Automatic Spending Cuts “Just Plain Dumb”

I kinda hate sharing a Boston Herald link — they generally put the ‘blo’ in ‘tabloid’ — but, on the other hand: If the paper that spent months pimping Scott Brown and sneering at “Princess Fauxahontas” is willing to call the sequester dumb, that’s good news for Democrats (and the rest of the Reality-Based Community):

Warren called the $85 billion in automatic cuts set to kick in Friday a “blunt instrument.”

“We’re out there trying to make clear this means children kicked out of Head Start programs. This means teachers that are potentially laid off. This means fewer air traffic controllers,” she said. “It means here in Massachusetts fewer dollars going into research. That may sound way off and not really important, but that means jobs right here in Massachusetts. It means cuts in the defense industry, not smart cuts, cuts we ought to be making, getting rid of fat,” she said. “It just means blunt, across-the-board cuts. It’s just an irresponsible way.”

Warren said she hopes congressional leaders will pick up on the president’s offer to cut spending 50 percent by closing corporate loopholes, and 50 percent by making targeted cuts, including in agricultural subsidies and military spending.

Warning: Auto-play video below the fold (but it’s worth watching):

(Local politics note: Mike Capuano is one of the Democrats who decided not to run for Kerry’s Senate seat; Steve Lynch is the one now running against Ed Markey in the primary. I’m still 100% in Markey’s camp, but you can see where Lynch would be attractive to blue-collar voters who don’t find his anti-choice stance & general social conservatism a deal-breaker.)

Here’s the Boston Globe report on another event today:

US Senator Elizabeth Warren today urged Republicans to accept what she called a “balanced proposal” from President Obama to ending the standoff over the series of extensive across-the-board federal spending cuts set to take effect Friday.

“It’s a little more balanced than I would have put on the table if I’d been in that position,” Warren said, describing Obama’s plan as a 50-50 split between spending cuts and “closing some corporate loopholes like oil company subsidies.”

Warren made the comments during a breakfast at The New England Council, a business-backed group that includes some of the region’s most influential lobbyists. It was her first of several events today meant to highlight the Democratic Party’s position on the cuts, known as “sequestration,” that will slash $85 billion from the proposed 2013 federal budget.

“We seem to have a government that works only by holdout,” Warren said. “I don’t know anything more to do but get up and talk to the American people.”…

24 replies
  1. 1
    NR says:

    Wait, I thought the sequester was awesome? After all, everyone here was saying that Obama kicked the Republicans’ asses back during the negotiations that resulted in the sequester. Now you’re telling me it’s bad? But Obama won the negotiations and kicked the Republicans’ asses, so how can what he got possibly be bad?

    You must just be confused. I recommend reading more comments here. That should clear it up for you.

  2. 2
    Pooh says:

    <3 Liz Warren. Where can we find more like her?

  3. 3
    efgoldman says:

    As usual, Herr Doktor Professor Pierce has it down:

    This is where the Republicans can possibly lose this gamble in a big way, because they don’t appear to see that the administration’s greatest ally in this isn’t the cadre of people it can muster to The Sunday Showz. It’s local TV news and what’s left of the local newspapers around the country. In the Beltway view of things, The Sequester Pandemic is a series of numbers arrayed as though on a scoreboard, as a way to judge who’s up and who’s down, and who’s winning and losing. That’s how the Republicans have come to decide that there’s some coherence in the position that the cuts don’t really matter, except in that they are both cataclysmic and the president’s fault. They can sell that in the Green Room, and in the vast spaces for entertainment in Cleveland Park. But none of those people have 35 minutes of air to fill every night before Jeopardy! comes on.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p.....ate-022513

  4. 4
    WaterGIrl says:

    US Senator Elizabeth Warren today urged Republicans…

    Just wanted to take a moment and enjoy that little phrase.

  5. 5
    scav says:

    Just because the media is, as ever, far too with us, they’ve found some more poems by Kipling, including

    The Press by Rudyard Kipling

    Why don’t you write a play –
      Why don’t you cut your hair?
    Do you trim your toe-nails round
      Or do you trim them square?
    Tell it to the papers,
      Tell it every day.
    But, en passant, may I ask
      Why don’t you write a play?

    What’s your last religion?
      Have you got a creed?
    Do you dress in Jaeger-wool
      Sackcloth, silk or tweed?
    Name the books that helped you
      On the path you’ve trod.
    Do you use a little g
      When you write of God?

    Do you hope to enter
      Fame’s immortal dome?
    Do you put the washing out
      Or have it done at home?
    Have you any morals?
      Does your genius burn?
    Was you wife a what’s its name?
      How much did she earn?

    Had your friend a secret
      Sorrow, shame or vice –
    Have you promised not to tell
      What’s your lowest price?
    All the housemaid fancied
      All the butler guessed
    Tell it to the public press
      And we will do the rest.

    Why don’t you write a play?

    [September 1899]

  6. 6
    TenguPhule says:

    <3 Liz Warren. Where can we find more like her?

    I say clone her and give each batch of clones blaster rifles and stormtrooper armor.

  7. 7
    trollhattan says:

    @WaterGIrl:

    Yeah. Oh, what the hell: Senior Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

    Gotta admit, that didn’t take long, and all the better for harvesting wingnut head s’plosions.

  8. 8
    Hill Dweller says:

    Boehner and Cantor held a five minute press conference this afternoon to say absolutely nothing of worth. In fact, Boehner has completely abdicated his responsibilities.

