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Senator Mark Warner (D. VA) brought up a good point today:

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said Congress must "get something done" to avert the looming, across-the-board cuts of the sequester set to start kicking in later this week.

"I’ve been surprised some of these Republican leaders have said they don’t want to negotiate — no eleventh hour deals," Warner told CBS' Charlie Rose on "This Morning."

"I don’t think the public realizes how stupid these cuts are. In many places we will end up cutting things that will cost the taxpayer more money than the cuts." - Business Insider, 2/25/13

Warner also discussed the growing concerns about the effects across-the-board sequester cuts would have on state governments:

Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, left, and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., speak to reporters about  financial reform on Wall Street during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, April 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Many governors have been frustrated with the inability of Congress to compromise, said Warner, himself a former governor.

“You’ve seen governors in both parties in the last couple of days say, ‘Hey, come on, guys, get your act together,’” he said, promoting the plan proposed by Senate Democrats, which would close tax loopholes for revenues. “We’ve got to get it done.” - Politico, 2/25/13

Warner also gave examples of how the sequester cuts would be harmful:

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has an interchange with Paul Volcker, chairman of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board, as the Senate Banking Committee examines ways to modernize the U.S. financial regulatory system, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2009.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
“Let me give you three quick examples. In the navy there are 975 separate line items - each of those will be cut. Each of these programs are not of equal value to the taxpayer,” said Warner. “In some places, we’ll actually even have to cut long-term contracts, volume-based contracts, which means we’ll have to pay more for ships and planes. We’re also going to be cutting back on NIH grants not being able to finish, meat inspectors, so the price of meat will go up.” - The Hill, 2/25/13
Warner explained that every budget, from the Federal Aviation Administration to the Food and Drug Administration, and cuts to the Defense Department will hit hard in Virginia:

"Just like families, when the military goes out and buys 10 tanks instead of one tank we get a discount," he explains. "Because each account will get cut equally, some of these contracts will have to be broken and the discount that we recieve will end up costing us more than the savings."

He adds: "When you do this across the board without regard to merit, the American public will have a right to be outraged at all of us."

So why create the sequester when it was doomed from the start? Well, says Warner, it goes way back to the summer of 2011 when Congress was fighting over whether to raise the debt ceiling. "It was set up around the whole debacle around the debt ceiling ...with the expectation that the so-called supercommittee would do its job."

But, he says, that congressional "super" committee forged to come up with a deficit reduction plan didn't do its job, which leaves us where we are now. - Market Place, 2/20/13

Warner also stated that it was unlikely the GOP would change it's position and that they actually want these sequester cuts to take effect.  He's right about that.  Warner has been arguing that sequester was a stupid way to cut spending.  Here's him arguing with Tea Party troll Senator Rand Paul (R. KY):

"I think the sequester has to go through," Paul, R-Ky., told WTOP Thursday morning. "People need to realize the sequester is not really a cut in spending. It's a cut in the rate of growth of spending."

He adds that a new proposal by Senate Democrats to avoid sequestration with a mix of spending cuts and new tax revenue is a bad idea.

"Another dumb idea," said Paul, who on Tuesday delivered the tea party response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. "They just raised taxes three months ago. Did they not get enough of a fix then? We've got to cut spending."

In response, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., says allowing sequestration to take effect March 1 would be "a stupid way to cut."

"Sequestration was set up to be the stupidest way possible to cut," he told WTOP Thursday. "It cuts every component of government, regardless of whether the progam works or doesn't work."

As a result, the government will be breaking multiple contracts, he says.

"We're going to furlough government contractors one day a week. That's going to have a ripple effect across the whole capital region's economy," Warner said. - WTOP, 2/14/13

With clowns like Rand Paul in office, no wonder we're having problems getting shit done in Washington.  Luckily the adults like Warner are out there informing the public about the effects across-the-board sequester cuts would have on the country.  We'll have to wait and see what happens next.

Originally posted to pdc on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:30 AM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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Comment Preferences

  •  if dems had a media presence like the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, David54

    GOP does, people might actually hear this.


    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:42:28 AM PST

  •  Typical GOP (0+ / 0-)


    "Sequestration was set up to be the stupidest way possible to cut," he told WTOP Thursday. "It cuts every component of government, regardless of whether the program works or doesn't work."
    THAT is the GOP goal.

