A Guide to Sequestration, the Bad Budget Policy We May Not Be Able to Avoid

Amid President Obama's call to postpone the pain of sequestration, signs that a solution may be elusive.

  • Share
  • Read Later
NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP / Getty Images

President Barack Obama departs the White House in Washington, Feb. 4, 2013.

Of all the budget fights over the past several years, the sequester is the most emblematic of modern Washington. That is not a compliment. Its distant relatives — the government-shutdown fight and the debt ceiling spat and the fiscal cliff brawl — were manufactured crises, but behind the eye-glazing demagoguery lurked important issues, like the proper size of government, about which reasonable people can disagree. Everyone agrees that the sequester is terrible policy.

In fact, it was designed to be terrible policy. The sequester is a nondescript name for a poison pill, devised as a deterrent so unpalatable that Capitol Hill’s warring factions would be forced to make peace. That was back in the summer of 2011, when the threat of a debt default loomed. So the White House and Congressional Republicans crafted the Budget Control Act, which appointed a bipartisan “super committee” to find $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. The super committee’s failure would trigger sequestration, a package of about $1 trillion in automatic cuts to domestic and security programs. Economists warned it would send the fragile economy into a tailspin, and possibly cause a double-dip recession. Still, peace was elusive. The super committee failed.

(MORE: The Federal Government’s $128 Trillion Stockpile: The Answer to Our Debt Problems?)

Now the U.S. is just weeks away from swallowing the poison pill. The fiscal cliff deal brokered on New Year’s Eve postponed the cuts for two months, but now they are set to take effect on March 1, and a solution to the sequester is nowhere in sight. Which is why President Obama on Tuesday afternoon called for Congress to stave off the sequester for a few more months, hoping such a move might buy time for lawmakers to replace it with smarter spending cuts. “The good news is, this doesn’t have to happen,” Obama said. According to a projection released Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office, sequestration would cut U.S. economic growth in 2013 by half. The White House predicts it would cause the economy to shed hundreds of thousands of jobs.

This might seem like incentive enough for the two parties to find the $85 billion in deficit reduction necessary to delay sequestration from taking effect next month. But it won’t be easy. “I think the sequester is going to happen,” Republican Congressman Paul Ryan said Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. “We think these sequesters will happen because the Democrats have opposed our efforts to replace those cuts with others–and they’ve offered no alternatives.”

Obama, who in 2011 said he would veto any attempt to sidestep the sequester, offered an alternative Tuesday in the form of a stopgap bill. But he insisted that any deficit-reduction package to replace the sequester contain a mix of spending cuts and tweaks to the federal tax code, which means new revenues. This is a deal-breaker for Republicans, who forswore new taxes after a fiscal cliff deal that raised them for the first time in a generation.

(MORE: House Republicans Cave on Debt Ceiling Brinkmanship)

The impasse has members of both parties warning, once again, that an unthinkable policy is becoming a very real possibility. “I think people want it to happen,” Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, who favors replacing the sequester, told the New York Times. Both sides say that’s not true. But the glimpse of the wrecking ball has both parties scrambling to disown a policy that both houses of Congress passed and the President signed.

Republicans have stepped up their effort to charge the White House with cooking up the idea, hoping to pin the blame for the coming cuts on somebody else. As the Washington Post notes, House Speaker John Boehner used the phrase “the President’s sequester” (or some variant thereof) five times during a single floor speech Monday. (While the White House disputes that it came up with the sequester, Post reporter Bob Woodward and Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler say the idea originated with the White House.) President Obama first proposed the sequester and insisted it become law,” Boehner said in a statement Tuesday. “Republicans have twice voted to replace these arbitrary cuts with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect our national defense. We believe there is a better way to reduce the deficit, but Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes.”

(MORE: Countdown to Sequestration: One Month to Go!)

