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In an opinion piece in the Financial Times, Obama Has Always Planned To Slash Spending, Jeffrey Sachs argues that President Obama will get the result he has asked for when the sequester kicks in tomorrow. Despite the rhetoric placing blame on Congress, this is his bargain, the hand he dealt, and the result will be austerity.  

More below the kossant de l'orange

With Austerity the general public is on the losing end.  Who then might the winners be? You guessed it. The one percenters, the already wealthy beneficiaries of the Bush tax cuts made permanent under Obama.

The Sachs article is behind a free subscription wall, so I'll post a couple of excerpts for those who aren't subscribers. It is worth the read.

As Sachs explains, Obama's actual budgets have called for discretionary spending cuts not too different from what this sequester will bring.

Each year he has put a budget on the table. Each year that budget has called for a sharp decline in discretionary spending as a share of gross domestic product in 2012 and later years. His rhetoric about increasing public investments in America’s future has always been contrary to the budgets he has presented, though most of his supporters have been unaware of this contradiction.
And these cuts will indeed hurt many of us, just as we have expected that Austerity would. This appears to me to be the next phase of Klein's Shock Doctrine in full motion.
These cuts are now taking hold, and they will indeed hurt. Mr Obama’s supporters will be very puzzled – many will doubt the basic fact that these cuts have long been ordained by the president, at least in general terms, though not exactly as they will now occur. Why would a progressive president plan for deep cuts in discretionary spending relative to GDP even as he advocates larger investments in health, education, infrastructure, clean energy, science and technology, job training, early childhood development and more?

There is a simple answer that is the key to American federal politics of our time. Mr Obama ran for office in 2008 and 2012 promising to make permanent the Bush-era tax cuts for almost all Americans. These tax cuts were unaffordable from the start and were scheduled to expire in 2010. But to say so honestly, while the Republicans were promising to make them permanent for everybody, would probably have cost Mr Obama both elections.

According to Sachs, that was the Faustian bargain. By openly extending the Bush tax cuts, benefitting the minority rich population, he more stealthily budgeted for major spending cuts, hoping that when the time came there would be more support for raising taxes to soften the blow. So far no such soft landing seems evident.
Yet he has never presented an alternative with more robust tax revenues in order to fund a higher sustained level of public investments and services.

So now the moment of truth has arrived: we are on the path of deep cuts in discretionary programmes relative to national income. The truth is that America needs higher public investments and it needs more tax revenues to fund them. Mr Obama is finally saying some of these things, though still without specific tax proposals.

At this point it seems a bit late.

Do you agree with Sachs?  Even if you don't, are you going to be hit by the Sequester directly or indirectly?

Originally posted to Cosmic's tales on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 04:46 AM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party and The Rebel Alliance.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not to make too fine a point of it, but . . . (21+ / 0-)

    Obama has never been shy about admitting that we need to cut government spending. It is the how that is important.And the sequester is not that how that he wants or has promoted.

    Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

    by jsfox on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 04:59:27 AM PST

  •  Does Obama work for the 1%? (45+ / 0-)

    If he does, is it OK to criticize him here on dailykos?

    Jeffery Sachs says that he does work for the 1%.

    Obama has never addressed what many economists said was necessary for job creation, namely a larger stimulus.

    Yet he has never presented an alternative with more robust tax revenues in order to fund a higher sustained level of public investments and services.
    Given his track record, my bet is that Obama will follow the path that he has been on as described by Sachs.

    But it still will be risky to criticize him here because dailykos supports the democratic party.

    And when we hear that

    Three-Quarters of Progressive Caucus Not Taking a Stand Against Cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

    from

    http://www.commondreams.org/...

    I am confused even about the "better democrats."

  •  Both my parents will be affected by the (39+ / 0-)

    sequester. Also, what is telling is that there are no calls to repeal the sequester coming from the White House. It's all about replacing the sequester with a new "deal" between the WH and the GOP.

  •  And isn't this sequester the EXCUSE (42+ / 0-)

    for the GRAND BETRAYAL?  According to Gibbs on Hardball, they're going to meet on Friday and start the discussions for the real deal which is going to cut entitlements.   Note the latest spin, the latest BIG LIE to con the old folks,  it's going to be a "better way to calculate Social Security".  

    I also heard him say that the "urban liberal Democrats" are on board for this sell-out.  

    Well, I'm liberal and I'm urban and I'm a Democrat.  Let's just say that if this is the deal, in 2014 I will still be liberal and I will still be urban.

  •  Yes, at some point, perhaps this the (22+ / 0-)

    gazillionth and one example, one begins to suspect that Obama is not a victim of Republican shenanigans but instead is a co-conspirator.

  •  IMF demands Sri Lanka impose more austerity. (19+ / 0-)

    IMF demands Jamaica impose more austerity cuts.
    No one ever talks about the real "why", why Obama wants these cuts, wants the Grand Betrayal.  Why both parties agree that austerity cuts are needed and must be done.  The evil bankers have done an amazing job keeping themselves relatively clean in all this.  

    "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:11:07 AM PST

  •  Going to repeat my comment (28+ / 0-)

    response to you from here.

    Great job, cosmic and it saves me from writing one about that Jeffrey Sachs piece, which I had planned to do.  I just finished reading it this morning.  It is depressing.  It takes a lot to really depress me these days.  I'm somewhat immune to it and have long since accepted the way things are and are likely to be.  But that Sachs piece really got to me and this whole fiasco with Woodward and now the OFA team is out attacking Woodward and trying to perpetrate the lies further.  

    When the O Team panics, they really f things up beyond recognition.  This was a long term f up, of course, but this last minute spin is too much. They knew that they sold their souls to get reelected.  They knew they held certain things back until after the reelection.  And on one thing, I disagree with Sachs.  He did not have to do these things in order to get elected.  In 2008 the Republican party was in shambles, ashes really.  The Democrat was always going to win.  In 2012, he had a stooge of an opponent and a billion and a half dollars, and all the advantages of the incumbent.  He did not have to do these things to get elected.  I think that part of Sachs' article is a BS excuse.

    He could use his powers of persuasion, his popularity and his skills to tell the people the truth. FDR stood up to the 1%.  Obama is owned by them and he chose to be.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:12:47 AM PST

    •  Obama may not have (16+ / 0-)

      Needed to agree to the Faustian bargain to get re-elected, but I think Obama and his team fully believed he did.

      Yes, I too found this piece too important and thought that it needed more discussion. Just as things seemed a bit brighter for working people, I'm afraid things are about to get a whole lot darker again. Dammit.

      Thanks, Joanne. I appreciate your thoughts.

      “Corruption isn’t just people profiting from betraying the public interest. It’s also people being punished for upholding the public interest.”  ― MS

      by cosmic debris on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:20:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Republican Party is in disarray. (5+ / 0-)

      Was a solid, irrefutable meme even within the MSM in late 2008- through Obama's honeymoon.

      And it has been constantly rumored again since the middle of last year.

      Supply-side economics was and still is ready for the caging. It could have been and still can be locked up in a Mixed Economy. It's not the moribund Republicans who are preventing it. It's the Middle which has no interest in even pursuing it, much less fighting for it in a serious way. Best they will do is give it some lip service during commercial breaks.