    All they want is to hobble government completely. Traffic tickets and pot arrests - that is all you'll have when the GOP (and the Dems who Kabuki them) get done.

    At this point in time the GOP agenda is to destroy what we know as our government. Everything. Sequestration jumpstarts the process.

    IF sequestration hits, it will likely be treated as permanent by the GOP because this is how they do.

    And this is because they fear no reprisal from the People.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:48:53 AM PST

  •  If he thought it was such a stupid idea... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Then he shouldn't have voted for the Budget Control Act of 2011.

    Sanders, Gillibrand, Merkley, Harkin, Lautenberg, and Menendez all voted against it.

    •  Maybe he thought at the time that by now they (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM, MrAnon

      would've had a set plan to avoid this.

      Funny Stuff at

      by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:55:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Then he has way too much faith in the Senate (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That would have been naively optimistic, in my opinion

        •  Well hold on, this was 2011 when he signed onto (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Penny GC

          this.  We may have thought at the time Democrats will increase their majority (which they did) and if the GOP loses big, moderates like Susan Collins, Mark Kirk and Lisa Murkowski will have to start playing ball after the election.

          Funny Stuff at

          by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:34:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But the Congress would be the same (0+ / 0-)

            The deadline for sequestration was originally December 31, 2012, so the composition of both houses of Congress in summer 2011 and winter 2012 would be the same.

            You can assume that McConnell would try to filibuster any solution not to his liking.  And I don't think you could cobble together a Democrat + moderate Republican coalition large enough to break a filibuster.  

            Any replacement for sequestration would probably have been pretty bad considering the President's continual advocacy for cutting Social Security benefits.  Any "deal" would likely have shifted any spending cuts away from the defense budget and onto social insurance and the discretionary budget.

        •  it's not the Senate that is holding things up (0+ / 0-)

          it's the RepIdiot House that is dragging this out.  The Senate, controlled by Democrats, does not endorse sequestration now.  The RepAssholes in the House are tacitly endorsing it by doing nothing to prevent it.

          •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

            The House passed SRRA and the Spending Reduction Act back in 2012 to avoid sequestration; it's the Senate that hasn't passed anything and won't bring up either of the above for a vote, or to send to a conference committee.

            Senate Dems came up with a plan last week, but haven't brought it for a vote to force Repubs to filibuster it. They need to do this to keep the pressure on the Republicans.

            In the end, I hope sequestration happens. Maybe then people will wise up to what happens when you pursue blind austerity and we can take back the House in 2014.

            Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear. ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

            by absdoggy on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:03:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Reid should call for a vote (0+ / 0-)

            The Republicans in the House voted on sequestration replacements (bad ones, by the way) that would have gone nowhere, but they voted anyway.

            The Senate could have at least put forth a plan, but likely did not because of a fear of getting accused of raising taxes---even though they did campaign on doing so.

            Or, the simplest solution of all: just repealing sequestration

  •  Why did he vote for them? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Of course, the idea outlived its enforcement mechanism status to become current policy. The White House officially introduced the idea of a sequester into the deal—which became the Budget Control Act of 2011—on July 27, 2011. “There would be no chance the Republicans would want to pull the trigger and allow the sequester to force massive cuts to Defense,” the book has Obama’s team as reasoning.

    Jump to page 345 as the deal is coming together and Democrats are stunned that Republicans would even put the Pentagon on the bargaining table as part of the deal,

    “[Obama adviser David] Plouffe couldn’t believe it. These guys are so afraid of increasing revenues that they’re willing to put Defense on the chopping block? Republicans’ revenue phobia was so intense that they would sell out the Pentagon.

    ’This is a deal we can probably live with,’ Obama said, willing to do almost something to salvage something and prevent catastrophe.’”

    That "we" - conservative Democrats..
    The time to consider the stupidity was before Democrats try to outflank Republicans on Debt....specifically Blue Dogs like Warner.  It was folks like him, that the President had to appease post 2010.  So I am not sure he has a leg to stand on when he cries foul.

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:54:23 AM PST

    •  Read my comment above to Liberty Equality (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Fraternity and Trees' comment.

      Funny Stuff at

      by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 11:58:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  We remember his role in the gang of six (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, ferg, puakev
      The Virginian-Pilot
      © August 18, 2011

      The Virginia Democrat said the debt-ceiling legislation recently approved by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama doesn't make a deep enough dent in the deficit. Nor, he said, does it make changes in taxes or entitlements, such as Social Security and Medicare, which must be part of the solution.