For its part, the White House will blame Republicans for refusing to reduce tax breaks that benefit the wealthy. Democrats, who are seeking some $600 billion in new revenues, want to dump sweetheart provisions that protect owners of corporate jets or financiers who benefit from low carried-interest rates.”In our view, hedge fund managers should not be paying at a significantly lower rate than bus drivers or clerical assistants or store managers,” Carney said, noting that Republicans have been open to closing tax loopholes in past negotiations. “If that was true then, it’s got to be true now.

Obama also offered to revive dormant talks to reach a sweeping deal to slash the federal deficit and overhaul the U.S. tax code and entitlement systems. “The balanced approach of spending cuts and entitlement reform and tax reform that I put forward are still on the table,” Obama told reporters at the White House. But it would be very tough to iron out a grand bargain — a deal so thorny and elusive that it spawned the sequester in the first place — in the space of a few months, let alone a few weeks. If Republicans won’t give way on new revenues, it would become impossible. And there is no sense the GOP is prepared to cave, particularly because many of its members have sought the deep cuts the sequester would produce.

What we’re left with yet another stalemate, and yet another countdown to a self-inflicted crisis.

MORE: What the Current Economic Outlook Means for American Families

95 comments
TrueBeliever
TrueBeliever

If the Congressional and Presidential salaries were also directly and immediately impacted then these politicians would agree to a solution.

krw1943
krw1943

Sequestration - BRING IT ON!

UnclePhil
UnclePhil

As most of us know, the automatic spending provisions associated with major social programs are the primary cause of our debt and deficit difficulties.  Insofar as these provisions would seem at odds with the tax and spending powers granted to Congress by the Constitution, which are not reasonably interpreted to include passing laws that require the Executive branch of government to auto-spend the country into oblivion while limiting the ability of Congress to do much about it, I can only wonder what the folks in our Judicial branch are doing to occupy their minds while they are not napping.  Interested lawyers are invited to file a lawsuit on my behalf. 

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

With the recovery from the Great Recession still being fragile, an austerity budget now would drive us into a Second Great Recession, making the debt/deficit even worse.

babycheeks
babycheeks

Let's be honest, please. Both the Democrats, the Republicans and the President participated in this deal to avoid having to make hard choices. NO ONE is willing to be specific as to what they would cut. The Democrat Senate has not passed a budget in fours years! They still do not want to put in print what they are willing to do to solve this crisis. The Republicans are no better. Everyone knows both parties will have to agree to action that could harm their political careers. There is a lot of pain coming for the public to avoid disaster and these so-called leaders do not have the selflessness to bring the bad news. Our greatest deficit is in leadership.

Sikoli
Sikoli

Is there anyway a rational conclusion can be achieved in all of this? 

grape_crush
grape_crush

> Republicans have stepped up their effort to charge the White House with cooking up the idea, hoping to pin the blame for the coming cuts on somebody else.

Funny, considering it was Republicans that forced the Budget Control Act of 2011 into existence when they refused any Dem-led budget deal that involved raising taxes or eliminated tax breaks, thus threatening to throw the government into default.

When you're faced with three poor choices - agree to a sequestration deal, default, or ransom the hostage by destroying the social safety net - which do you choose?

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

I'm betting that the White House proposed the general concept of the Sequester (a poison pill so terrible that they need to deal) but didn't specify what was in it - that was figured out through negotiation.

MrObvious
MrObvious

It's really a guide to bad policy making. The whole fiscal cliff should never have happened. This was for paying for bills that our congress had already spent. If they're serious about fixing our fiscal issues then they should have this debate while they're considering spending the money. It's a discussion they should have started back with Reagan and especially after Clinton when we were paying down our deficit. But some genius declared that deficits don't matter and we all should be able to get tax cuts and live like kings and lords. The screaming only started (with the extensive memory loss) when the stuff hit the fan and the economy crashed.

superlogi
superlogi

I doubt most on the left are very concerned about the mandatory reduction in military spending.  Most don't support the military in any case.  On the other hand, a cut in any of our nanny state programs would be devastating to their vote purchasing plans.

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

@UnclePhil : The automatic spending provisions were parts of laws passed by Congress, and Congress has the power (but not the will) to repeal them.

superlogi
superlogi

@Leftcoastrocky And, the continuance of our prodigious spending will, at some point, came riots in the street.  Time to get weaned.