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:49:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  disarray? they are poised to win austerity (12+ / 0-)

        they got the dems to enact their agenda

        they should be happy as hell

        •  Yeah, but only because the Democrats (5+ / 0-)

          basically support supply-side economics.

          When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

          by Words In Action on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:48:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The "GOP in disarray" is the real joke (5+ / 0-)

            The GOP controls one House of the federal government.  They also control a lot of state legislatures and governorships.  With that alone, they have basically won on every single economic issue since 2008, except Obamacare,...and they won that too by defeating the public option, and creating a boon for insurance companies.

            If this is disarray, then I'd really love to see what the opposite is?  And, if you think that token revenue increase (I'm not calling it a tax increase, because technically, it was just a slightly smaller tax cut than what had expired a few days earlier) in January was a win, you've been too long in the sun.  That was a HUGE GOP win.  They basically got 88% of the Bush Tax Cuts codified into permanent law (i.e. no sunset, which they'd had to deal with for 12 years), when they had almost zero tangible leverage and were supposedly realing from the election defeat.

            The reality is that there are no election defeats for conservative economic ideology in this century.  There is only smaller/slower (Dems in power) and larger/faster (GOP in power) victories.

            I also agree almost 100% with Sachs.  Obama is on the GOP team. I suspected it from a few things I learned during the 2008 campaign (that he wouldn't be a Dem Ronald Reagan), and I was right.  You wanted a president that would legalize gay marriage and appoint pro-choice justices, you got it.  But, that was at the expense of looking the other way on economic issues.  Not that the Dems offered any more economically liberal option, though.  Hillary would most certainly have been worse for the 99%.  The Clintons have spent their entire lives social-climbing to try to get to the 1%.

            And, the grand bargain WILL happen.  It's just a matter of BHO/GOP deciding it's the right time.  

            Finally, I don't work for the government, but a lot of my clients are public school districts.  If they get sequestration-related cuts, and reduce or suspend building projects, then I will also be one of the losers from sequestration.

      •  Failed conservative policies, GOP Sabotage to (0+ / 0-)

        "Starve the Beast, and corporate sponsored public policy is a cut and dry case at this point in time.

        It's a shame that nobody will talk about that.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:50:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, he could (5+ / 0-)

      have easily used his skills to support what the rest of the country already supports and move the policies in that direction.

      But he didn't.  

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:53:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  you sure you wanna bring FDR into this? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook, mmacdDE

      because the mythos of FDR told today doesn't actually measure up to the actual facts of the time

      In the time that I have been given,
      I am what I am

      by duhban on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:30:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So you going to go for the FDR was a racist angle? (4+ / 0-)

        I love that one.

        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:52:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  a racist? I'm not sure I would go that far (0+ / 0-)

          but he did place the Japanese in interment camps, he did willingly exclude over 25% of Americans workers from SS intitially, he did meet with white atheletes in the 1936 Berlin games and not the black ones (including snubbing Jesse Owens) and resisted any effort to actively interfer with the jim crow south.

          At the same time FDR also did a lot though the New Deal to bring about equal treatment and employement.

          I generally find that it's not as simple to label people as most want it to be but then again that's my point. Bringing in FDR's name like he was some sort of savior is simplistic and overly simplifies a complicated man that had his good points and his flaws.

          And yet despite those flaws, despite actually being challenged in a primary by the left side of his party in 1936 we generally look up to FDR. Personally I find the irony of that and the parallels so far with Obama hilarious.

          Just goes to show you that 'history' is incredibly subjective.

          In the time that I have been given,
          I am what I am

          by duhban on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:07:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think he blew it, joanneleon. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Don midwest, Jarrayy, joanneleon

      He spoke pretty clearly about his moderate conservative nature if you listened. I heard it in 2006, and it kept on coming.

      The only reason I voted for him in '08 is because I knew Clinton was a DLC candidate. I was only pretty sure that he was.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:42:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How in the hell could he lose the (5+ / 0-)

      rhetorical and political advantage in '09-'10? Never once did I hear him blame 'failed conservative policies' for our ills.

      He just offered up milquetoast Republican frames over and over. His wholehearted embracing of conservative frames combined with his inability to assign blame for a stunning failure of conservative policy is how.

      People can blame the Tea Party, or the naysaing of the Progressives, but the fault lies squarely at the Orator in Chief who didn't want to use the bully pulpit.

      Writing this and thinking about this makes me so friggin' angry!

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:49:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This nonsense with Woodward (26+ / 0-)

    is embarrassing.  I see that the fervent supporters are out there, on queue, attacking Woodward too.  

    Do they not remember how the Grand Betrayal deal played out in August 2011?  How can anyone forget?  It's embarrassing.  Like I tell my kids:  Own up.

    The f'ing election is over.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:14:42 AM PST

    •  Do you mean the e-mail that threatend his life, (5+ / 0-)

      but turned out to be an apology and advise to help spare him embarrassment?

      •  Misquoting? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        poligirl, 3goldens, joanneleon

        When exactly did Woodward say that someone threatened his life?

      •  color me jaded, but really? you think Woodward (7+ / 0-)

        embarrasses easy when it comes to journalism? seriously?

        keep in mind that this email came after Sperling got pissed at him on the phone because he did not like what Woodward was saying. from Woodward's response:

        You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance.
        (emphasis mine)

        and this is from emails that are a week old now... seems to me Woodward's not taking that "friendly" advice and now, color me surprised, Woodward is being attacked by the admin's ardent supporters.

        perhaps that's part of what Sperling meant by "you will regret staking this claim". just sayin'...

        The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

        by poligirl on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:07:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Woodward has a big credibility (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, poligirl, priceman

          problem coming from his known butt-kissing of the Dumbya/Cheney cabal  so he could write his books. This is a known fact just like the fact that Barack Obama is a YUPPIE who admires Ronald Reagan. BO doesn't surprise me at all. T and R!!

          Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

          by orlbucfan on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:06:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  but the point i was replying to was that... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            slinkerwink, gooderservice, priceman

            the threat was actually a suggestion to keep him from embarrassing himself...

            my point was, do you really think Woodward embarrasses easily? cuz really - i don't, and i don't know many who would. and his reply to Sperling insinuates that the threat was made when they were disagreeing and that Woodward would be glad to have that convo, not that he would be embarrassed by it...

            the discussion isn't about Woodward's credibility, but his ability to be embarrassed. and i would suggest that the strong push back from the admin's strong supporters is evidence that perhaps he doesn't have quite as had a credibility problem as the WH might wish he had.

            and wouldn't ya know, Woodward didn't back off, and now is being roundly and strongly attacked by the admin's ardent supporters. i would suggest that perhaps the WH is not as worried about Woodward's credibility problem as it is of their own...

            The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it. ~George Orwell

            by poligirl on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 12:11:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Woodward has a lot of problems (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Don midwest, poligirl, priceman, TheMomCat

            but Obama has a worse problem right now.  He's being dishonest about the origin of the sequester and trying to spin it off on the Republicans because his clever plan didn't work, so far.  He thought the Republicans would do anything to avoid those defense cuts, including agreeing to raise more revenue.