      The approved legislation requires about $1 trillion in deficit reductions by capping discretionary spending, including defense. An additional $1.2 trillion or more in cuts are to be determined this fall by a 12-member House-Senate "supercommittee."

      However, "$2.2 trillion is not enough," Warner told the Filipino American Community Action Group meeting at Suzanne's Kitchenette restaurant. "We can't just get there by cutting."

      Yes, he didn't like sequestration.

      He thought it wasn't enough!

      I hope people read comments to make sure the full story on Warner is understood.

      "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

      by justmy2 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:01:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, if you're a resident of Virginia, I urge you (0+ / 0-)

        to keep the pressure on him in regards to the safety net.  

        Funny Stuff at

        by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:03:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  And the last quote: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        "However, "$2.2 trillion is not enough," Warner told the Filipino American Community Action Group meeting at Suzanne's Kitchenette restaurant. "We can't just get there by cutting."

        I don't think Mark Warner is that bad to be honest.  I think we're way over thinking things here.  He's not a liberal Democrat (more moderate) but he's also not stupid.

        I'm really not sure what the full story is that you're referring to.  Warner really doesn't have an "agenda."  He's being a responsible U.S. Senator by compromising and at least trying to do something more reasonable rather than just simply "cut this, cut that."  If you disagree with him, that's fine.  But he's not a Tea Party Democrat or a Blue Dog Democrat by any means.  

        If say Warner believes Social Security and Medicare need to be solvent, then of course they do.  President Bush robbed Social Security of the funds funds during his tenure just to fund the stupid Iraq War and the GOP never called him on this.  The one difference is, as the article points out in Warner's quote, solving the problem isn't cut this, cut that.  Why not cut the administrative costs to the Social Security Administration?  That's not cutting benefits.  That's cutting expenses but not benefits?  Is that even being discussed?  I don't know but it may be an option.  I mean, it's possible for more IT to be emphasized in the Social Security Administration nowadays than before.  Even Darrell Issa of all people has pointed out that federal government's IT is really in need of a shake-up.  And this is the one time which I rarely agree with Issa.

        Warner himself is known to being an innovative thinking politician.  I don't think he got high approval ratings for being a blue dog Democrat.  He was one of the most popular Governors, during a time when it was difficult for Democrats to being popular during Bush's years.

        •  Yeah, it annoys me how people here will call Dems (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          who don't agree with them on one or two issues but then agree with on others Blue Dogs.  Someone called Tim Kaine a Blue Dog because of his remark about 47% and taxes during his debate with George Allen.  It was a gaffe that he later cleared up but luckily someone here reminded that person that Kaine helped African Americans in Richmond find affordable housing as a lawyer and mayor of Richmond.  Does that sound like a Blue Dog?  Now if people want to complain about moderates, ok, then Daily Kos members need to organize local field groups that help get progressives Dems elected into local offices in swing states like Virginia.  You can only get betters Dems in D.C. when you get better Dems in the local offices first.  

          Funny Stuff at

          by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:48:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Like uh duh, we're human after all (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Grover Norquist talks about putting a pledge for House Republicans to sign to not raise taxes and we criticize those in the GOP for bowing down to Norquist's deeds YET we also go after Democrats for apparently "not being Democratic" enough or not "liberal" enough for having a different opinion, which isn't necessarily code for being a GOP tool.

            Goodness, even Mark Warner could change.  We can interrogate him but we really should be focusing our energy on the GOP and giving them as much misery as humanly possible for what they've done to this country.  The GOP are really un-American at this point.

        •  Cut Social Security administrative costs??????? (0+ / 0-)

          I recently applied for Social Security. User friendly web site.  Takes 10 minutes.  Not a form to sign or mail.  


          •  I'm not assuming anything (0+ / 0-)

            Social Security costs could be anything else besides the website.  There could be additional processes within the SSA that could be enhanced to speed efficiency.

            Maybe the SSA administration isn't so bad after all.  It's the EDD in California that pisses me off.  These bozos can't even get a good IT system together because the department is run by morons.  And it's under the arm of the CA State Labor Department.  UGH, the State Legislature Democrats in California can be one dimensional sometimes.