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

@babycheeks Which leaves the sequester as the least-bad solution; in the absence of courage, no choices required.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@NicholeGibbs10 

If you're getting paid so well why do you need to spam innocuous blogs with advertisements for your pyramid scheme?

La_Randy
La_Randy

@Sikoli If that were the case we would not be talking about spending cuts in an economic downturn at all.

krw1943
krw1943

@grape_crush Obama signed sequestration into law. He thought it was a good idea, but changed his mind cause it cuts his insane pending spree a bit. At the time SQ was being written up it seemed a terrible idea, not that it hamstrings Obama I am delighted it is law. We'll tweek it down the line and maybe remove it. But until congress raises its collective IQ to 20 or more, SQ is good by me. I delight in the effect it is having on our Spender in Chief.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@MrObvious 

Y'know, with the combination of the chart we saw yesterday, we now have clear evidence that whathisface was full of s*** when he came up with the chart showing lower taxes in the short term lead to higher long term revenues.  Taxes went down a decade ago, but growth of income has been stagnant.  GDP growth was more or less unchanged.  That coupled with the lowering of taxes on the rich - there's no way the government could ever possibly get itself to revenue neutral even without the extra spending the Bush era brought in.

And the screaming started when they could start blaming "tax and spend" Democrats rather than "cut and spend" Republicans.

bobell
bobell

Republicans only care about deficits when the president is a Democrat.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

Of course we want other nations to blow us up and to keep our voting bloc intact.  How very racist of you to notice.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@superlogi We spend more on the military than the next 12 countries(most of which are our allies combined) How much more do we need to spend in order for you to feel safe?

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@superlogi

Most don't support the military in any case.

I'm a leftist and I don't support the military, certainly not my cousins that serve overseas.  I just hate this country and everything in it don't I, stuporlogi?

Your blatant idiocy aside, I'm really not concerned about the military cuts because I know that the military needs to be cut.

Arimathean
Arimathean

@superlogi I am related to military men and live in a military town.  I support our military.  One of the ways I support them is to point out the waste that harms them.  For example, the military-industrial lobby convinced the Pentagon to order new V-22 Ospreys to replace excellent helicopter, despite the fact that the Osprey has a safety record that is deeply disturbing.  Friends of mine work on the flightline with these machines and are terrified of them.  Who supports our military more -- those who listen to pilots or those who buy what Boeing lobbyists sell?

MrObvious
MrObvious

@superlogi

I doubt most on the left are very concerned about the mandatory reduction in military spending. Most don't support the military in any case

I doubt you know anything about the left at all based on the regular Rush Limbaugh like swill you trot out.

UnclePhil
UnclePhil

@S_Deemer @UnclePhil According to Wikipedia, the Origination Clause was intended to ensure that the "power of the purse" lies with the legislative body most responsive to the people, the House of Representatives.  Clearly, the House no longer has power of the purse.  Case closed.

babycheeks
babycheeks

@S_Deemer @babycheeks More like driving off a cliff because no one had the courage to steer.  These people volunteer to seek an office as a leader but do not have the courage to lead. A disgrace and betrayal to their constituents.

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

Not true at all.  Democrats took control of Congress in 2006 not just because people were sick of Iraq and Afghanistan, but because Republicans were sickened by the antics of the Tom Delay crowd and didn't turn out.  Nancy Pelosi said at the time the Democrats would be the party of fiscal responsibility and we see how that turned out.  It is true, however, that a short-term deficit or one that is a minor fraction of GDP is not a threat.  Trillion-dollar annual deficits that represent an ever-growing portion of GDP and create mounting piles of debt, from now on with no projected end in sight, are an entirely different story.

superlogi
superlogi

@mantisdragon91 @superlogi Well, since we've been protecting Western Europe since the late 30's with our military hardware and war machine, all in the name of our own personal national security, we probably need to.  With regard to my feeling safe, it's not me I'm concerned about.  It's my grandchildren.  But let me ask you how many years you spent protecting other people and in which war did you protect them?  I was active duty between 68-73, 72-73 getting hazardous duty and combat pay.  But tell me how much you've donated to the country.  Peace Corps, Head Start?  

