Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Looming Sequester and the Republican Strategy...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
-vs- Tyranny

The rEpublicans are getting their strategic plan in place as to how and when to strike. By this I mean how to push the issue (or maybe better stated ignore the issue until it serves their purposes)of possible sequestration to the cliffs edge. All in the hopes that Obama and his fellow democrats cry uncle and become more malleable in the the enlightened rEpublicans.

The Hill has a good article laying it all out that really focuses ones attention on the issue. There is a time to stand and fight and there is a time to sit back and wait for the right time to fight. To the rational observer it definitely appears that the rEpublican party doesn't really understand the difference.

Republicans have decided that the sequester scheduled for March 1 — not a government-funding bill due at the end of March — is where they’ll make their stand on spending cuts.

After the bruising political battles of the last Congress, GOP leaders have decided the looming automatic spending cuts provide the best leverage to move President Obama to negotiate on costly entitlement programs.

“Republicans are not going to take a stand on a government shutdown. We’re not going to take a stand on the debt ceiling. We’re going to take a stand on the sequester,” said a Republican senator, who requested anonymity to discuss his party’s strategy.

Could it be this gentlemen can't self identify out of fear of party leadership (Karl Rove?) repercussions thay could result in pigeonholing his aspirations?

“The sequester affects programs President Obama likes and we think it’s the best chance of getting his attention on spending,” the lawmaker added.

GOP leaders see the spending sequester as the political inverse of the fiscal cliff. Republicans felt they had little choice, at the end of 2012, but to agree to tax increases because if they did not compromise, all of the Bush-era tax rates would have expired.

Hm, the Clinton tax rates didn't seem to be a burden on growth and economic expansion. Perhaps that is a reasonable place for discussion to take place?

Republican aides say the onus is now on Obama and the Democrats to give ground because if there is no deal, federal programs will see an $85 billion reduction between March 1 and the fiscal year’s end.

While Republicans want to avoid cuts to military spending, they believe Democrats are more eager to spare social programs from across-the-board reductions.

A Senate GOP aide said Republicans will take the sequester before agreeing to any tax increases to offset the cost of stopping it.

Well, there is little question in the reasonable persons mind but what there is room for cuts. Both defense and domestic social programs could stand to have their nails trimmed. But to the degree the sequester would result in? Fools gold IMNHO.

“Is it designed the way you’d like it to be designed? No. Is it a guaranteed reduction of spending? It is, and we’ll take that,” said the aide.

Bravo! We know it's not good, but it is better than a possible Obama success so by God we're going for it! Is this a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face? Sure seems like it to this armchair political junkie.

A few Senate Republicans say they are willing to consider tax increases to pay for a package to stop sequestration from hitting.

Wow! A breath of fresh air. Work on your associates in the other chamber cause you guys just may have a chance at actually accomplishing something that serves two purposes.

But even the most centrist members of the Republican Conference say the package introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) last week is tilted too heavily toward tax increases.

“I would not support increases in income tax rates because we’ve already settled that issue. It sounds like it’s weighted way too heavily on the tax side given what we’ve already done,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Collins said she would support eliminating tax subsidies for major oil-and-gas companies.

Not a real fan of Collins but here she is making ultimate sense.

But Reid left that proposal out in part because of opposition from Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska), who represent oil-rich states and face reelection next year.

The Senate Democratic package would raise about $55 billion in new tax revenues and cut $55 billion in spending to stop the sequester through the end of the calendar year.

“Half? I don’t think it gets there. You’re just not going to have the [needed] level of support,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on Fox News earlier this month that he might consider ending some tax breaks to stop defense cuts.

Ex Maverick of the Senate John McCain weighing in on behalf of keeping the Military Industrial Complex funded beyond what is required to secure and maintain the "national defense." It is too bad Dwight David Eisenhower was largely ignored back in 1961 when he warned of the very thing we are witnessing today.

But altogether, a senior GOP aide said, the total number of Senate Republicans willing to support tax increases to pay for the sequester “is probably a population under five.”

On that note I'll turn it over to you, my fine and varied readership to fill in the balance of the blanks.. There is more HERE so please continue reading.

Via: Memeorandum


  1. This is a time that a cross between the late Mayor Daly and LBJ would be a good thing for the Dems.

    Anyone allowing sequestration would see every dime of government largess going to his/her state stop. No patronage jobs. The worst office in the capitol.

    Boehner is weak also. Messages must be sent and party loyalty does need to be enforced on occasion. Reelection is far more important to these jokers than good policy.

    1. While I remain an advocate of REASONABLE limited constitutional government, one who sees the MIC as definitely in need of trimming, as well as our foreign policy largesse (acting as the world's policeman and self appointed arbiter of morality), and the need to reform the current social security, medicare/medicaid safety nets, I find your last sentence quite correct. Indeed Boehner is weak, and indeed the rEpublican party, as well as the dEmocrat party is more concerned with winning than formulating policies that actually predicated on the long term impact rather than the short term.

  2. I don't agree we should be the world's policeman. Nor did Dick Cheney, actually. He involved the US in but a small fraction of the conflicts around the world that happened during the time of the Bush administration.

    1. "Nor did Dick Cheney"

      Ah I might find it difficult to argue the specific point. However, he certainly argued for and supported the idiocy of Iraq to the hilt.


As this site encourages free speech and expression any and all honest political commentary is acceptable. Comments with cursing or vulgar language will not be posted.

Effective 8/12/13 Anonymous commenting has been disabled. This unfortunate action was made necessary due to the volume of Anonymous comments that are either off topic or serve only to disrupt honest discourse..

I apologizes for any inconvenience this necessary action may cause the honest Anonymous who would comment here, respect proper decorum and leave comments of value. However, The multitude of trollish attack comments from both the left and right has necessitated this action.

Thank you for your understanding... The management.