            They still might. But when the game of chicken got close to the deadline and they still were refusing to produce more revenue, and when it started looking like the Repubs were going to let the sequester happen, the O Team started panicking about who was going to take the blame for all of this.

            Again, they will probably come up with some 11th hour deal tomorrow.  If they do, it means the deal has been written up and sitting on a shelf all this time and most of this was kabuki.  But Obama can't walk away from his $4 trillion Grand Bargain days now.  The history is too recent.  He looks really bad trying to pretend he had nothing to do with it other than signing the bill. Hell, he was ready to go even further with that deal but Boehner was too stupid to realize what he had.


            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:22:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I don't understand your defense of Woodward at (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook

      all.  He isn't even important to this story in my opinion.  

      We all know how the sequester happened.  That it was a bargain between two sides.  In my opinion Woodward's reporting is false on two key issues:

      1. his ridiculous claims about the email
      2. his claim that the WH moved the goal post.  They always said they wanted revenue to be part of any deal.  That has been there constant "centrist" mantra.  Revenue and cuts.

      It seems to me most of his reporting at this moment is about making himself a part of the story.  The enemy of my enemy is not my friend.  

      •  I find Woodward (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Don midwest, gulfgal98, TheMomCat

        to be a bit repulsive.  I appreciate his work on Watergate but in recent years, ugh.  I feel a little nauseous every time I see him on television.

        But the truth is the truth and Obama is not telling it.  That sequester/trigger thing was Obama's team's creation.  Republicans tried to take it out of the bill.  Obama threatened to veto if they did.  

        So no, I'm not defending Woodward as a person. I don't defend people based on who they are or what party they are from.  I'm post-partisan at this point, to borrow a turn of phrase from the president.  I defend people's actions based on whether they are accurate or whether I think they are good for the people.   I don't defend gross dishonesty and hypocrisy, which is what the president is engaging in right now.  Everybody knows the sequester was his, and the Super Congress, the Grand Bargain. Some of these things came from his buddy Pete Peterson and his lackeys, Simpson and Bowles.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:28:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The President exists in a political reality that (17+ / 0-)

    ideological purists do not have to live in. He tried to get rid of the Bush cuts for the 1% and took what he could get. He is now trying to get rid of some corporate welfare in the tax code. Look at the billionaires that dumped fortunes to defeat him, I don't think that would have happened if they believed he was only interested in the well-being of the 1%. Yes 1% supported Obama, but not as many, not at the same level of donation and they were saying (very publicly) tax us already.

    Obama expanded programs for people in need, including myself, at a time when the bottom fell out of the budget. His stimulus (even if you think it was too small) is still paying dividends into the economy and is helping to make us greener. It also saved the jobs of over 100,000 teachers (which is very personal to me).

    Calls of "Not Enough" and "Do More" I am happy to rally behind, but not denial of the progress that has already been made.

    •  where I live (14+ / 0-)

      Near the border, I have seen I intense deprevation due to ongoing poverty and terrible economic policy. Whole schools have been closed. Many teachers have lost work. From K through University, budgets slashed.

      With Obama's budget plan by sequester budgets will be slashed even further.

      The only purity I see is in your apparent loyalty to a man.

      “Corruption isn’t just people profiting from betraying the public interest. It’s also people being punished for upholding the public interest.”  ― MS

      by cosmic debris on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:37:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nope, just to the policies that saved/made (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund, ORDem, duhban, SilentBrook, mmacdDE

        work for me, fed my family when I didn't have it and enables us to spend less of our pay on childcare and transportation. Those slashed budgets of K-Uni where you live are state budgets. Do you live in AZ, they have been deinvesting in Ed since Janet left. Up until this sequester the Dept of Ed (Fed) has not had cuts, in fact the Stimulus gave a record amount to Ed.

      •  I love how (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cosmic debris, greenbell

        they like to use the words purist and ideologue.  I've never seen a group of Democrats so dedicated to one politician in my whole life. The religion of Obama. The church of partisanship. Who are the ideologues again?  Many of these same people were dead set against things Obama does when Bush was doing it.  Now it's somehow okay.   That's where you will find your purists and ideologues, in that section of the church.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:33:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No kidding. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          joanneleon

          The goal posts of the hard line partisans here are way off the field these days, and that field ain't left either.

          I had to leave for work not long after posting and am just now catching up with the comments. Sorry about some of the ad hom crap that came up. Hopefully that will dwindle off now that the diary has scrolled off.

          “Corruption isn’t just people profiting from betraying the public interest. It’s also people being punished for upholding the public interest.”  ― MS

          by cosmic debris on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:41:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is the second time (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cosmic debris

            that same user has pulled that crap on me. Last time it was in my diary and he posted dozens of comments in there.  I've noticed him before doing the same thing to others.  Brand new user, came in somehow knowing who the various rox/sux factions were, seemed to have a built-in set of enemies.  Curious.  

            Anyway, he always seems to be in the middle of a threadjack.  Never provides any substantiation for his claims.  When you ask for it, he throws insults or tries to undermine you with the conspiracy theory claim. Last time he said I had a vendetta.  For what? I asked.  Had no answer.  Just started going on about Greenwald and Cenk, out of the blue.  Weird.  


            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:50:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Read my comment (15+ / 0-)

      here.

      The political reality Obama and his supporters live in is as much their own making as the Republicans'.

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:53:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I generally find that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adam AZ, SilentBrook

        those that to think in 'us vs them' utterly defeats the purpose of progress

        I rather wish instead of viewing the world that way you could see it for what it is, shades of gray

        In the time that I have been given,
        I am what I am

        by duhban on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:33:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have seeing the guy who is chopping (0+ / 0-)

          down my door with an axe as an "us". Ditto for the guy who told him where I lived while handing him a business card. The Class and Climate Wars aren't polite disagreements.

          When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

          by Words In Action on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 04:27:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I was also (7+ / 0-)

      helped by the stimulus funds, but I cannot shut my eyes to the other damage he has allowed.

      See Words in Action list above--and that list, as WIA said, isn't even complete.

      I'm not going to shut my eyes to BO's failings just because I benefited for about a year from the stimulus funds.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:57:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not destroying our social framework (12+ / 0-)

      is not living in "ideological purity." Our society needs to be actually based on some values, like not having 25% of the country go to bed hungry. Or 40% without access to healthcare.  Neoliberalism ,corporatism, "too big to fail," "too big to prosecute" are ideologies that are absolutely unquestioned. I will tell you, when the banks need another few trillion, it will be there for them. We can dump a trillion a year on the all-sacred military without even considering a reigning in. But when it comes to eating, that's something that's up for bargaining.

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:32:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Billionaires (0+ / 0-)

      like to have their guy in the White House because it's very profitable!  Obama had his rich donors too, like the media moguls and entertainment industry, the lawyers and the FIRE industry.  But we are supposed to think that he just got all his money from a lot of "little people". Yeah, right.  A billion and a half from small donations. Uh huh.


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:30:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm going to be (21+ / 0-)

    hit directly by the sequester simply because I'm disabled and on medicare and social security before age 65.  My parents will be effected.  Please don't hide rate me when I tell you that in 2008 I voted for Obama, but had my reservations, not that I would ever vote Republican, I just felt that many Democrats like Obama were more corporatists than Democrats and that things would continue to move in the direction of the corporations gaining more power over the people.  As a social worker I had seen things working backwards since the 1990's.

