The sequester officially went into effect at midnight yesterday, as the President signed the order mandating it. Addicting Info has an interactive map up to show what your state will be losing in 2013, because of the cuts in federal spending this year. If you read through various comment boards, particularly the ones with a lot of “conservatives,” you’d come away with the impression that these will just mean some “wasteful” spending will be cut. You even see it with many of the supposedly “informed” pundits. After all, it’s only 85 billion, right? The real issue they overlook is something the President said in his press conference: “”We will get through this,” he said. “This is not going to be an apocalypse, I think, as some people have said. It’s just dumb. And it’s going to hurt.” Why is it dumb?
Tag Archives: taxes
One of the big topics in Washington these days is “the fiscal cliff.” What it really means is that all the tax rates return to the level they were before the Bush tax cuts, and major cuts in government spending (the sequester) take effect. Both sides consider this a bad thing, although the particular part of it they consider “bad things” is different. The President has presented his plan, which has … shocked … the Republicans. Apparently, his proposals came at them from out of the blue, which demonstrates that they hadn’t paid any attention to what he’d been saying during the campaign, the platform he was running on, and the various policy statements his campaign headquarters was issuing. After wringing their hands, crying about how unfair it was that the President, the press, and the American public expected them to issue their own proposals, they finally relented. Continue reading
The title of this post comes from an incident over 16 years ago. During a rather intense discussion over an issue, one of the mailing list members sent a huge file in response to something, crashing almost everyone’s mailbox. Yes, that was back in the days when no one had “unlimited space,” and you paid for your Internet time by the minute. My reply to her was … scathing … to put it mildly. I wasn’t the only one, but mine apparently hit hard. Her response to me was “You used to be such a nice young man!” My reply to that was “No, I was polite. There’s a difference.” In person I’m rather quiet and soft-spoken. I’m polite to people. I’m able to have a reasoned argument without yelling or getting angry, and I’ll let things slide, or just go along, if it isn’t that important to me. All of which tends to cause people to think I’m “nice.” More correctly, to take it to mean that I’m a pushover, and easy to take advantage of. Which is why it comes as a surprise to them to find out that no, I’m not nice, particularly if they’ve pissed me off. Then it’s a different ball game.
Over at BPI, one of the commenters posted an e-mail from her Republican Congressman, who is apparently attempting to preemptively shift the blame if the debt ceiling isn’t raised:
I have heard from quite a few concerned seniors and veterans in the last few days. The concern stems from the President’s suggestion that Social Security and other benefits won’t get paid in the absence of a deal to raise the debt ceiling. This is a scare tactic, pure and simple.
Spending on Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ benefits and our troops has already been authorized by Congress, and the President has the authority to continue funding these priorities. If he chooses not to, it will be his decision and his alone.
As Sheriff, I always had a contingency plan – hope for the best, but plan for the worst. My hope is that the President won’t play games with your Social Security check, but his current posturing doesn’t inspire much confidence.
The bolding is mine, and it demonstrates a seriously poor understanding between “authorized spending” and “having the money to spend.” Because it’s not a scare tactic, it’s a potential reality. Anyone who has ever worked in the private sector (let alone government) for an employer of any real size should have grasped it immediately.