted a 1% Sales tax, and who could argue about such a small tax, RIGHT?

Now, it stands at 7%
THAT IS SEVEN TIMES THE RATE OF INFLATION!!!
Has Your Pay gone up that fast?
Mine sure as hell has not!
 
 
+4 # dkonstruction 2013-04-10 10:05
Quoting edge:
And now you want to add ANOTHER tax!!!

When I was a kid in NJ there was ZERO Sales Tax.
They ONLY wanted a 1% Sales tax, and who could argue about such a small tax, RIGHT?

Now, it stands at 7%
THAT IS SEVEN TIMES THE RATE OF INFLATION!!!
Has Your Pay gone up that fast?
Mine sure as hell has not!


Sales taxes are inherently regressive but since we all pay them on everything else we buy and sell why should those (a small minority of the population) not have to pay one (which is what a stock transfer tax is) on the purchase and sale of stocks. And, it is not adding another tax but merely collecting the tax that has been on the books for over 100 years but which has been rebated to those who are supposed to pay it for nearly 35 years.

So, i'm all in favor of replacing the sales tax with a higher rate and genuinely progressive income tax but since that's not likely to happen the least that should take place is for the rich to pay their fair share which means paying a sales tax on the purchase/sale of stocks.
 
 
0 # BradFromSalem 2013-04-10 11:45
Governor Patrick here in MA has proposed lowering the sales tax and raising the flat income tax as a means to progressively get more money for taxpayer wasting projects like updating and expanding Mass Transit, and also education. The Democratic legislature will only give him 1/4 of what he wants, he is planning to veto.

His buddy from Chicago should be taking lessions from him instead of borrowing slogans.
 
 
+10 # RHytonen 2013-04-09 18:39
Quoting edge:

Give a politician a tax and he will spend MORE!


Because it becomes more and more evident every day -HE NEEDS TO SPEND MORE -

BUT on the poor and elderly - And it makes the most sense to take it from THOSE WHO MADE THEM POOR: THEIR BANKERS, DOCTORS and EMPLOYERS, for whom these politicians since Kennedy and Reagan have reduced the (Top Marginal) tax rate from 92% to 34% or less, and much more counting loophles and outright corporate welfare subsidies.

There is a good 50 years of payback due, from the ruination of the Quality of Life of an entire generation of workers.

That MUST BE REVERSED AND COMPENSATED - not just slowed by a token.

The people are rising up to demand it.
It has only barely begun.
 
 
-2 # edge 2013-04-10 06:36
OK Pal, where does this spending money come from?

The WAGE EARNERS or INFLATION!

So the people that have been screwed get screwed even more!

Politicians either tax me or inflate my dollars to give away!

Almost EVERY person pays for THREE Police departments where they live!
The ONE on the road now, and TWO more that are retired!
ONLY GOVERNMENT lets people work tons of overtime in there last few years so that they make DOUBLE what they should in retirement!
 
 
+1 # dkonstruction 2013-04-10 10:13
Quoting RHytonen:
Quoting edge:

Give a politician a tax and he will spend MORE!


Because it becomes more and more evident every day -HE NEEDS TO SPEND MORE -

BUT on the poor and elderly - And it makes the most sense to take it from THOSE WHO MADE THEM POOR: THEIR BANKERS, DOCTORS and EMPLOYERS, for whom these politicians since Kennedy and Reagan have reduced the (Top Marginal) tax rate from 92% to 34% or less, and much more counting loophles and outright corporate welfare subsidies.

There is a good 50 years of payback due, from the ruination of the Quality of Life of an entire generation of workers.

That MUST BE REVERSED AND COMPENSATED - not just slowed by a token.

The people are rising up to demand it.
It has only barely begun.


And the only reason we got the 92% rate in the first place was not due to the goodness of politicians hearts (be they democrats or republicans) but rather due to the mass movements that preceded and led to what came to be known as the Progressive Era.