superlogi
superlogi

@DonQuixotic @superlogi How do you know?  Yes, you're a leftist and give my regards to your cousins. You should talk to them more and listen to your socialist buddies less.

superlogi
superlogi

@Arimathean @superlogi Well, it's good to know you have a relative who's a patriot.  With regard to your pointing out waste in the military, that is far beyond your understanding or pay grade.  With regard to the V-22, it's safety record isn't the problem for you.  It's its high cost which might chew into your domestic goodies.  The fact is, both the Navy and the Marines love the plane based on its speed, flexibility and the distance it can fly.  Frankly, I've never been in one, but I did watch an E-2 and A-3 crash and go down with all hands.  I also watched a P-3 crash in Lemoore, Ca with eleven dead.  And, those all had to do with equipment failure, yet all of those planes were mainstays at the time.  In any case, it occurs to me that we left a helicopter in Afghanistan used in the bin Laden killing.  Point it, sh!t happens and it happens to every piece of military equipment ever made.  And, no one is forced to fly an Osprey or any other type aircraft.  Those that do, want to.  


PS  Who do you think tests this equipment?

superlogi
superlogi

@MrObvious @superlogi I just read your posts.  With regard to Rush, I doubt I've listened to him broadcast anything in the last five years.  With regard to the swill, neither Rush nor I produced it.  You did.  We're simply repeating what you said.

krw1943
krw1943

@babycheeks @S_Deemer Since the congress can't steer, sequestration has a place. It's the only game in a totally corrupted town that subtracts rather than adds. It also hinders Obama's passion to spend till we drop. He signed it and now he is sorry he signed it. What in the h--- is that clown doing in the White House. He is a laughing stock. No, I take that back, he is much, much worse...

BobJan
BobJan

@bryanfred1 I assume you don't earn more than 150K/yr. Now this is just for hypothetical purposes only. Now, let's say you shop at Kroger for your food supply. Now let's look at taxing everyone over 500K/yr an extra 5%. Now how would that hurt Kroger? Now every year Kroger has to raise their prices because the cost of transportation, the companies supplying food products are raising their prices but not giving their employees higher wages, in fact making them pay more for their health care if they have any. So now we look at all these working men and women with less money which means only one thing. They spend less. Less demand. There's not enough wealthy families to put a dent in much of what the 99% does. When the 99% has more money in their pocket they spend it. When the wealthy have more and more and more they keep it in their family. That's smart. Hmmm, lets see an I-phone costs the same for a family making 50k/yr and a family making 1m/yr. A gallon of gas costs the same for both families. A loaf of bread costs the same. The 1% doesn't keep Ford, GM or Chrysler going. The 99% does. And when they have less money they buy less cars. The companies of BMW, Merceded, Jaguar etc are all having record years and profits. The middle class has been held down for the last 35 years. Get rid of all types of government subsidies for working men and women and you'll see a lot of people striking like they did years ago. 

tom.litton
tom.litton

@bryanfred1 

First and foremost, if anyone actually believes government shouldn't be as effective and efficient as possible, then they are an idiot.  But i don't know of anyone that does. If you don't think when people argue for the government to solve a specific problem, they are arguing for less efficient system, and i won't think when people argue for less spending they want a less effective government.

The truth is there are many things that are much better being the responsibility of the entire society rather than an individual.  

Also, it appears we are close enough on the deficit to avoid middle class tax increases.  (Although there are still serious long term problems with social security and health care). 

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/the-mostly-solved-deficit-problem/


tom.litton
tom.litton

@bryanfred1 

1.  That isn't always true.  If the supply of money is large (ie a lot of people are saving) and the demand is small (ie a lot of people not spending), then raising taxes will only have a positive effect on the economy.  This seems to be what is happening now.  Have a look at:  

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/1998/08/babysitting_the_economy.html

2.  If you can spend every dollar more efficiently  than the government, then the solution is to not have a government at all and live in anarchy.  Yes that's a stupid conclusion.  It's just as stupid as your conclusion that we all want to live in an collectivist society.    

