Survival instinct

In a few days, after it’s all over and soft-headed Republicans who forget that sequestration was Barack Obama’s idea in the first place cave once again to the ginned-up outrage created by the subterfuge of groups like Organizing Against America For Action, everything will go back to the way it was on the road to serfdom.

Don’t believe OFA isn’t heaping blame on Republicans? Check out the excerpts from these e-mails I’ve received over the last few days. The first is from OFA’s Jim Messina, who should know better but obviously remains either delusional or worried his story won’t stick:

Michael —

Brace yourself.

If congressional Republicans don’t act by tomorrow, we’re going to be hit by a series of devastating, automatic budget cuts called the sequester.

It’s a sledgehammer to the budget, our economy, and millions of Americans across the country — and the most frustrating part? It doesn’t have to happen.

The majority of Americans support President Obama’s balanced approach to deficit reduction — add your name if you do, too.

So far, congressional Republicans are refusing to compromise — all because they don’t want to close tax loopholes for millionaires, billionaires, vacation homes, and corporate jets. Seriously.

This has very real consequences.

On the chopping block are 10,000 teaching jobs, more than 70,000 kids’ spots in Head Start, $35 million for local fire departments, $43 million to make sure seniors don’t go hungry, and access to nutrition assistance for 600,000 women and their families. That’s just a few of the things we’ll lose.

The second came from OFA’s Jon Carson yesterday:

Today, because congressional Republicans refused to act, devastating budget cuts known as the sequester are going into effect.

They’re self-inflicted wounds, and they didn’t have to happen.

Congress can stop all of this right away — and pursue a balanced approach to deficit reduction.

That’s what the vast majority of Americans want, and yesterday, more than 100,000 Americans called on Congress to be reasonable about the budget.

Finally, from Stephanie Cutter. Note the similarities in phrasing and dire predictions of gloom ahead:

Prepare yourself for job layoffs, reduced access to early education, slower emergency response, slashed health care, and more people living on the street.

This Friday is the final deadline for congressional Republicans to stop disastrous automatic spending cuts (known as the “sequester”) that will hurt everyday Americans — including you.

These budget cuts will take a sledgehammer to the budget, and indiscriminately cut critical programs vital to economic growth and middle class families.

If Congress fails to act, we’d see budget cuts pretty much across the board to critical services that teachers, first responders, seniors, children, and our men and women in uniform rely on every day.

It sounds bad because it is. And with all these cuts on the line, why are congressional Republicans refusing to budge?

Because to do so, they’d have to close tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires, oil companies, vacation homes, and private jet owners. I’m not kidding.

It’s on each of us to speak up. Share what these budget cuts could mean to you — or someone you know — today. Congress needs to hear it.

President Obama has offered a balanced plan to reduce our deficit, asking the wealthy to pay their fair share so that we can protect programs that are incredibly important for working and middle-class Americans.

But congressional Republicans so far are refusing to compromise.

Here are some of the consequences if Congress fails to act by Friday:

— 10,000 teachers would be laid off, $400 million would be cut from Head Start, the program that makes sure at-risk preschoolers are ready for kindergarten, and 70,000 kids would be kicked out of the early-education program completely.

— The budget for firemen and other first responders to react when natural disasters strike would be cut by $35 million.

— Nutrition programs that help make sure seniors don’t go hungry would be cut by $43 million.

— A program that helps provide housing for the formerly homeless, including many veterans, would be shuttered, putting them at risk of going back on the street.

— A number of programs that help the most vulnerable families and children would be slashed — including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children dropping 600,000 women alone.

Right now, each of us has a responsibility to step up and make sure Congress hears our voices.

Whether you’d be directly affected by these sequester cuts, or whether they’d affect a senior, veteran, or teacher you know, please share what they mean to you:

(deleted link)

Let’s keep the pressure on congressional Republicans to do the right thing.

What they don’t tell you is that Republicans DID “the right thing”, but their cuts weren’t to Barack Obama’s liking because they insisted on no tax increases this time. (Remember, the last “fiscal cliff” deal at the end of last year increased taxes on the so-called “wealthy” back to the nearly 40 percent rate they paid under the Clinton Administration, piling on over $600 billion in revenue Washington will spend, spend, spend.)

As Stephen Dinan wrote in the Washington Times, this wheel was set in motion two years ago:

The sequesters were set into motion by the 2011 debt deal, and were meant to be too painful for anyone to accept. They were part of a package that gave Mr. Obama the power to raise the government’s debt ceiling by more than $2 trillion, in exchange for spending caps and the deeper sequester spending cuts.

That debt increase has been used up, but Congress and Mr. Obama are still fighting over whether to follow through on the spending cuts.


Mr. Obama said he was unwilling to shoulder responsibility for the cuts and threatened to veto the Republican plan, saying he would accept a bill only with tax increases included. The Republican plan fell 22 votes short of the 60 needed to move ahead. (Emphasis mine.)

So the unwillingness to compromise is exclusively from the White House, because Obama seems to believe that if he can make the cuts as painful as possible he’ll shame Republicans into accepting yet more tax increases (which he seems to have direction his minions to dub as “tax loopholes.”) The Republican Study Committee puts this into perspective:

The sequester was the brainchild of the Obama administration in the first place, and the House passed targeted spending cuts to replace the across-the-board sequester nearly 300 days ago.  Washington clearly has a spending problem, and we need real spending cuts in order to get our country back on track.

Remember, this is all over $85 billion which, thanks to typical Washington accounting, isn’t really $85 billion in actual spending but mainly projected spending. In terms of a $3.7 trillion budget we’re almost talking about a rounding error – to me, real cuts would be more in the neighborhood of $370 billion in actual dollars not spent (or borrowed).

As noted on CNS News, one representative gets it:

“The fact is, when we accepted the president’s sequester 18 months ago, we made a deal, a dollar for cuts for a dollar of debt limit increase,” (Rep. Lynn Jenkins of Kansas) said during a press conference with House Republican leaders.  “If he wants to do the bait-and-switch now, we will have lied to our constituents by replacing those with tax increases.”

“This leads you to the truth, and the truth is the president needs to come back from his campaign style tour, stop scaring people, and work with us to address the issue of the debt and deficits, get the economy moving and people back to work,” Jenkins said.

So, President Obama, you can keep trying to blame Republicans or you can get in there and address the problem by working on the cuts YOU agreed to. You can fool enough of the people to get elected twice, but you’re not fooling me.

So far I’ve survived sequestration just fine, and I plan to continue doing so.