For a wonderful book on the Progressive Era that shows what mass movements can accomplish see Sam Pizzigati's recent book "The Rich Don't Always Win"

http://www.amazon.com/Rich-Dont-Always-Win-Plutocracy/dp/1609804341/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365610377&sr=1-1&keywords=Sam+Pizzigati
 
 
+4 # RLF 2013-04-10 05:31
Eliminating the deficit is not the reason to put a tax on Wall St., which was created to capitalize business but now is only for gambling. A tax stops the computer gambling done on Wall St. which is destroying our country.
 
 
+1 # Cassandra2012 2013-04-10 13:01
And the cessation of taxpayer-suppor ted CORPORATE WELFARE (loopholes and subsidies!!!!) to giant Agriculture, the despoiling oil and gas corporations, the unscrupulous defense industries like Halliburton, KBR etc. would go a long way to alleviating that deficit.
 
 
+42 # MidwestDick 2013-04-09 12:13
Country isn't poorer. Total wealth continues to grow apace with population. The difference between now and 1998 is that all the wealth is being held by a few and they are sitting on it, or investing it in non-productive financial scams.
If we were taxing and spending instead of borrowing and sequestering, then the money held in U.S. Treasuries by private parties could be appropriated by Congress and spent by the U.S.Treasury on infrastructure, health and education. Then everyone would be working, the money turnover would be accelerated and instead of a few rich misers running around stingily purchasing our collective assets and politicians, everyone would be flush.
The country isn't getting poorer, only its workers are.
 
 
+14 # reader46 2013-04-09 12:29
...it will be really tough for those with $10 million if they have to help the good start and start living poorer.

Wow! Some people just don't get it.
 
 
+10 # brux 2013-04-09 15:51
It's not what the politicians promised,
it's what the politician were bribed to allow some to do.
It's what the connected have stolen from us and blame US for and made US pay for ?
 
 
+18 # tabonsell 2013-04-09 16:41
If "something has to give" why not start with the freeloading done by corporations that pay almost nothing in taxes. Just before and after WWII, individuals paid about 53% of income taxes, businesses paid about 47%. Today businesses pay much less than 10% and individuals, like you pick up the rest. And the businesses that pay taxes are the small local businesses, corporations exist as almost total freeloaders after it was government spending that made them profitable.

Government spent for the research that made their products successful. Government educated and trained the engineers, clerks and everyone else who work to create a profit for corporations. Government provided the world's best transportation system that allow those products to go to market. And government spending provides police, courts, prisons to safeguard the corporations. And government spending provides the armed forces that protect corporate positions and also take from other nations what corporations demand (i.e. Iraqi oil, for one).

Over the years we have been constantly told that taxes on corporations must be cut so they can lead us into an economic paradise. Taxes were repeatedly cut, but no paradise ever came. Now the GOP bandits are telling us we must do it once more.

If corporations would pay their fair share of taxes, maybe you wouldn't have to pay so much. Think about it.
 
 
+16 # BradFromSalem 2013-04-09 11:29
The President can take unilateral action to stem the destructive tidal wave of this austerity driven concept of financing the government. He must take advantage of the Platinum coin loophole, sooner, rather than later. Take the, pay off the debt; at the very worst, he can put aside all the money that we have been paying each year towards the debt until Congress comes to its senses, or with zero debt, thanks to Obama and a treasury flush with cash from unspent tax receipts , the populace replaces the Republican House with a Democratic one that will spend that money and FINALLY stimulate the economy.
 
 
-27 # edge 2013-04-09 12:03
Quoting BradFromSalem:
The President can take unilateral action to stem the destructive tidal wave of this austerity driven concept of financing the government. He must take advantage of the Platinum coin loophole, sooner, rather than later. Take the, pay off the debt; at the very worst, he can put aside all the money that we have been paying each year towards the debt until Congress comes to its senses, or with zero debt, thanks to Obama and a treasury flush with cash from unspent tax receipts , the populace replaces the Republican House with a Democratic one that will spend that money and FINALLY stimulate the economy.