In reality, neither of us wants either extreme.  You want something a bit closer to anarchy, and we want something a bit closer to collectivism.   That doesn't make either of us stupid or even wrong.

You also have to remember there really isn't a huge gulf that separates what you want and what we want.  Or i should say what most people supporting what republicans want and what most people supporting democrats want.

 

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

I agree with almost nothing you say, but at least you didn't name-call.  Thanks for showing manners in the debate.

BobJan
BobJan

@bryanfred1excuse me but 2 wars, 2 tax cuts, big drug giveaway plan, TSA and Homeland Security. When GW was leaving we were losing 800,000 jobs/month, the financial system was collapsing etc. Well let's see, wars =disability benefits. wars=lifetime medical benefits. wars=divorce,child abuse etc. The United States is still paying for the effects of "agent orange" in Vietnam and the US. Anything else you need to know about war and the carnage it leaves in it's wake? The drug giveaway with no price negotiations. Wow, now that was a bonus for the pharma's. They ran around saying "FREE MONEY" from the taxpayers. And I hope that all voters care about spending but I don't see any politicians worried about it except when they're on the TV. Read the following and see how well the Repub's and Dem's care about overspending and then get back to us about over spending.

 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/us/medicare-pricing-delay-is-political-win-for-amgen-drug-maker.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&


MrObvious
MrObvious

@bryanfred1

Republicans opposed many of Obama's policies because they were highly detrimental to the country's long-term fiscal health. 

Nonsense. Just look at their filibusters. Over things like SMALL BUSINESS JOB BILLS.

It was purely to piss in the punch. No wonder our congress is less popular then skunks.

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

Okay, last one then I need to actually work.  Been fun.

All parties try to hold the opposing president to one term.  Otherwise they wouldn't run a candidate.  Republicans opposed many of Obama's policies because they were highly detrimental to the country's long-term fiscal health.  For all the talk about unpaid-for wars, Iraq and Afghanistan together cost the U.S. about a trillion dollars over 10 years, equal to one year of our current deficit.  That's not sustainable. Not for a household, not for a company, not for smaller European nations and, sorry, not even for the U.S.

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

Dang thing ate my post...trying again:

I agree 100% and wouldn't argue for a second that there aren't many things government does well.  I'm not even saying liberals want to control everything, I'm saying that if taxes are going to have to go up to cover the deficit it's not unreasonable for middle class people who will see their own spending power reduced to ask if the government spends that money better than they can.  The President told the middle class the deficit issue could be addressed by asking top earners to pay their "fair share."  That taxes wouldn't have to go up on the middle class under that scenario was a mathematical joke people chose to accept.  Everyone loves a tax increase when it's on somebody else.

bobell
bobell

@bryanfred1 The primary contributors to current deficits are the shortfall in tax revenue resulting from the recession and the increase in support programs like unemployment compensation and food stamps resulting from the recession.  Take away the effects of the recession and the deficit quickly becomes manageable.

Any Republicans really interested in cutting deficits would knock themselves out to ge unemployment down.   You know -- jobs. jobs, jobs.  But they chose instead to try to ruin the Obama presidency and hold him to one term, deficits be damned.

The deficit is slowly coming down anyway.  It would have come down a lot faster if our fiscal and monetary policy had been governed by reality instead of ideology.

jason024
jason024

@bryanfred1If you believe the government can collect, politically allocate and spend a dollar of your earnings more efficiently than you yourself can, on the things that are most important to you, then try living in a collectivist nation for a while and see if you return with the same opinion. 

----------------------------------
On some things yes. We decided long ago that government can do some (not all) things better than the average American...and it has.  We can have a healthy debate over how much and on what but when you make the inane argument that liberals want government to control everything you are barking up the wrong tree.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@bryanfred1

The big deal was the most serious attempt to address the issue in the first fiscal cliff battle.