    This sequester is austerity, period.  There were many other ways in which things could have been done.  But, all of this was done with the blessing of President Obama and the Cat Food Commission he put together.  And also, Nancy Pelosi directly came out and said she agreed with the cuts, so to me it is both parties that want austerity for the people.  President Obama has flip/flop too many times to be trusted.  The only people I truly trust is Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren both of them stick to their beliefs without changing them constantly to accommodate the corporate, 1%, class.  

    Plus, I'm tired of pretending I trust someone, that I don't.  I don't understand how the whole of government can be against the poor, the elderly, the disabled, the sick, the unemployed, the working poor, and the middle class.  

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:35:10 AM PST

    •  How will you be directly affected? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zaka1, SilentBrook

      Social Security is exempted from the sequester

      A number of key mandatory programs are exempt from sequestration, including Social Security, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program), child nutrition, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), refundable tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, veterans’ compensation and other benefits, and federal retirement.
      http://www.cbpp.org/...

      And Medicare is minimally affected with 2% cut to providers.

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:21:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because if providers (8+ / 0-)

        are cut then I will be expected to pick up and pay for the cut or not see a doctor because I can't afford it, period.  With the recent rate increases in our utilities I'm expected to pay more for living in a colder home and heating assistance will be cut off with the sequester.  The increases in rates made it impossible for me afford heating and part of that is because of two years without a cost of living increase in social security and by the time we got an a cost of living increase everything went up so far that I was still behind.  

        Death by a thousand cuts is still death.  One cut may not kill you, but it is the repeated cuts that finally bleeds one out of life.

        All my life this has been the story and no matter what you do to try and get ahead, your always working against yourself in a hopeless situation because either wages are suppressed, or your pay less because your a woman, and you are expected to put out more and more money just to stay in one place.  As soon as women hit the work force they cut off from profit sharing and pensions. And if you don't have a spouse or partner your toast.  And on and on, only a few get ahead and they believe that it is the same for everyone else.  But, it isn't, it is a lie.

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:05:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Catte Nappe (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zaka1, greenbell, TheMomCat

        have you been listening to Obama and his various surrogates about chained CPI?  Do you think they are just talking about something theoretical? Something they have no intention of doing?

        Those are Social Security cuts.  The denial is really offensive.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 01:36:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The discussion was impact of the sequester (0+ / 0-)

          The sequester is a brute force "chop 5% off everything, except...". It does not threaten Social Security, as you well know.  It includes no provisions for any adjustment to SS, chained CPI or otherwise, as you also well know. I could equally say it is offensive for you to try to derail a question strictly about the sequester and make it about the eeeevil Obama who's planning to sell us all out.

          "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

          by Catte Nappe on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:07:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The conversation (0+ / 0-)

            drifted into the other upcoming cuts in less than a month.  Also, Lindsey Graham has been talking about how the only kind of deal they'd make for the sequester tomorrow is one that includes chained CPI.  So it is on topic. This thing isn't done yet.

            But what about my question?  Have you heard the discussions?  Do you think they are just talking or do you think they intend to cut Social Security?


            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:32:22 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  This conversation (0+ / 0-)

              The chunk of thread you are in started with zaka1's comment about personal impact of the sequester, due to being an SS and Medicare recipient; and hadn't really deviated off that path until you came along.

              As to your question, I think left to their own devices in a world without extremist or obstructionist Republicans they wouldn't even talk about touching SS at all. I think the talk so far has been just talk with no intention of acting on those suggestions because of no expectation that Republicans are serious enough about actually doing anything about what they say they want done to take them up on it. However, if Republicans got behind the plan I think Dems might well be tempted to give it more serious thought, and while not good the chained CPI is probably less damaging than some other approaches that get bandied about (increase eligibility age, means test, etc.) and is more easily fixed down the road.

              "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

              by Catte Nappe on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:47:26 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

                who is going to fix it? This is another brilliant idea that originated in the Democratic party.  Are Democrats going to fix it?

                What's much more likely is that the breach has been made.  After 70 years of protecting Social Security benefits, the Democrats are the ones making the proposal to cut it. And after that wall is torn down, it's much easier to further undermine the program.


                "Justice is a commodity"

                by joanneleon on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 03:12:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Doctors aren't legally required to accept... (0+ / 0-)

        Medicare or Medicaid patients. When an insurer - public or private - refuses to reimburse the full cost of treatment, doctors are within their rights to refuse patients using that plan. Many primary care providers have stopped accepting Medicaid patients given the obscenely low reimbursement rates for office visits.

        "The Democratic Party is not our friend: it is the only party we can negotiate with."

        by 2020adam on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 05:36:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  To My Knowledge, The Sequester Will Not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward

    Directly or Indirectly Affect Me.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:39:35 AM PST

  •  shhh!!! listen to your fearleaders!!! (22+ / 0-)

    watch them shaking their pom-poms of doom!  why, we are about to be sucked into a swirling, sucking eddy of despair as our government will be disabled from doing anything for us, even protect us from the terrist hordes who are radicalizing people among us over the internets!

    but, wait, our wonderful president will be there for us, he will have our backs at the last moment before we plunge into the abyss... all it will cost us is a little pain, some decline in our earned benefits - you'll hardly notice it (until you're choosing between alpo and puss ' boots) - just sign here, and don't forget to contribute to organizing for action!  for a mere $500,000 you can become a quarterly advisor to the president!

    i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

    by joe shikspack on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:40:15 AM PST

  •  Just out of curiosity, (5+ / 0-)

    Do the people who are claiming that Obama is terrible for trying to cut spending also think Howard Dean is?

    I personally have mixed feelings about the deficit and how big a problem it is or isn't. But I thought Dean was pretty persuasive in his arguments that the deficit is a pretty big problem that needs to be dealt with in a serious way.

    Dean is actually in favor of letting the sequester go into effect basically as is.

    Also, I think anyone who thinks Obama wouldn't love a stimulus package if he could get one through is mistaken. The fact of the matter is that he could barely get a stimulus through the first time when the economy was deep in the tank and he had big majorities in both houses. He would have zero chance of getting one through now with a Republican house. You can't blame him for this in my opinion.

  •  This is all BS (12+ / 0-)

    The President's 2013 budget called for nearly a half trillion more in stimulus. Just because he can't write the appropriations himself doesn't mean he's in bed with Boehner.

    I suggest some of you critics get out of your blog chairs and change the House in 2014. We need Nancy writing budgets.

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:49:47 AM PST

    •  Because that will surely do it. (8+ / 0-)

      "change the House in 2014"

      The middle is perfectly willing to allow the plutocracy to rule. This phony, failed defense that it's all a matter better representation alone -- the endless insufficiency of which is somehow the fault of the political activist left -- is part and parcel of the fact that the Middle shares more in common with the Right than the Left, and what it disagrees with Right over is not really worth more than a shaken fist, some canvassing and a sternly worded letter once in a while. Otherwise, it's just a "reality" that they have no heavy hand in bringing about or changing...

      When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

      by Words In Action on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:04:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, what I read in your argument (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, CornSyrupAwareness, SilentBrook

        is that we need extra democratic means to make our policies policy...