The stimulus was TEN TIMES this minuscule cut!
The Republicans offered Obama the ability to decide where the cuts would go but he said he would veto that...he is a feckless shill!

OUR taxes were raised MORE than this sequester in January and I did not hear Obama say that this would destroy the Country!
ZERO needs to be cut from poor families, politicians do this to CAUSE PAIN!

This is not new.
Vote down your local budget increase and they cut teachers when they should really freeze pay or cut other less crucial services.
BUT NOOO!
They WANT to hurt the taxpayer because they are BULLIES!
 
 
+15 # BradFromSalem 2013-04-09 12:35
Edge,

That's right. Why didn't I think of it. Freeze teacher's pay. Their salaries are the problem, they are overpaid and underworked. Not only that, their greed for a pension in retirement is setting a bad example for the kids. Better yet, lets get some homeless volunteer to teach, they'll do it cheep and won't question the standardized testing overlords.
I am very happy that you are in the 1.5% or whatever it is that got the tax increase. The only increase that most of saw was to our Premiums for the SS Insurance fund. And that was a year to year tax break to supply a steady, slow stimulus. I think you will find that most of us lefties didn't like it in the first place, but also thought the restoration at this time was not a good idea.
Last of all, the stimulus was mainly tax breaks for businesses. Facts bear out that what the Liberal economists were saying is what happened. That was, it was not enough and too little was directed toward putting the stimulus money into circulation, therby making it a very inefficient way to stimulate the economy.

And do you know how much of our taxes are currently being spent on paying down interest and principal on the debt? I don't, but that is the amount of dallars that will be available to the government after paying off the debt with a Platinum coin
 
 
-13 # edge 2013-04-09 13:30
Quoting BradFromSalem:
Edge,


Forgot your meds today did ya!

Hey PAL, I have not seen a raise if 5 years and have taken a 10% paycut before that!

HEY PAL, if it was too little then why did your buddies write it and pass it?
Were they just stupid?
It was written 100% by Democrats and passed 100% by Democrats!

YES, the increase in SS taxes were MORE than this sequester so grow up and admit that your guy has been a failure!
 
 
+14 # ericlipps 2013-04-09 15:35
Quoting edge:
Quoting BradFromSalem:
Edge,


Forgot your meds today did ya!

Hey PAL, I have not seen a raise if 5 years and have taken a 10% paycut before that!

HEY PAL, if it was too little then why did your buddies write it and pass it?
Were they just stupid?
It was written 100% by Democrats and passed 100% by Democrats!

YES, the increase in SS taxes were MORE than this sequester so grow up and admit that your guy has been a failure!


Hey PAL, the Democrats voted for the best they could get YOUR guys not to filibuster into the ground.

And guess what? There was NO increase in Social Security taxes--just the ending of a "tax holiday" which was bleeding the trust fund. And in any case, Social Security spending does NOT contribute to the deficit--the money is counted separately and always has been, though Reagan initiated the practice of looting the fund to paper over the true size of the deficit in general revenues. Grow up and do your research.
 
 
-2 # RLF 2013-04-10 05:39
Her it is...the same whining argument we always hear about the Democrats..."it is the best of two bad options", except, if you realy look closely you realize, it is exactly what the Democrats want but don't want to take the blame for. The Dems at this point are to the right of Raygun and untill we get enough REAL lefties in to call bullshit...we'r e screwed by Clintonite/Obam ite DINOs/
 
 
+8 # BradFromSalem 2013-04-09 19:29
Edge,

Yes. I am off my meds. And I'm feeling much better, now!