1. Not true. What stifles the economy is lack of discretionary income. The most important thing to address is unemployment to make sure consumption grease the wheels of our economy. Massive tax cuts will have an impact, but the ones where the 1 or 2 percenters get a tax increase won't have an impact what so ever.

2. Again - fix the unemployment issue. Massive infrastructure spending can fix that; that's how we got ourselves out of trouble with WW II type spending. It works. Just put the money on our infra structure. Use US made products only using legal US labor. Done.

The whole whole if you believe the government can collect, politically allocate and spend a dollar of your earnings more efficiently than you yourself can, on the things that are most important to you, then try living in a collectivist nation for a while and see if you return with the same opinion socialism (collectivist) canard is dumb. Anyone who make bland simplistic statements like that are not serious about finding common solutions. It's a punt to stupid rhetoric. Lets be serious here.


bryanfred1
bryanfred1

Not sure I follow your first sentence, but I can address the second pretty easily.  1.  Tax increases stifle economic activity.  It's simple supply and demand; make something more expensive and you get less demand for it.  Higher tax rates effectively make income more expensive so people take steps to defer income or otherwise use tax planning strategies to push payment out into the future.  2.  People in the middle brackets who don't have such luxuries simply take less home.  If you believe the government can collect, politically allocate and spend a dollar of your earnings more efficiently than you yourself can, on the things that are most important to you, then try living in a collectivist nation for a while and see if you return with the same opinion.  Unfortunately there are only a couple left to choose from because those systems eventually grind to a halt.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@bryanfred1 

That's not true. Part of the big deal was a lot of sacred cows. But GOP found tax cuts to one small fig leaf to far. 

And if conservative voters are so concerned they wouldn't be pushing so hard for cuts and balk against tax cuts.  

bryanfred1
bryanfred1

No, not at all.  But the two wars are over and the stimulus packages were supposed to be temporary, yet the deficit is higher than ever - stuck at the high water mark - and Democrats claim there is absolutely nothing to be cut that won't crater the economy.  Short-term spending became permanent budget that is somehow untouchable.  My point was that Republicans voters DO care about deficits even when their party holds power and the 2006 elections were the example.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@bryanfred1 

You're not claiming that that the economy magically crashed 1 year later because the Dems somehow managed to pull that off in less then a year?


Seriously.

superlogi
superlogi

@mantisdragon91 @superlogi Good point.  We don't necessarily need anyone serving in Germany, albeit it would make a good staging area if we actually wanted to stop Iran from building a nuke.  On the other hand, the world is more dangerous today than at any time in our history.  In fact, I just heard this morning we're skimping on Aircraft Carriers based on budget cuts which were already at post WWII historic lows relative to GDP.  But mantis, one thing I'm absolutely certain of is that Leon Panetta knows more about military readiness and requirements than you do.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@superlogi @mantisdragon91 Out of curiosity who are we protecting Western Europe from these days? The Warsaw Pact dissolved 20 years ago and the chances of another large scale armored clash are non existent. And yet backward thinking individuals like you still have us spending billions each years on MBTs and APCs. And before you question my credentials again, keep in mind that I served with the 3rd ACR in the first gulf war, faced Iraqi T-72s at 73 Easting and still have the shrapnel scar on my right shoulder to prove it.

superlogi
superlogi

@DonQuixotic @superlogi And, you are a parasite who's only concerned about your ability to get some of that milk from the government teat.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@superlogi @DonQuixotic And you are a blowhard and an ignorant human being. And that would be the best I could say about you based on the image your project on here.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@superlogi @DonQuixotic 

You are a vapid moron that doesn't even understand what a Socialist is.  I find your assumption that I don't support our military just because I want to see them both taken out of harms way and I understand that we don't need a military budget the size of the next 12 nations combined offensive and childish.

