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I know that by and large the cuts have to be made across the board for all agencies.

But can the President, for example, in making the cuts to agency X, decide to close all offices serving agency X only in Alabama, Wyoming, and Oklahoma in order to make the necessary cuts, if that would meet the monetary requirements?  In other words, why not make the effects of the sequester fall disproportionately upon Deep Red States?  That might force Repubs in Congress to do something about replacing the sequester with something else.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Right. The President of the United States (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Anna M, skohayes

    is going to play favorites among the states based on who voted for what. Come on, you really think that would go well for President Obama? Think.

    •  Yes I do (0+ / 0-)

      We're never going to win their votes anyway.

      There are so many bs projects that Repub Senators and Congressmen get in their districts.  I say eliminate them unless they are worth the cost.

      •  So you would have no objection (0+ / 0-)

        to a Republican president cutting Medicaid funds to California, for example?

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 04:24:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, I said bs projects (0+ / 0-)

          not Medicaid.

          Like all the military boondoggle projects that end up in southern states, which we never should have funded anyway.

          •  Virtually all large military projects (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skohayes

            Are subcontracted over many -- if not most -- of the 50 states, and even more finely broken into various congressional districts within states.

            By design.

            This way, most senators and many congressional representatives have a vested interest in keeping the project alive to protect their constituents' jobs.

            You're not dealing with rookies when you're dealing with the defense industry. They understand and play the Military Contracts game  better than even the purchasing people at the Pentagon.

            © grover


            So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

            by grover on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:41:37 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Are you forgetting that a state's "color" ... (0+ / 0-)

        means only that a majority of its voters vote for one side or the other?  In other words, you'd be affecting almost as many democrats in your select states as you would republicans.

        "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

        by Neuroptimalian on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:29:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  No cuts have to be made. The Congress, which is (6+ / 0-)

    in charge of managing the currency and disbursing it into the economy, has been engaged in rationing for a long time.
    Sequester is just a fancy word for something they've known since Richard Nixon's day has negative effects. That is, rationing leads to hoarding and may well account for why private industry is currently hoarding over two trillion in cash.

    The purpose of taxes is to recycle the dollars back through the Treasury instead of our having to issue fresh. Congress, we all know, does not like recycling. Indeed, although they like to say the same things over and over, doing the right thing is increasingly foreign. What we need to do is take note of the obstructionists and make sure they don't get elected again.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:02:36 PM PST

  •  It's mostly about furloughs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yasuragi, Odysseus

    of federal employees, and cuts to services. A list of probable cuts include:

    - $483 million cut from the FAA operations budget, forcing all FAA employees to be furloughed for 11 days. On any given day, that could mean that 10 percent of the FAA’s 40,000 employees could be on furlough, resulting in longer delays, reduced air-traffic control, and losses in tourism. There will also be a hiring freeze.

    -National Parks: In order to cut 5 percent of its budget, the National Park Service would have to slash $110 million, according to Coalition of National Park Service Retirees. The NPS has already begun to plan for sequestration by cutting park hours and visitor services in some of the nation’s leading national parks—from Yosemite to the Great Smokey Mountains. The group estimates that over a million visitors to the nation’s 12 leading national parks would experience the effects of the budget cuts, as several of the parks would have to close visitor centers, restrict campsites, limit train access, and delay spring road openings.

    - Most of the 800,000 civilian employees of the Defense Department will get unpaid leave, called a furlough, for up to 22 days, saving the Pentagon between $4 billion and $5 billion through the rest of the fiscal year.

    - Health Services: In a letter to Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius outlined the significant impact to the nation’s health services if sequestration goes into effect.

        $350 million cut from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
        109,000 fewer people in need of critical treatment might not get admitted to inpatient facilities
        91,000 fewer people would receive substance abuse treatment
        30,000 children without child care services
        373,000 seriously ill adults and emotionally disturbed children would not receive treatment
        4 million fewer meals would get home delivered to seniors
        424,000 fewer HIV tests
        540,000 fewer doses of vaccines for the flue, hepatitis and measles, among other diseases
        $1.6 billion cut for medical research at the National Institutes of Health
        $120 million cut in federal support for health centers, which could lead to 900,000 fewer patients served
        $168 million cut in embassy security.

    - Border Security: U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees could get furloughed for 12 to 14 days, which could lead to increased waiting times for border cross and cause flight delays. In addition, 5,000 border patrol agents and 2,750 customs officers would be cut.

    - Education: If sequestration goes into effect, $406 million would get cut in Head Start programs, resulting in 70,000 children losing access to the service. That would lead to the layoffs of 14,000 teachers, teacher assistants and staff who work in the program.

    - Disaster Relief: The Federal Emergency Management Agency would receive a $1 billion cut, while also losing over $120 million in homeland security grants.

    - Law Enforcement: The Department of Justice is being cut $1.6 billion, which will result in furloughs. Addition cuts to law enforcement areas, officials argue, could mean missteps in the judicial system.

        $550 million cut from the FBI
        $100 million cut from U.S. attorneys who prosecute criminal and civilian cases
        $338 million cut from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which leads to furloughs and the suspended activation of two federal prisons
        20 percent cut from drug testing and mental health treatment for criminals
        30 percent cut in court security systems, which protect people in courtrooms

    - Additional Cuts: The National Science Foundation ($375 million), the Library of Congress, NASA ($950 million), the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Patent and Trademark office will also receive millions of dollars in cuts

    Just a few highlights.  Too bad Congress itself doesn't receive any real cuts or furloughs.
  •  I do not believe the President has the authority (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yasuragi, skohayes, Odysseus

    to make cuts in the manner you suggest. Although it is up to the Executive Branch departments to determine how cuts are implemented, and the President is of course head of the Executive Branch, the decision-making is delegated downwards. What sequestration does is to tell each federal agency "Here's how much less money you have to spend. It's up to you to decide how to implement those cuts in the least harmful way possible."

    Attempts to favor or disfavor specific localities based on how they voted would almost certainly wind up being litigated and the government would almost certainly lose. Any attempt to manage the cuts to disfavor certain localities would have to be justified on some credible basis other than their political makeup and that's pretty much an impossible task to accomplish.

    So while the ultimate effects of cuts might impact some areas more than others depending on their specific circumstances, the cuts themselves have to be spread out equally.

  •  There Is NO Way The President Gets To Pick..... (0+ / 0-)

    & choose which state agencies are furloughed.  He wouldn't touch that one w/ a ten foot club.  Even w/ Tiger Woods swinging the putter.  

  •  President Obama has said numerous times (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peglyn, CwV

    That he is the President of ALL of the United States.

    He has given us absolutely no reason to doubt us on this. I certainly don't. I admire him for refusing to play the heinous games Republicans play-- like when they refused to fund Hurricane Sandy relief because they "don't like" New York and New Jersey.

    Someone has to be the adult in the room. I would be horrified if President Obama did as you suggest. I'd certainly be calling and emailing the White House (and my Democratic representatives, the Democratic party, OFA, etc) to loudly register my protests if he ever did.

    But I'm certain he won't. That's not the kind of person he is.  

    It's called character and honor. It's why I volunteered and voted for him in 2008 and 2012.

    © grover


    So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

    by grover on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 10:51:47 PM PST

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