I really do feel bad for that your company has cut your pay and then froze it.The fact of the matter is that it is legal and with full employment they would have to compete for your services. Tell me, how do you plan to increase job competition to raise wages?
I think dkonstruction already explained to you that Obama and the rest of the Democrats passed a bill that would get past the filibusting (sic) Republicans. When your party stops everything, then you cannot turn around and blame the other side. The Republicans by default own the fact that the stimulus was weak. Why didn't they just let a big honking stimulus pass if they were so sure it would fail? hmmm

You broke it, you own it. Why in the world haven't the Republicans done anything at all to fix it?
 
 
+2 # RLF 2013-04-10 05:41
Funny how the Dems blame the filibuster but when Bush got what ever he wanted...where was the Dem filibuster? They were getting what their Corp. handlers were demanding.
 
 
+11 # dkonstruction 2013-04-09 14:49
The problem was not the size of the stimulus but rather what it was and was not used for i.e., much of it went to the large banks that got us into this mess in the first place and instead of then lending it out they doubled down on their risky bets and or bought US Treasuries i.e., we loaned them money at virtually 0% interest in return for which they just bought more gov't debt to turn an even bigger profit on what we "lent" them.

Had this money been used instead for a massive infrastructure rebuilding/jobs program as well as for investments in a new national smart grid and renewable energy projects we would be in a very different economic situation today.

It's like the old sham critique of the New Deal that it didn't get us out of the Depression (World War II did)...this only means that the New Deal wasn't big enough (since World War II and the war effort was essentially a giant gov't jobs and investment program or the New Deal on steroids).
 
 
+5 # BradFromSalem 2013-04-09 19:33
Good description of what I called "inefficient" stimulus.

Its not spending money, its how its spent. Enriching banks cannot stimulate the economy unless they decide to give money away. And even that is less efficient than using the money to create productive jobs.
 
 
+22 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-04-09 11:32
This is not the 'hope and change' we expected with Obama and we must face this fact. Obama is not on the side of the working people who elected him President. He is the smiling puppet of the plutocracy. Because he has darker skin and is a Democrat we made some evaluations of him that were erroneous. We expected a black man to be concerned with the working people. We expect a Democrat to be less evil than a Republican. WRONG on both of these two points. Question is -- will we learn from this experience? Or will be cheer on a woman who is a Democrat? Fooled once...will you be fooled again? If so, we as a nation are doomed to fall to the status of a third world nation where the people are reduced to serfdom. Our freedom of speech will extend to the point of always saying, "Yes, boss."
 
 
0 # RLF 2013-04-10 05:43
$12/week is good for me! Just so long as I can live in the greatest country in the world!
 
 
+28 # jwb110 2013-04-09 11:32
Start giving the poor bus tickets to Wash. D.C and the cities in which these Senators and Congressmen live. Make the problem real for them. Let them deal with it on a vis a vis basis. When CA had a really good social system the Republican states gave their poor bus tickets to CA. Turn about is fair play.
 
 
+14 # DaveM 2013-04-09 11:58
I like that idea. Have some people chip in to rent charter buses and advertise for volunteer "freedom riders".

It would be the reverse of the norm in Washington D.C., which is to round up all of the homeless people in the city just before any major political event and bus them out of town.
 
 
+15 # BradFromSalem 2013-04-09 12:00
How about each elected representative must work 1 month a year in a minimum wage position. There could be a variation where the rep or senator works 26 weekends or some combination of the two. If they do not perform the requirement, they are ineligible to run again until they do it for 2 months or 52 weekends in 18 months.

They don't have to become poor, just work and spend time together with them. That alone will be a real eye opener for many of them.
 
 
+19 # DPM 2013-04-09 12:06
The "Sequester" was supposed to be so unpalatable that only the "craziest" would allow it to happen and so, reach a budget agreement. What too many didn't seem to realize is, our government is populated by "crazies". Only they can't seem to see it.
If you think the political party to which you belong is not crazy, take a close look and think about it for a while.
 