        Changing the House will not eliminate the Plutocracy, but it might mitigate their influence.

        "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

        by durrati on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:10:51 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  From a diary called (10+ / 0-)

          "Shame".

          A society that has allowed the predations of the powerful to become purely private matters mediated via “markets”, courts, academies, and bureaucracies, that has delegated “activism” to a mostly protected professional class, is nothing more than a herd hoping that today it is somebody else who will be slaughtered.
          Some people have no shame about what Democrats have allowed to happen, accepted and even supported over the past thirty years. Even to this day.

          When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

          by Words In Action on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:25:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You have your solution: GOTV (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SilentBrook, durrati

        The sophomoric all-night rap session stuff doesn't play in any circles except with the Keyboard Kommandos.

        •  Yup. Been there done that. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Robert, k9disc, 3goldens

          Just because I point out that it's more of a preventive of even worse stuff, but not so much one of stuff still getting worse, doesn't mean I don't participate in electoral politics. Just means I recognize, from experience, that allowing people and the planet to suffer and saying -- "oh, well, we tried to get more and better Democrats...!" is hardly enough.

          Democrats should be mortally ashamed and infuriated over what they have allowed and accepted over the past three decades.

          A society that has allowed the predations of the powerful to become purely private matters mediated via “markets”, courts, academies, and bureaucracies, that has delegated “activism” to a mostly protected professional class, is nothing more than a herd hoping that today it is somebody else who will be slaughtered.

          When 1% take 121% of the gains from "recovery", people actually recovering from lost employment are trading down on wages and benefits. Current strategies by moderates don't even consider winning the Class War.

          by Words In Action on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:22:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  My screwup (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            durrati

            I agree with half of your first comment but still don't with the other half. The part I should have acknowledged as correct is American political apathy deserves much of the blame for the status quo. A democracy gets the government it deserves, goes the adage.

            But that said I think we'd see a more proactive government today if Nancy Pelosi were the SotH right now.

      •  That is exactly right (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zaka1, Mr Robert, k9disc

        We have become a nation that looks down.  As long as there is someone below us, we are OK with things.  The middle can still buy a flat screen TV, take a beach vacation every year, and drive an SUV to a couple hockey or NFL games.  All on credit, of course, but that is the "American Way".  As long as they can do that, the poor don't matter.  And, they won't do anything but verbally commiserate if it requires the least bit of real effort or risk, or costs them a dollar.

        Occupy and Wisconsin were exceptions.  But, Walker won in WI, despite the uprising, and Occupy did little more than help demonize Romney (who did that just fine on his own), and secure a second term for Third Way Obama.

    •  Nancy supports cutting Social Security (9+ / 0-)

      with the Orwellian assertion that Chained CPI will "strengthen" it.

    •  Had they left the blogchair in '10, mbno sequester (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook, durrati

      But they were too busy damning the mountains of new reforms that Democrats were making into law. I weep for the Obama-focused sequester-frenzied folks who didn't do all they could when it really mattered in 2010.

      President Obama Did Not Kill the Public Option http://tinyurl.com/7d48qzw

      by CornSyrupAwareness on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:29:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, and then they have the nerve (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CornSyrupAwareness

        to say two years of bitchin', and gnashing of teeth had no affect, of course they voted blah, blah, blah....how ya doin' CSA? Long time no speak...

        "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

        by durrati on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 04:33:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I VOTED!!!!!! LOL (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          durrati

          I know right? It just boggles the mind. Not only did they avoid using the amazing tool that was dKos to GOTV/fundraise/etc but they threw cold water on those that did. I've been alright, I'd be much better if Pelosi kept on as Speaker and made more sellout horrible corporatist zOmg cat food type bills that never did a single thing as bad as what was unveiled today and like what we can expect for the next ten years.

          I've been good, I'm trying to get back to blogging again, here and at the peoples view.
          How you been?

          President Obama Did Not Kill the Public Option http://tinyurl.com/7d48qzw

          by CornSyrupAwareness on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 01:25:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Still here, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CornSyrupAwareness

            did some foot work for Claire McCaskill this summer&fall, not much hope for the House race here in Mo. #7 but we brought Claire in safely. Got to vote for Todd Akin in the primary (heh), thank the Gods for open Primaries....

            "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

            by durrati on Fri Mar 01, 2013 at 04:39:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  What a surprise!! Obama pulling a bait and switch? (13+ / 0-)

    I never thought I'd see that happening except for his 2008 and 2012 campaign baitings to the first and second term switches.  

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 06:52:43 AM PST

  •  Sometimes common sense has to kick in (20+ / 0-)

    Both sides put together this sequester poison pill deemed so onerous and painful that they would NEVER let it actually happen. Except that they do. They don't even put on a pretense of avoiding it - they all go on vacation.

    So, I personally think this IS the Grand Bargain or at least Phase 1. We are in fact, being Shock Doctrined with the collusion of both parties. Remember how a one of them ( I think it was Lindsey Graham) said that the only solution to solve the non-existent, ginned up, "fiscal crisis" was to hold hands and jump off the cliff together? Well, that's what they've done. And they have managed to con the public into spending their time arguing about who to blame more, when it really doesn't matter if you blame A more than B or B more than A when your ultimate choices are still confined to only A and B.

    All of the energy right this moment (including the ridiculous Bob Woodward brouhaha) is focused on pinning blame for the sequester but not at altering the sequester except for the usual Kabuki.

    We get Sequester, we get Austerity, both sides get blame but no consequences and the public gets all the pain.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:02:50 AM PST

    •  And when they finally strike another deal (11+ / 0-)

      the sequester pain will be used as an excuse to cut entitlements.  It will be DEMOCRATS who pit seniors against other needs and lecture us that we must do our part, we must share the sacrifice, when what is really going to happen is that someone getting $14,000 in TOTAL income from Social Security is going to be BALANCED against someone getting a small tax increase on his TAXABLE income ABOVE $400K.  

      This friends is the 21st century Democratic Party.  Someone was blaming me the other day for wanting 20th century solutions.  Well, yeah. Compared to these.

  •  Only a foolish and fatuous ideologue (11+ / 0-)

    who buys into the faddish nonsense that is neoliberalism, which is little more than rehashed mid-19th century British Liberalism--which FAILED--or a willing and well-compensated agent for the 1%, who could give a shit, could do this.

    Or both. There is simply no other explanation. No one "forced" him to do this.

    I can read a few books and quote from them like I know what I'm talking about too. That doesn't mean that I know what I'm talking about, or am right.

    On your watch, Mr. President. Please proceed.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:10:27 AM PST

  •  Just remember, RMoney would have been worse! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, zaka1, Victor Ward

    Granted, that's not saying much.

    /snark

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:12:51 AM PST

    •  YEs, Romney would have done this bigger (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr Robert, k9disc, detroitmechworks

      But, there would have been an organized and energized opposition.  GWB helped reanimate the Dem party.  A black president does not happen except for GWB galvanizing a left-wing uprising in 2008.