            Still, the point Mark Warner is making is that talking about "cutting costs" all the time is not the way to go.  We're in the 21st century.  Tech companies or even newer, growing companies, don't talk about "cut this, cut that."  They're about innovation and efficiency and making the world a better place.  Sure, tech companies are predominately in the private industry but the public sector, at least the federal government, has a thing or two to learn from the private industry in the Bay Area.

            •  There's plenty of room for new IT in the federal (0+ / 0-)

              government.   Many systems are awful.  Have they ever heard of a relational database?  HA!  If he truly was a reformer in the sense of making the federal government more efficient I wouldn't oppose that.  

              But I am cutting them no slack on entitlement cuts.  I don't care how good they are on any other issue if they're planning to pay for it by cutting the benefits of vulnerable seniors they will never get another vote from me.

              I am only just now once again hearing Tweety and Fineman and all saying how eager the Democrats are to cut entitlements if they can just get a little give from Republicans on some other issues.

              •  Who are Tweety and Fineman? How accurate are (0+ / 0-)

                they?  Some times I have to question our own beloved progressive journalists that we worship because they could be exaggerating some things.

                Funny Stuff at

                by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:36:30 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Problem is we don't know where Democrats stand (0+ / 0-)

                  hence the lack of trust.

                  I do not know who keeps whispering "entitlement cuts" into the ear of every pundit on every network and cable network.   All I know is every time I hear it, I am going to tell you I oppose it and I will vote on it.  If they want to clear up where they stand, they can shut me up on this issue.

                  Chris Mathews and Howard Fineman were just on MSNBC with yet another confident assurance that OF COURSE Democrats are going to cut entitlements.

                  My answer to that is that OF COURSE I will boycott the Democratic Party from the top of the ballot to the bottom if you do.

                  Apparently Democrats are worried that the Tea Party is actually willing to cut Defense.  

                  •  Well, we know who is with us on this (0+ / 0-)

                    Elizabeth Warren, Ed Merkley, Tom Udall, Al Franken, Chris Murphy and other U.S. Senators in the Democratic Party in their mold are 100% with us.  They don't want entitlements to be cut.

                  •  Ok, that is bull shit. Jeff Merkley, Tom Harkin, (0+ / 0-)

                    Jay Rockefeller, Al Franken, Mark Begich and several Democrats have been gathering support to vote against cuts to Social Security and Medicare.  Turn Matthews and Fineman the fuck off, they are pundits who get word from anonymous sources with vague terms like "entitlement reform".  You know what my problem with Kos members like you is you scream these generalized statements like "THE DEMOCRATS ARE GOOING TO  CUT MY SOCIAL SECURITY!!!! THEY ARE WORST THAN THE GOP!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!" but I have put out several diaries and other members, including Daily Kos staff members like Joan McCarter, who post diaries stating which Democrats are against these cuts and are working to build support that contradicts what Matthews and Fineman say yet even after these diaries come out, you still scream "DEMOCRATS ARE GOING TO CUT SOCIAL SECURITY!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!" Chill. The. Fuck. Out. Turn off Matthews and pay attention more to the posts on this blog.

                    Funny Stuff at

                    by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:56:16 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Screaming like chicken little and making (0+ / 0-)

                    generalized statements that push good Democrats with the bad ones ain't going to make the problem go away.

                    Funny Stuff at

                    by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 02:57:33 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  I agree. No Entitlement cuts, no chained CPI (0+ / 0-)

                Darrell Issa, as much as I dislike him, is the only person in Congress who seems to be interested in replacing all these old systems with new systems.  Hell, why not just have the entire federal government go in a cloud computing environment.  That would be revolutionary and save on TONS of costs.  Hell, it'd improve efficiency.

                I'm not focused on criticizing Democrats at this point.  They and Obama are trying to make the best of the situation with the idiot would be "Republicans" in the GOP who are ruining this country with their arrogance and obsessive nature of power, like Starscream who always wanted to go after Megatron in the Transformers TV series because he wasn't getting enough attention.  In fact, Starscream fighting against Megatron is like the Tea Party fighting against Mitch McConnell sometimes.

                •  I agree on the efficiency (0+ / 0-)

                  There is no reason government can't be more efficient if Congress would just fund the reforms and get out of the way.  They could then cut jobs or employ people more productively.  And if Republicans would just do that instead of being hung up on the ideology of destroying government, they might well bring in some good ideas from the corporate sector.  