 
+10 # tclose 2013-04-09 16:43
I agree, DPM. IMO Obam got snookered by the Party of No - he agreed to the Sequester because he thought it would be so unpalatable they would never let it come to pass. He should have realized that that was exactly what a good number of the party (Tea Party, LIbertarian, extreme right) wanted to happen - take down the government, no matter what the impact to the economy and the impact to those who who rely on government programs for their well being.

Granted, it did get him an agreement to eliminate the obscene Bush tax reduction, but it sure left him with a headache. We are now seeing a halt to the slow recovery from the (Great?) Recession. It will continue as long as the impact of the Sequester plays itself out.
 
 
+19 # turtleislander 2013-04-09 12:09
Why is it so hard to understand that the austerity "economics" is a vicious downward spiral? It's so simple. Fire people, reduce their income, and then they will buy less goods and services. Then the employers sell less, fire more. Then more of less demand and less sales and then fire some more. Perhaps it is the $174,000 per year starting salary in the lower house (God knows what Senators get)that skews the politicians vision and warps their brains. Oh and it's for life along with their top of the line health care...you think they can relate to us who have not won the political lottery?
 
 
0 # RLF 2013-04-10 05:46
Something like 90% of all people in the house and senate are multimillionair es. $174k is a joke to them. Public is still voting for right winger crap from the dems and the repubs, so I think we need to go down again...way down.
 
 
+6 # MendoChuck 2013-04-09 12:37
The real problem as I see it is that Politicians have the power to take what they want, when they want it and how they want it.

To many folks worry that the poor are asking to much of the government. But I see the politicians and corporations taking to much from the government.

However I could be wrong . . . . I was once before but that was because I thought I was wrong and really I wasn't. That was when I first thought the government was corrupt. I gave them the benefit of the doubt . . . . Now see what happened.

Darn . . . . Heck . . . . Son-of-a-Gun . . . . .
Follow your instincts!
They are usually right . . . .
 
 
+18 # DakotaKid 2013-04-09 12:53
RR: You had me until the end where you write: "Entire communities that depend mainly on defense-related industries or facilities will take major hits." Indeed, and it's about time. Don't get me wrong, here. I feel the pain of defense-industr y workers who will lose their jobs, but we desperately NEED to cut the umbilical cord that connects the economy to weapons manufacturers and defense-contrac tors. How about putting these people to work in "industries and facilities" we are currently offshoring, even as the federal government continues to give many of them enormous tax and other subsidies. The war-economy is killing us figuratively at home and a lot of innocent civilians literally abroad.
 
 
+7 # RHytonen 2013-04-09 18:52
Quoting DakotaKid:
RR: You had me until the end where you write: "Entire communities that depend mainly on defense-related industries or facilities will take major hits." Indeed, and it's about time. Don't get me wrong, here. I feel the pain of defense-industry workers who will lose their jobs, but we desperately NEED to cut the umbilical cord that connects the economy to weapons manufacturers and defense-contractors. How about putting these people to work in "industries and facilities" we are currently offshoring, even as the federal government continues to give many of them enormous tax and other subsidies. The war-economy is killing us figuratively at home and a lot of innocent civilians literally abroad.

Or how about Sh*tcanning the Contractor system that, like ALL privatization, DOUBLES COSTS- just as it does so blatantly in Energy, Finance, and Health Care, and now even in farming and food.

If the government was doing its own job, paying those workers directly (of COURSE they would still have their jobs,)
and negotiating materials with the National Economy of Scale, money wouldn't be wasted on a DOUBLED management layer PLUS the cost of profits for LAZY SOMETHING-FOR-N OTHING investor/gamble rs, and a system of advertising(PRO PAGANDA) and expensive bribery to eliminate competition and regulation, and corrupt the government's democracy and transparency.
 
 
-3 # brux 2013-04-09 13:26
> The dire warnings that had issued from the White beforehand

Huh ... editor ? Maybe White House ?
 