      When you're getting screwed by your people, you have to defend them, while they're screwing you.  That is a terribly fatiguing thing to have to do.  It (defending indefensible scandal and GOP-Lite) wore down the Dems by 2000, allowing Bush to beat Gore.  It (defending Iraq and the policies that lead to the collapse) wore down the GOP by 2008, allowing Obama to become president.  It (insert this diary) will eventually wear down the Dems for 2016, allowing ????? to be the next GOP president.

  •  Hey! There's the buzzword "austerity" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, fisheye, blueyedace2, SilentBrook

    That must mean this excercise in mind-reading must be correct!

  •  A generic argument for bigger government (8+ / 0-)

    blanket aggregate spending as a point of priority is almost meaningless outside what has become the core and whole of Republican economic identity. It's a ridiculous argument with any passing familiarity of Obama's posture. He has been quite open and specific about cutting spending and allocating resources in a smarter way. Never a bigger way. It's a stupid Republican frame the President has never once engaged.

    It is simply false to claim he has never proposed a more robust tax revenues. Bizarrely false. This issue was the fulcrum of his reelection with him firmly planted on a demand for increased revenues from the wealthiest. But no, not for a stunted policy perspective that ends with a goal of increasing the size of the budget for it's own sake.

    The article ignores the Bush tax breaks for all the lower income levels that were made permanent and increased by this President.

    Maybe we should have grown government from the wallets of the lower and middle classes by sunsetting all the Bush tax cuts. The self contradictory notions in this article are glaring.

    The ACA, Obama's tax cuts and credits for the lower brackets, the raise in taxes for the highest bracket and (marginal) captial gains increases are none austerity.

    At worst Obama made a bad gamble on not getting more revenue out of the House in a game of chicken with Defense spending. And at best the winners will be a nation with Democratic majority in the House come 2 years.

    Many arguments along these lines were answered in this last election.

  •  BO has always talked (5+ / 0-)

    out of both sides of his mouth.

    The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

    by dfarrah on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:38:52 AM PST

  •  Why is it definitely going to happen now? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ericlewis0, blueyedace2, SilentBrook

    Why didn't it happen last time there was an opportunity, if Obama wanted it so badly? Why not the opportunity beforehand, and the one before that?

    I see what you did there.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:47:54 AM PST

  •  what he's describing sounds more like bait and (6+ / 0-)

    switch than Faustian bargain

    also a little too 11-dimensiony

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:54:36 AM PST

  •  Wow, just Wow (6+ / 0-)

    I have never seen such history revisionism as I have seen in these comments.  In 2011, the Republicans were about to crash the world economy because they refused to raise the debt ceiling BECAUSE A DEMOCRATS WAS IN OFFICE.  The only thing that kept it from happening was this proposal to push talking about these cuts away from the debt ceiling.

    Considering the kinds of spending Obama has been able to get through Congress, I don't see how anyone can accuse him of cutting government.  What he has had to deal with is a Republican House, the worst form of government there is.  Can someone find a major spending cut that occurred when the Democrats controlled the Senate and House.

    He does not want these cuts.  There is only one party that does, and that's the Republicans.  They don't give a shit about anything but their master's pocketbooks.  If he didn't care, he wouldn't be running around telling people about them.  Remember, he doesn't have to run for reelection.  If all he wanted were cuts, he could sit back and do nothing for the next four years.

    "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

    by anonevent on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:14:38 AM PST

    •  Or he could've just given in & gotten his bargain (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anonevent

      If he was really wanting all these cuts (entirely hypothetical, as you show), he'd make the cut-filled bargain that the GOP wants so bad they're willing to crash the economy and hope everyone forgets their role.

      The only Faustian Bargain in this diary is the one made by its supporters, and by Sachs in his initial, though uncharacteristic, drivel, who've all traded their positions in the reality-based community for another cudgel to pound Obama for his failure to fulfill promises he never made but that they hoped he as a Democratic leader would snap his fingers and make happen anyway.

      "I am far from being a wack job..." = words sure to be seen as admission of wack-jobberry

      by SilentBrook on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:41:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  gods Sachs always has been and always will be (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook

    an idiot and we don't need tin foil hat nonsense.

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:20:39 AM PST

  •  Sachs is dead on... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest, Mr Robert

    but he should stop accusing Paul Krugman of saying something different...

    all these liberal economists need to join forces and stop this nonsense.

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

    by justmy2 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 08:21:39 AM PST

  •  Response (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr Robert, soros

    As long as there is still one DEA agent employed hunting marijuana, I am not convinced the sequester is a problem.

    As long as the border patrol still employs people setting up unconstitutional immigration checkpoints inside the US, I am not convinced the sequester is a problem.

    Cut all those activities to nothing and we'll talk.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:39:02 AM PST

    •  wrong response (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, zaka1, demjim

      the cuts are across the board

      not intelligent cuts like you mention

      the rot is connected to the oligarchs who run the place

      even the cuts to the military are the wrong way to go

      this is an excellent show on RT which is seldom on the mean stream media about the US military. The woman right at the start makes the point of my comment with respect to the military.

      They are bloated with senior officers and weapons systems like the F-35 which will cost over $1 trillion dollars.

      http://rt.com/...

      if you won't talk until they enact the two issues you raise, you will be speechless for some time

      programs like the war on drugs are so intertwined with so many systems that it will take a long time to unravel them. For example, it interacts with the medical system just to name one area that would need to change.

  •  When's Obama (10+ / 0-)

    going to feel our pain? This latest episode in the by-partisan disaster capitalists kabuki show is not that tough to figure out. The plot has been evolving since Clinton declared greed is good, and regulation just gets in the way of profits for savvy businessmen and war profiters globally. Monsanto and Goldman Sachs rules the world and I feel your pain suckers.

    The Third Way has replaced the DLC and the Democratic Way Forward under Obama's administration has proceeded effectively to neuter any real opposition or even recognition of the game at hand. Do we all have amnesia? This is just one more act in the ongoing kabuki show.

    Even the election was down to vote for the Dems or else theocratic maniac's will probe your vagina and kill your granny faster then we Dems will. The populist double think/speak is wearing thin as Obama was for the Sequester before he was against it. Hard to wrap your brain around this double think.  A Grand Bargain that has been in the works since before he appointed the cat food commission.

    Koch Bros./ Bain vs. Goldman Sachs/ Chase. How could any one not have seen this coming? Each installment of the fiscal cliffs of mass deception kabuki has never been about anything other then the haggling over the degrees of how much austerity and shared sacrifice our 'elected' representatives can wring out of we the people's misery and our nations common good. Shared sacrifice for what? Why should ordinary people sacrifice and live in chained 'austerity' in order to pay off the debts these fuckers incurred with their casino's and immoral, illegal GWOT.

                          How To End The Deficit
                        End The Wars Tax The Rich

       

    •  Right On (5+ / 0-)

      The latest issue of Rolling Stone knocked me for a loop.

      The article by Matt Taibbi which has been covered here about the criminal behavior of HBSC bank. Then the article on Aaron Swartz hounded to death by the government because he stood for free speech on the internet. Then there is an interview with Al Gore on his new book on the environment. The first two showed how far the country has fallen.

      Then the Supreme Court decision on FISA which is part of gutting the Fourth Amendment

      On top of the disaster capitalism that the two parties are playing with the budget

      Then yesterday an excellent half hour program on what a disaster the military is. Didn't realize it was this bad.

      http://rt.com/...

