President Barack Obama will urge Congress to postpone automatic spending reductions scheduled to begin March 1 as Senate Democrats debate options for replacing part of the $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts.
Obama will ask Congress to delay “deep, indiscriminate cuts to domestic and defense programs” in remarks scheduled for 1:15 p.m. today, according to a White House statement. “Uncertainty around the sequester is already having a negative impact on our economic growth,” according to the statement.
“The challenge we face right now is the fact that government spending is completely out of control,” Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said yesterday on the Senate floor. “So to focus on a tax of any kind is to miss the point entirely.”
In an interview on Bloomberg Television today, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Democrats and the president have been “absent” in working toward fiscal discipline. “All we hear from this president is ‘we’ve got to raise people’s taxes.’ That’s just not the answer,” said the Virginia Republican.
Boehner of Ohio and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, both Republicans, have said they expect the full spending cuts to take effect.
While Defense Secretary Leon Panetta once called the automatic cuts a “doomsday mechanism,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a Jan. 29 interview that it is “more likely than unlikely” they will take effect. Defense Cuts
Defense programs would be cut by 7.3 percent, or $42.7 billion, during the last seven months of fiscal 2013. Non- defense budgets would be trimmed by $42.7 billion.
Many programs that Democrats care most about would be reduced. Obama’s Office of Management and Budget said the plan would make reductions of 2 percent to Medicare providers and 7.6 percent to non-defense programs such as temporary assistance for needy families.
Will Republicans Wimp Out Again?
Notice the talk of doomsday cuts even though the war in Afghanistan is winding down and the war in Iraq is over.
Pray tell what's wrong with going back to a level of military spending in 2008, 2004, or even long before that?
What I fully expect is for Republicans to cave in on social spending cuts in return for Democrats caving in on military cuts, effectively kicking the can down the road again.
Cookies, Candy, Spoiled Brats
The political process is similar to the way spoiled mothers treat spoiled brats whining for candy bars and cookies. The brats are of course Republicans (whining for cookies), with Democrats (whining for candy bars).
Cookies represent increased military spending of course, and candy bars represent social spending.
The prudent thing would be for neither brat to get anything because they are seriously obese already. However, the whining babies are willing to placate each other (temporarily forever), and Mother (Obama) is willing to placate both of them to get them to stop whining.
Yet, in the end, after stuffing themselves with more cookies and candy, neither brat will be happy.
Republicans will be upset Democrats got candy bars, and Democrats will be upset Republicans got cookies. Nonetheless, whining for more cookies and candy bars will continue, once again, temporarily forever. Taxpayers who cannot afford the party will ultimately have to pay the bill.