 
+13 # reiverpacific 2013-04-09 13:34
"A second reason the sequester hasn't been visible is a large share of the cuts are in programs directed at the poor - and America's poor are often invisible." .
Wrong -The poor are ALWAYS invisible, unacknowledged and non-existent in this "winner-take-al l and die if you get in the way" society.
The song "God bless the child that's got his own" is more appropriate than ever.
There must be an equally invisible force field around the beltway resistant to all reason and compassion -remember some of the worst slums and poverty are in Washington DC, cheek-by jowl but insulated from tax-evading representative' s lodgings like the "C" street "Family" house registered as a church for the privileged and subsidized politico-evange lical elites like Ensign and Brownback who take international "Junkets for Jesus" and make attendance at the annual National prayer breakfast almost mandatory (Hilary Clinton is an enthusiastic attendee), foment unrest in other susceptible countries like the the "Kill Gays" in Uganda but can't see, or chose to ignore and probably despise the destitution under their own noses.
They are the "Sequester" - Pushers and should be made to work for minimum wage at a filthy job or at a fast food chain for an extended period until, like the ghost of Hamlet's father are "Doomed for a certain term to walk the night
And for the day confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purged away."
Faint hope indeed.
 
 
-1 # brux 2013-04-09 15:50
> Wrong -The poor are ALWAYS invisible

Goodness, do you have to begin your comment like that to someone who you agree with what the heck is your encore?
 
 
+2 # reiverpacific 2013-04-09 18:44
Quoting brux:
> Wrong -The poor are ALWAYS invisible

Goodness, do you have to begin your comment like that to someone who you agree with what the heck is your encore?

Ever heard of "Quote marks"?
Get of yer high horse; I'll take guidance from somebody who has something to offer, not some faux-grammatica l smart-arse.
Now what was y'r point again???
 
 
0 # brux 2013-04-15 13:01
read my post to get my point, and don't answer back if your don't have one of your own.
 
 
+3 # RHytonen 2013-04-09 18:59
"Hillary Clinton?"

Non-starter.
("Why not?": TransCanada emails.)


America is onto the extractionary corporate millionaire government.
NO MORE. Register Green to send a message, and if it's not instantly and spectacularly heeded?

Vote Green.
jillstein.org/issues is the ONLY platform that agrees with the 75% PLUS numbers in polls ON THE ISSUES.

It HAS to start somewhere.
A broken system by design cannot fix itself nor BE fixed from within.
Why would you WANT to save such a system anyway?
 
 
+8 # cmp 2013-04-09 13:39
Gee, Ben Bernanke tells us "more quantitative easing - the banks will save us." This, after 5 years. Ah-mmm, Ben, isn't it we, who saved the banks.. And, not ourselves in the process...

Gee Ben, where is all that money going after 5 years? Ohh, is the Stock Market really setting another All-Time high, in the middle of the GREAT RECESSION? Gee..

Mr Buffett, made billions on investing in banks in the boom-boom run up. But, did he sell with the impending crash? No. In fact, he doubled down.. And now, he's swimming in even more Billions. But oh, ain't he a "good" guy. He's feeling a little guilty now. He wants to give a few million back. A few..

Mr Gates, reminds us every day that he's a "philanthropist ." It seems that he can't part with a nickel, unless he hears his own name.. Funny thing is, that since he retired and embarked on his personal public relations campaign, his own net worth has increased by 40%. It seems that he has made Billions off of the crash too. Today, the caring "good" guy is now worth, (67 Thousand) times (1 million) Dollars...

The funny part of it is, that if "nerd wonder" had been born only 20 years earlier, he never would have been able to legally establish a sole monopoly.. But oh, he's a "genius" in his own mind..
 
 
+3 # havershelly 2013-04-09 13:55
Any "bargain" agreed to by Obama would be even worse -- look what he wants to do to Social Security. At least the military is taking part -- albeit much too small a part -- of the hit.
 
 
+1 # brux 2013-04-09 15:48
I think we need a government inquiry to look into whatever the force is - INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL - that is trying to destroy the United States ... a kind of REVERSE MCCARTHYISM ...