      The 1% have won

      We are all sharecroppers now

      (recommend Rolling Stone - printed subscription is almost free)

    •  Fucking A. It's sickening watching people accept (5+ / 0-)

      any of this bullshit for the bankers.  Why aren't people talking about the bankers, the IMF, the Fed, the World Bank, the bastards that control everything.   Do people not realize what this is about?  Money!  Where the fuck do they think the money comes from and goes to?
      Fuck the debt, no compromise.

      "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:35:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is the money (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BigAlinWashSt

        hidden under the mountain of dry powder the Dems have accumulated since 2000? Nah it goes directly into the government /corporate ATM machine and then gets divvied up between defense 'contractors', savvy business men,  off-shored to crooked bankster's havens  or just fed directly into the pipe line of the casino. The ownership society seems to just evaporate all the money and produce nothing but bogus debts.    

  •  All this is (6+ / 0-)

    death to the 98% by a thousand cuts.  The sequester is only the first step, then there will be another, and another.  Life for too many Americans is becoming a constant struggle to support those who have more and quite a few of us are becoming indifferent to both parties.  Sorry to say that.  

    I will not defend the Democrats because running to meet the Republicans in any deal that hurts people is just the same as if Republicans were in charge doing it to the Americans people.  By getting the Democrats to give in over and over again and barter with people's lives is to say the least shameful.  End result, the Republican, tricke down economics continues to thrive while the people are killed off one economic policy after the other.

    We can send aid to the Syrian rebels, but we can't feed the poor in our own country?  So are we cutting Meals on Wheels in order to help Syria.  

    When I worked with child abuse all the children defend and protected their abusers because they were afraid or thought it was their fault or something they had done to deserve the abuse.  I will not defend the Democrats because I'm afraid or think I've done something to deserve what I got.  I became disabled through no fault of my own and if I deserve to be cold, hungry and homeless because of that then this world can go to hell as far as I'm concerned.

    "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

    by zaka1 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 09:59:45 AM PST

    •  sequester is not the first step (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt, zaka1

      first step was taken years ago

      recommend an excellent book

      "Worse Than You Think: The Real Economy Behind Washington's Rigged Statistics and What To Go From Here" by Keith Quincy.

      Only 99 cents in electronic version.

      Some high points

      Clinton in NAFTA

      Clinton repeal of Glass Stegal

      Rewarding companies for sending jobs overseas

      Destruction of unions

      etc.

      •  I was a social worker (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        demjim, orlbucfan, 3goldens

        during the Clinton adminstration and I saw first hand what his policies did.  I was against NAFTA when he signed it because I thought it would lead to major job loses in our country and here we are.  

        Speaking the truth anymore against all the lies that we are suppose to believe is exhausting.  Since Clinton I have watched this country turn to shit (sorry), prior to that we were really making strides in many, many, ways.  Clinton, I agree, turned the tide.  

        "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

        by zaka1 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:55:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope, the shit hitting the middle-class (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Don midwest, zaka1

          fan really got started under Ronbo Rayguns. This sequester crap is just the tail end of it.

          Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

          by orlbucfan on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:25:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You know, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            3goldens, Don midwest

            your probably right, it is just difficult to keep up with all the back stabs we've had and sometimes I don't remember as well because I'm weaken by the blood loss I've endured from the wounds in my back.

            However, the Democrats haven't stop the trickle down and continue to push it right along with the Republicans and it is becoming unforgivable especially when we had such hope of turning the ship around with a Democratically elected President after the horrors of Bush II.  I especially think Clinton is equally as bad as the Republicans because it was under his adminstration that policies were put in to place to create some bull shit globe ecomony, which was nothing more than a rich man's wet dream which today has become the 1%'s Disneyland.  

            "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

            by zaka1 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 12:02:50 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  cutting entitlements in the DNA of sequester (6+ / 0-)

    what Obama wanted to do all along

    now it is in print in Digby

    see how the Woodward emails got this out

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.br/...

    •  Of course he has, he's told us so. What's (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, greenbell, 3goldens, zaka1

      also interesting is this:

      "I wish I could understand why it is so important to Barack Obama to cut these vital programs before he leaves office. It seems to be his obsession. But there you have it. It's not just in the DNA of the sequester, it seems to be in the DNA of this White House."

      People just can't seem to figure it out.  

      "The Global War OF Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

      by BigAlinWashSt on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 10:57:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I read it. (5+ / 0-)

      In my opinion, President Obama has always seen it as his mission to be the second centrist, bi-partisany Democratic President (following in Clinton's footsteps) bold enough to throw out the Democratic playbook which had as it's core mission protecting the safety nets and being the Party of the working, poor and middle classes.

      What I will always and forever remember was that during those debt ceiling talks that President Obama first introduced the concept of cutting Social Security, previously sacrosanct and the third rail to both parties.

      I wrote a diary at the time, which was July of 2011:

      Now to today. I have no idea what the actual outcome of the debt ceiling debate will be and what the actual cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will be, if any. The President has said he will not allow any changes that are "fundamentally unfair" whatever the hell that means.

      But from this day forward, in my opinion, the Democrats can no longer be viewed as the protectors and champions of the New Deal and the Great Society programs which materially altered for the better the lives of millions - Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The Dems are becoming just as involved in their dismantlement as the Republicans, or at the very least, their President is.  Imagine casting off such a  heavy legacy and history for the transitory political purposes of appealing to independents and moderate voters!

      Only it won't be transitory, it will permanently alter the landscape.

      As the policies and viewpoint of the of the two parties continue to meld into one mushy centrist middle, that image of the Democrats as the last bastion of protection for those programs has just disappeared. That was their strongest differentiation from the Republicans. President Obama just threw away the reason for the Democrats  very existence!

      “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

      by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 11:12:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Phoebe - your 2011 diary was right on target (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, 3goldens, zaka1

        lucky you slid off the REC list right away before the HR police came after you for criticism of Obama

        As noted in other comments, recently finished "Master of the Mountian: T. Jefferson and his slaves" - hid his position for 200 years

        Obama only hid his position for a few years

        the next few days will be interesting!

        •  The man (0+ / 0-)

          behind the mask will show his true face.  Although, some of us have known all along who exactly was hiding behind the mask.

          "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

          by zaka1 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 02:14:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  but like the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zaka1

            riddle 'If a tree falls in the woods and nobody hears it does it make a sound?' or that old saw "The Emperors New Clothes'. People hear and see, what they decide to accept as reality. Unmasking a Naked Emperor does not always bring gasps of oh no's! but often the beholders find the countenance behind just what they wanted and expected.

            So there you go? Unmasking the wizard of Oz didn't really hurt his image as a benevolent lovable fraud with the best intentions. Maybe he was just a well intentioned Kansas carnival huckster but he always left me cold such 'hope' offered as bait and instead he said vaguely and gave out medals, you are the change you have been waiting for off you go with my bogus pieces of paper.

            The mask and costume on the president regardless of the individual who is behind it is at this point just a hologram a scripted front PR guy who is through and through a mask, no matter whether he wears a donkey mask or an elephant one.                