  9. 9
    dr. luba says:

    OT, but Costco now carries pink Himalayan salt for about $4 a jar. McMegan will have to find a new way to waste her money.

  10. 10
    MikeJ says:

    And I want you to pay for the gaming license.

  11. 11
    efgoldman says:

    That damned video starts up again every time I refresh the page to see more comments.
    Thanks Anne.

  12. 12
    Pooh says:

    @MikeJ: Thanks for the reference as it allows me to be marginally on topic when I point and laugh at Shelly Adelson, WATB

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    Warren made the comments during a breakfast at The New England Council, a business-backed group that includes some of the region’s most influential lobbyists.

    She sold us out! /snark

    It was her first of several events today meant to highlight the Democratic Party’s position on the cuts,

    I love it when a party comes together.

  14. 14
    👽 Martin says:

    Well, looking at the cash outlays to CA, the state will likely just cover all of that, so that’s not a terrible situation. It’s in the millions of dollars, and mostly cover things that the state would provide anyway, but is happy to take fed dollars for. Shifting the burden to states isn’t always a great idea, but it’s not like about half of the cuts from what I can tell won’t get replaced in some way.

    The FAA stuff will hurt as the state can’t replace that, and the defense jobs will hurt as well, but honestly – everyone is rooting for defense cuts, and while we probably disagree with what would be cut, favoring some other thing – both things are going to carry jobs, so from a job loss standpoint, this is exactly what we’ve been asking for anyway. The defense economy can’t be too large to fail, either.

    It’s still dumb.

  15. 15
    mclaren says:

    Shithole America has already been laying teachers off right and left, so what’s the difference? The vast majority of “cuts” made during this recession consist of local government firing teachers, firing more teachers, and firing still more teachers. SWAT teams and DEA dogs and SWAT tanks and $66,000 for four “canine tactical suits” for SEAL dogs in the Army…oh, those we need. But teachers?

    Fuck teachers! Teachers mean education, and Shithole America doesn’t need education. It needs to be able to brutalize more people, kill more people, torture more people, beat more protesters, savage more girls who mount PETA protests and SAVE THE FORESTS demonstrations with K-9 police dogs.

    As for “cutting the fat” from the so-called “defense” spending, Shithole America’s entire military spending is fat. 100% of it.

    War is a racket. It always has been.

    It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

    A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small “inside” group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

    In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

    How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?

    Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few — the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill.

    And what is this bill?

    This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations.

    For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. — Marine Corps Brigadier Gen. Smedley Butler, 1935

    I like the sequester. Blunt cuts. Brutal budget-slashing. Total destruction of basic services. Sounds like a plan!

    Shithole America has become the focus of evil in the modern world, and consequently America must be destroyed. The wings have long since ripped off in Shithole America’s supersonic powerdive into collapse, so it’s time to speed the process along. More sequester cuts! Deeper! Faster!

    Shithole America has embarked on a dedicated, creative and industrious course of self-destruction, and the rest of you deluded bully-worshipers have applauded like trained seals. Now I applaud your applause. Let the cuts destroy America quickly, let it collapse and disintegrate into a Max Max wasteland, so that this grotesque obscenity of a nation disappears as a force for evil and no longer has the capability to burn brown babies and bomb innocent women and children and brutalize and kill innocent men and women of conscience at home who dare to stand up a protest the insanity.

    America is at war with reality — and we’re losing. I cheer the loss, and urge it on. Faster, pussycat, faster! Kill! Kill! Kill!

  16. 16
    JP7505A says:

    w@👽 Martin: We are a 3rd rate banana republic. When a minority of the minority party can bring the government to its knees and destroy the economy unless they get their way, there is no other description.

  17. 17
    WaterGIrl says:

    @efgoldman: May I recommend installing ClickToFlash in your browser? Everything loads a lot faster when it’s not loading flash, and with one click you can see a video. But nothing ever auto plays.

  18. 18
    Roger Moore says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Well, looking at the cash outlays to CA, the state will likely just cover all of that, so that’s not a terrible situation.

    Except, of course, that California is not in great fiscal shape, so it would really be better if we could spend that money on our own priorities.

  19. 19
    Roger Moore says:

    @WaterGIrl:
    I seem to have something similar in my browser, which showed up without my asking. I’m fine with it being there, but having a new extension install itself without permission was a bit of a surprise.

  20. 20
    WaterGIrl says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s interesting. What browser do you use? With Safari you have to install it, but maybe everyone hates flash so much now that they are assuming everyone wants that feature and they made it the default?

  21. 21
    Roger Moore says:

    @WaterGIrl:
    I use Firefox. I suppose it’s possible that it was installed on one computer and when I set up Sync it automatically added it to every other computer I use. The more I think about it, the more I suspect that’s what really happened. That would actually be cool; it should also mean that any computer will automatically get Greasemonkey installed for ease of adding the pie filter.

  22. 22
    Maude says:

    @Roger Moore:
    I have FF and no flash block is auto installed.

  23. 23
    Roger Moore says:

    @Maude:
    I think it’s a result of starting to use Sync recently. I used to have a separate profile on every machine, which is annoying and meant I would have different extensions on different machines. Now I’m setting up sync everywhere, and one of the things it does is to sync my add-ons. I recently used a computer for the first time in quite a while, and I think it must have had Flashblock installed. The next time I used any other machine, it would automatically install Flashblock. I hadn’t really thought through why every computer suddenly started blocking flash until this discussion, but I think that must be the explanation.

  24. 24
    Jebediah says:

    edited

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