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Please remind me: Whose idea was the sequester again? [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-01-13 06:06 AM
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Please remind me: Whose idea was the sequester again?
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Edited on Sun Sep-01-13 06:25 AM by No Elephants
As you may recall, the attempt to reach a Grand Bargain failed. Among those who supposedly did not want to go along with cuts to entitlement programs was then Senator John Kerry. Kerry never made it to the Presidency, but he recently made it to his second choice post, Secretary of State.

Upon failure of the Grand Bargain, the sequester went into effect. As you may recall, the sequester was the stick that was supposed to force both Republicans and Democrats into a Grand Bargain. The theory behind the stick supposedly was that Democrats would not be able to bear the thought of cutting "entitlements," (snort) while Republicans would not be able to bear the thought of cutting the defense budget.

Well, guess what? Both sides overcame their supposedly unbearable thoughts. And, an across the board cut supposedly went into effect, "across the board cuts" being denounced by almost everyone as the most stupid way to cut the budget.

Then ensued a debate about who had initiated the idea of the sequester, with Republicans claiming that it had been the WH, while the WH claimed that it had been Republicans. The White House denied that it had been the White House. Then, someone in the WH emailed that he had done it. The "least dishonest" explanation of the earlier WH denials was that the WH had not proposed the sequester in the exact form in which it had ultimately been adopted. (Is anything ever enacted in the exact form in which it is first proposed?)

Soooo, in googling something else this morning, I accidentally happened upon this AP story, last updated November 13, 2009, in a 2009 post, right here on DU, by a poster named Steven Johnson.

Here is a link to his post. The link that he gave in the post now leads nowhere. However, the link following the excerpt below link leads you to the same AP story as Steven Johnson quoted in his post.

The Obama administration has alerted domestic agencies to plan for a freeze or even a 5 percent cut in their budgets, part of an election-year election-year push to rein in record deficits that threaten the economy and Democrats' political prospects next fall.


White House budget director Peter Orszag said Friday that it is imperative to start curbing the flow of red ink in coming years so as not to erode the fledgling economic recovery and raise interest rates. But he called it a balancing act and said acting too fast could undercut the recovery. Orszag wouldn't comment on the specifics of the upcoming budget, which will be unveiled in February, right after Obama's State on the Union address in which the initiative is sure to be a major focus.

Democratic officials in the White House and on Capitol Hill say options for locking in budget savings include caps on the amount of money Congress gets to distribute each year for agency operating budgets. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to frankly discuss internal deliberations.

"As part of that fiscal 2011 budget, we will be putting forward proposals that will put us back on a fiscally sustainable path and that have lower deficits," Orszag said in a recent Associated Press interview. "I'm not going to get into the mix between spending and revenues. Obviously deficit reduction requires some combination of those two." Excerpts from the story are below.

See, all you doubters? He (or someone advising him) does indeed know how to play fourteen dimensional chess. Trouble is, we're the ones it gets played against. Put another way, we're the ones being played.

But, you knew that long before now, right?
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