            •  I can no longer speak (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shaharazade

              calmly and use appropriate language to describe what I'm feeling tonight, so it is best left unsaid.  But, I'll say this much. . . all of this adminstration, both Democrats and Republicans have blood on their hands, American blood on their hand that can't be washed away.  I'm ashamed of my country, I'm ashamed that greed and money is more important to our politicians.  They can all rot in hell and we won't have to wait long because they are all creating it right here on earth.

              "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

              by zaka1 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 05:08:42 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Me either (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zaka1

                but I seem to have entered nothing will shock me territory. Like Obama sad in 2006 at the launch of the Third Way, Hamilton project  'blood will flow' so here we are years later watching the blood flow here in the US and globally. The masks are projected and believed because the reality is not comfortable and requires really looking at who and what put the mask on the leader and called it yankee doodle.    

                •  I read up thread (0+ / 0-)

                  that your facing possibly losing your job with this stupid sequester thing and I'm so sorry about that, I wish I could help, but I'm screwed too.  

                  I truly think this will be the straw for so many people.  It is for me.  I'm sick of fucking Wall Street, fucking health insurance companies, fucking doctors, the fucking Koch brothers, Karl fucking Rove, and fucking everything.  There I said it, it out there now.  I knew I couldn't hold it in any longer.  It is now 63 degrees in my condo, because the fucking CEO of our utility company has to make a fucking five million dollars a year while raising our rates.  How the hell do you even spend five thousand dollars a year?  How much do these fucking slimy greedy fuckers need?  Oh, I'm so besides myself tonight.  I can believe we have idiots walking around making two hundred thousand dollars a year that we pay to fuck us over.  Geez, I can't believe all the suffering that is going on in this world because of greed.  

                  I've seen this coming for years, but I've tried to make myself believe that it just wasn't true, that I was just scared, or that goodness would win.  But, I was really wrong.  

                  I love how Nancy Pelosi comes out today to get her pats on the back for passing the violence against women act.  What the hell Nancy, forget it, you and your party just destroyed the women in this country that are disabled and dependent on social security because we have been underpaid for years.  Their stupid little nothings are laughable.  And then Obama tries to act like he isn't lame by looking like he supporting marriage equality when all along he has flip/flopped on the issue.  He is so lame.  Just like the abuser who after hurting you want to kiss and make up with flowers, that is untill the next they beat the crap out of you.  What a bunch of greepy people.  

                  "During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolution­ary act. " George Orwell

                  by zaka1 on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 07:15:58 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Whoa that's like finding a Watergate tape (5+ / 0-)

      I knew it.  That's why I couldn't for him the second time around.  I totally reject that bargain.  If this country is in such bad shape that the only answer is to cut Social Security then we better put those aircraft carriers up for sale, close the embassies, and bring the boys home.  

    •  Thanks for this link. (4+ / 0-)

      I just read it and passed it on to my husband.  I can't comment further because the words I would use would involve very foul language.

      "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

      by 3goldens on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 12:30:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  OFA dishonest e-mail (6+ / 0-)

    I just got one of those OFA e-mails telling me to add my name to support the "balanced approach".
    '
    Well apparently this "balanced approach" includes cutting Social Security with the chained CPI and gawd knows what else which they do not say of course in the e-mail.  You are just supposed to sign up.

    How can they ask you to put your name to something when you don't know what it is especially if they are planning on doing something as rotten to the core as cutting Social Security benefits?  

    And just watch them use this kind of crap to justify cuts saying that is what people want when they are not telling people the truth.  

  •  I'm already indirectly (7+ / 0-)

    getting hit by it. Our oldest 15 year client our 'bread and butter' stand by owes up a lot of money which they cannot pay as they are facing bankruptcy.  This client a medium sized regional business made it through the meltdown and was like us slowly rebuilding. They are negotiating a loan with one of the too big banks as their former bank cut off  their long held credit line. They can't pay as their accounts are frozen until either the bank kicks in or they file bankruptcy. It may be months before we get paid. This is not a fly by night company it's a established firm that has been in business for 25 years and has (or had) an impressive list of clients along with a good solid reputation in the community they operate in.

    Many of this client's, clients are in the public sector federal and state, and holding back on spending.  Their private sector for profit clients too are waiting till the other shoe hit's the floor. So no cash or projects are flowing. Reverse trickle down or maybe just trickling 'austerity' on down the line of the economy we all inhabit.. In an economy that took a severe hit like ours did from the meltdown in 2009 it is double economic sabotage to the real US economy the one we all have to survive and work in. We are all connected to the too bigs and their greedy ass backward implementation of disaster capitalism. It's like the Kevin Bacon thingie, were all connected by degree's to the vampire squid. From your grandmother to your preschooler and everyone in between we all will feel the effects of the shocks that austerity generates.  

    While I'm lucky I'm not unemployed or poor or dependent on the Feds for my living (yet), no one is exempt from the ripples of austerity and cuts to public spending. One thing I've learned as a artist turned bookkeeper out of necessity, is that cash flow is the key to keeping the wheels greased in business. All I can think since the whole meltdown wound up and broke the economy, is that these people have absolutely no intention or desire to 'fix' it. They talk about entrepreneurs and small businesses but they refuse to anything to foster an economy that works for people and keeps decent paying jobs in our country and keeps cash flowing.

    Don't even get me started on what they are doing to the vulnerable in our society, that's just obscene.          

         

    •  Six degrees of Squid (7+ / 0-)

      My what long and sticky tentacles they have. You cut one off and new ones replace them. They maybe the one with suckers, but we are the ones in their grasp as you say. Neo-Feudalim brought to us by the Neo-Liberals. Welcome to Neo-Pottersville!

      Sorry to hear that clients and associates are falling through the cracks. I lived in OR all through the 80's and 90's and remember the struggles there then. Oregonians are tough, but shit, something has to give. As with AZ where I am now these cuts to good career jobs with Land Resource Agencies ... Parks, Forests,  Research, Agriculture etc are going to hit  University based and smaller communities hard

      I too will be hit by loss of grant funding opportunity, the source of my long term steady income and health insurance.

      And yes, the vulnerable will need people like us to stand up now, more than ever. Austerity kills.

      “Corruption isn’t just people profiting from betraying the public interest. It’s also people being punished for upholding the public interest.”  ― MS

      by cosmic debris on Thu Feb 28, 2013 at 04:08:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A lot of the studies (6+ / 0-)

        we work on do the stats and numbers on land use studies. These are often paid for by both federal money grants and subsidies, state and local. We also get a lot of public transportation studies these depend on federal money. The private sector jobs we also work on seem to be drying up.

        We have no health insurance. Were not rich or poor enough. The ACA does nothing but impose a fine on our already onerous state city  'self proprietorship' taxes. We have over 20 years in business paid both sides of our SS, employer and employee. So now they want to austeritize our asses? seriously? Totally insane and so ass backward economically and every else wise it leaves me breathless.

        You and I are vulnerable but I think we can and will survive albeit on a different level then we counted on. What about the millions who already live in poverty and rely on SS and Medicare to get them through? By the most vulnerable I mean those dependent on SS, and Medicare who will actually be reduced to eating cat food or the young'uns working at 3 jobs with no future and horrible pay and debt if they want a dubious out, an education. Where will that lead to a barrista job in Portland with a shit load of debt and no place to work it off?
               

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