                  But just slashing benefits because we have bipartisan stupidity doesn't cut it with me.  

                  Follow the corporate model.  First you make the systems more efficient and after you've succeeded you cut the cost of the jobs you no longer need.  Instead, government cuts the budget but doesn't make anything more efficient so stuff just stops working.

                  •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

                    Public sector needs to start thinking like the private sector, even though it's not in the business of making profits.  It's not as if organizations like the EDD have to act like artificial intelligence-based robots.

    •  Mark Warner is NOT a blue dog (0+ / 0-)

      Please.  He's actually more liberal than a blue dog.  He's one of the original people who actually called for a more comprehensive approach to the deficit and debt situation, one which was about a balanced approach to raising revenues and cutting costs.  Even Saxby Chambliss and Tom Coburn signed onto the deal because they are not Tea Party types.  As much as I dislike those guys (and I do), they are being responsible U.S. Senators by at least working to compromise.  You don't find that with idiots like Rand Paul.

      •  Balanced approach is code (0+ / 0-)

        for cutting entitlements which is code for cutting Social Security and Medicare.  

        •  Not necessarily (0+ / 0-)

          You're taking things too loosely.  I've been hearing a lot of arguments from both Washington insiders and those on Kossacks.  It seems more one side is fearing and the other side is just working on trying to get something done.  The unifying them here though is that no one on either side is giving me enough real evidence.  

          I do though stand with you in that I don't want entitlements to be cut.  

          Right now I want to work on strategizing what I call "Project Annihilation," which is to defeat as many in the GOP in humanly possible, no matter how red their districts are.  I want them all gone so the GOP can be reformed without the help of the Christian right donors, which of course won't happen and that doesn't concern me.

      •  Is this snark, or just a wish? (0+ / 0-)

        Mark Warner is the quintessential blue dog,  just has slightly more liberal base.  

        "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

        by justmy2 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 04:11:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't trust Warner (0+ / 0-)

    He doesn't want Defense cuts but watch him sign on to entitlement cuts.  I'm not crying for Defense contractors.

    •  On some issues I trust him, on others I don't. (0+ / 0-)

      He has mentioned entitlement reform in the past, yes, but I haven't heard any specifics.  On that issue, he should be pressured on from us.  But in terms of defense spending, I'm for cutting it but I want the specifics on where we should  cut in terms of defense spending.

      Funny Stuff at

      by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:01:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The more we cut Defense the better (0+ / 0-)

        We don't have to build weapons, we can build roads and bridges and schools and hospitals.  If we did that, we'd be spreading the money around and not concentrating it in a few states that live off the military spending.  For that matter, we ought to be spreading the federal jobs around and not concentrating them all in expensive cost of living areas like DC suburbs.    

  •  I think Warner's point is that sequestration (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is so dumb that the GOP should want to avoid it.  However, if they want to go down that road, it will hurt and they will be to blame.  

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:05:16 PM PST

  •  "and why did they not do their job? " (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    followup to this...

    But, he says, that congressional "super" committee forged to come up with a deficit reduction plan didn't do its job, which leaves us where we are now.

    "Because of the fucking gop standing in the way!"


    Sorry for screaming but this should be the only thing said by Dems and all involved parties until this crap stops.
    Get out of the way!

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 12:19:25 PM PST

  •  He's been an uber deficit/spending scold (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    since he joined the Senate.  But now that we're getting spending cuts he complains?  Sorry, but his words ring a little hollow to me.  If he's so hot and bothered about spending cuts maybe he shouldn't have been so urgently crusading on the need for spending cuts these last few years.

    “Th’ noise ye hear is not th’ first gun iv a revolution. It’s on’y th’ people iv the United States batin’ a carpet.” - Mr. Dooley

    by puakev on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:50:55 PM PST

    •  I know's he's been in favor of deficit reduction (0+ / 0-)

      but your comment's not totally accurate.  He is stating that cutting across-the-board like sequestration cuts across the board.  Now he's made vague statements about a balanced package approach, sure but not for cutting spending across the board.

      Funny Stuff at

      by poopdogcomedy on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 01:58:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, he's 100% right. (0+ / 0-)

    Although I'm wondering: did he vote for the sequester?

    "Optimism is better than despair." --Jack Layton, the late Canadian MP, liberal, and Christian.

    by lungfish on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:13:51 PM PST

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