Tero
Tero

@superlogi @DonQuixotic 

... another moronic post that makes you look stupid. Why are you here wasting everyone's time?

superlogi
superlogi

@shepherdwong @superlogi I agree.  Instead of reducing the military budget, we should be increasing it.  But wong, you do amaze me.  Just when I think you couldn't post something more ridiculous than you have in the past, you outdo yourself.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@superlogi  Maybe you should try giving more of a $h!t about our soldiers than their equipment. They're blowing their own brains out faster than the enemy is killing them due to ridiculous numbers of combat rotations and a pointless mission in a third-world hell-hole. The fact is, nothing has done more to hollow-out our military - men and machine - and  waste gobs of tax-payer money than the two idiotic Bush wars, both of pointless end and record length, one we have yet to extract ourselves from, also to no positive effect. You're no patriot, just a misanthropic, misinformed throwback from the 70s. 

superlogi
superlogi

@DonQuixotic @superlogi @MrObvious You're a moron.  Defense takes up about 19% of our Federal budget.  Throwing in things like Veterans benefits and overseas military aid is not part of the DOD budget.  In any case, entitlement and welfare spending amounts to about 65% of the budget and is mandatory.  Oh, and SS, Medicare and Medicaid are not paid for.  In fact, they are unfunded at the most conservative estimates of more than $65 trillion.  Why do you think we borrow so much money?  Learn to count. It may come in handy.


http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2011/aug/05/randy-forbes/forbes-says-us-defense-spending-measured-against-g/

MrObvious
MrObvious

@superlogi @MrObvious

I know about you, based on the leftist claptrap you post.  Unfortunately, you've got a great deal of company.

You don't know shit about me. You're the moron who spew the whole socialist nonsense. You're such a simplistic midget. What you don't know can paint the iron curtain.

MrObvious
MrObvious

@superlogi @DonQuixotic @MrObvious

We spend under 20% of the budget to protect your dumbass

Just STFU

I served. I spent as much time protecting YOUR ASS as you did MINE. The idea that serving our nation is cut exactly down party lines is the kind of mindless babble I'm talking about.


You don't know shit about libruls. Your obese on the kind of fragmented idiocy we hear from the fringe right all the time. Simplistic baloney.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@superlogi @DonQuixotic @MrObvious

"Nanny State" spending like Social Security and Meidicare/Medicaid that the middle class largely takes advantage of and pays for?  You're also wrong, Defense makes up about 24% of our budget, whereas what you would call "nanny state" spending (such as unemployment benefits) only makes up about 11%.

 I have no way of knowing the extent of your antipathy for the military

Then why are you making idiotic assumptions on something I don't have?  Because it's your favorite pass time?

Tero
Tero

@superlogi @MrObvious 

...and we all know about you and the rightist "claptrap" you post. Why are you wasting your time? Everyone here thinks you are a moron...

superlogi
superlogi

@MrObvious @superlogi I know about you, based on the leftist claptrap you post.  Unfortunately, you've got a great deal of company.

superlogi
superlogi

@DonQuixotic @superlogi @MrObvious We spend under 20% of the budget to protect your dumbass, yet we spend 65% supporting the nanny state.  The first cost is discretionary.  The second is mandatory.  I have no way of knowing the extent of your antipathy for the military, but I do know it exists and that your concern for you, is much greater than it is for them.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

"I doubt I've listened to him broadcast anything in the last five years"

[Muttley snicker]

MrObvious
MrObvious

@superlogi @MrObvious

regular Rush Limbaugh like

It's the kind of simplistic moronic BS you hear from Rush Limbaugh clones/pundits. What rightwingers don't know about 'libruls' can usually be highlighted in the kind of lazy mental babble they throw out about 'leftists'. Like what 'leftists' think about the military.

I'm very concerned about automatic cuts that effect our Navy's readiness, training and maintenance  That's an unintended consequence of this mess. We need to pair down our military spending for sure - but it has to be natural and it has to be done as our private market invest more so that any cuts to military spending do provide a drag on our economy.

And most of all - that we maintain superior readiness and not cause our different branches to have to skimp on their maintenance and support but instead take a serious look at some programs that we definitely do not need. Again - you don't know shit about 'libruls'.