Where McCarthy was looking for communists, really socialists, really people who wanted to continue Roosevelt's people based government programs and root them out supported by what were the virtual fascists we had just vanquished in Japan and Germany ... McCarthy combined with propaganda was a social coup, maybe the first CIA coup.

We need some kind of understanding about what the political forces are at "play" in the United States body politic, because they are fighting a guerrilla war and that is why Americans cannot tell what is going on or decide where we want to go.
 
 
+5 # RHytonen 2013-04-09 19:02
Seeing the results of capitalism in this, its beginning endgame of CRUEL, CATACLYSMIC FAILURE,

I wonder at anyone who ISN'T a Socialist, never mind accepting it as an epithet.
 
 
+2 # Kathymoi 2013-04-09 20:46
I've said it before,and here I am saying it again. The "sequester" is not a bad decision made by policy makers that will not achieve their goals. It is a plan to achieve bad goals, and the right plan to achieve bad goals. The consequences to the lower and middle classes of austerity measures are well known and easily predicted. The policy makers choosing austeriy measures are not blundering. They are choosing these consequences for the lower and middle classes. The policy makers do not want a robust economy or a successful middle class or a safely housed lower class with access to medical services, a good public education and healthy food. Nope. These are not the goals of austerity prograns that are proliferating around the world. How could government after government blunder into the same mistake? Because they are not making a mistake. They are damaging the country and its people on purpose. Why? Who benefits from the damage? I guess we'll get to see that soon. No one will be surprised.
 
 
0 # cmp 2013-04-10 11:41
Exactly! And Kathymoi, you know the answer's to your last 2 questions..

When we take away the window dressings, Democracy is Socialism for the rich and brutal capitalism for the rest.

But, the austerity is one thing and it's the lie's, the double speak of simultaneous, select modern Socialism, is the other thing.

No one, talks of the "cash for trash." In other words, the quantitative "easing." Who is doing it? (Japan, just started too.) Where is it going? Who is benefiting? Is it working and for whom? What did the gov't (& their paymasters) learn from the bailout? (Was it, how to be more sophisticated in their corruption?) How is it we can have a Great Recession, w/no end in sight and the whole world is "frozen" yet, some people are still becoming fabulously wealthy? (record highs w/stock market, etc.) Where is this money coming from?

Elected Officials, can easily lie about why we have to live w/less. But, after 5 years since the crash, I'm interested in hearing them lie to us on why the very few rich, get to live w/even more..
 
 
+2 # glori30175 2013-04-09 22:46
Okay folks remember all the bullshit Reagan was saying about trickle down economics and how it would get people to spend more and then????Well it is a fact now that the voodoo economics and david Stockmans tax reforms really screwed everyone for a long time to come???The trickle down effects of the voodoo is that the rich get richer and the poor get the crumbs trickling down to them!And A George w Bush Presidency that really sank the boat economically and Moralisticaly with no child left a dime and keeping oil prices high for the oil co.profiteering and screwing the working people and the poor and retired unendedly!!Nuff Said?
 
 
0 # Objective Observer 2013-04-12 12:13
As a proud American it saddens me to hear about the prevailing political genocide of austerity measures. It is a genocide that is designed to castrate the economic life line of the people. All while maintaining the status quo of a few parasites.

Many of you point out Europe as an example of the failures of improving the living conditions of society when austerity political economics has been implemented. At what point do we begin to realize that this is a so called developed western world phenomenon. There is a relationship to the economic insanity.

Financial institutions such as the IMF, World Bank and Federal Reserve have replaced political institutions for distributing the wealth of the people. People do not rank well in an objective driven solely by profit.

Greed is what greed does. Austerity is one of greed's components. Certainty that only exist in hind sight will eventually reveal the outcome of such a self destructive nature. The certainty of hind sight has also revealed the destiny of those countries in the past that succumbed to similar economic measures.
 

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