GOOD MORNING WORLD
I am out of the picture this morning. I can add few words to what our President has said about Sequestration. It is his idea. He owns it. If you do not believe me see what he says. I have taken the liberty of using the bold to highlight some of his remarks.
NOV. 21, 2011
President Barack Obama gave a press conference after the Supercommitteeofficially admitted it failed to reach an agreement to cut $1.2 trillion in budget spending over the next 10 years. Obama told reporters he would veto any attempt to get rid of the automatic cuts which are set to kick in as a part of the sequester proposition, which will be triggered unless Congress reaches over the next year.
Asking Congress to “work with a scalpel, not with a hatchet,” President Obama sought to provide the people, and markets, with a little hope. Despite the Supercommittee failing to agree on spending cuts for $1.2 trillion, Obama noted there’s still a year before automatic cuts kick in.
The sequester proposition, which will trigger $1.2 trillion in cuts in defense and domestic spending, in equal parts, will kick in if Congress doesn’t get its act together over the next 12 months, the President said. Obama had his game face on, and took on Republicans asking them to work as hard to defend tax cuts to small businesses and middle class Americans as they did to defend tax cuts for the rich.
Threatening a veto, Obama asked Congress to reach a bi-partisan solution that would put the country’s debt situation on a sustainable path to recovery. “I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts,” said Obama from the White House’s briefing room, adding “the only way to get rid of those cuts is to get Congress to come together and work on a deal.”
You can watch the whole presser on the following link to You Tube.
Not to use one source I found this on CBS.
“Already some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No,” Mr. Obama said from the White House briefing room Monday evening. “I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts to domestic and defense spending.”
“One way or another we will be trimming the deficit by a total of at least $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years,” he said. “The only way these spending cuts will not take place is if Congress gets back to work and agrees on a balanced plan to reduce the deficit by at least 1.2 trillion dollars. That’s exactly what they need to do.”
“They continue to insist on protecting $100 billion worth of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans, at any cost, even if it means reducing the deficit with deep cuts to things like education and medical research, even if it means deep cuts in Medicare,” he said. “So at this point at least, they simply will not budge from that negotiating position. And so far, that refusal continues to be the main stumbling block that has prevented Congress from reaching an agreement to further reduce our deficit.”
“We need to keep the pressure up to compromise, not turn off the pressure,” he said. “Although Congress has not come to an agreement yet, nothing prevents them from coming up with an agreement in the days ahead.”
2012 CAMPAIGN DEBATE
“The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.”
— President Obama, in the third presidential debate, Oct. 22, 2012
As the saying goes, success has a thousand fathers, while failure is an orphan. And if there ever is an orphan in Washington these days, it is that odd duck known as “sequestration.”
We’ve earlier written that there are bipartisan fingerprints over the looming defense cuts that Mitt Romney has sought to pin on President Obama. Now, in the final presidential debate, Obama sought to toss the hot potato of sequestration — the process that is forcing those defense cuts and reductions in domestic spending — into Congress’s lap.
Fortunately, there is a detailed and contemporaneous look at the debt ceiling deal that led to the current budget crunch: Bob Woodward’s “The Price of Politics.” The book clearly had the full cooperation of top White House and congressional officials. With the help of our colleague, we took a tour through the relevant sections in order to determine the accuracy of the president’s statement.
The battle over raising the debt ceiling consumed Washington in the summer of 2011, with Republicans refusing to agree to raise it unless spending was cut by an equivalent amount. Obama pressed but failed to get an agreement on raising revenue as part of the package. Woodward’s book details the efforts to come up with an enforcement mechanism that would make sure the cuts took place — and virtually every mention shows this was a White House gambit.
Page 215 (July 12, 2011):
They turned to [White House national economic council director Gene] Sperling for details about a compulsory trigger if they didn’t cut spending or raise taxes in an amount at least equivalent to the debt ceiling increase.
“A trigger would lock in our commitment,” Sperling explained. “Even though we disagree on the composition of how to get to the cuts, it would lock us in. The form of the automatic sequester would punish both sides. We’d have to September to avert any sequester” — a legal obligation to make spending cuts.
“Then we could use a medium or big deal to force tax reform,” Obama said optimistically.
“If this is a trigger for tax reform,” [House speaker John] Boehner said, “this could be worth discussing. But as a budget tool, it’s too complicated. I’m very nervous about this.”
“This would be an enforcement mechanism,” Obama said.
Short version: The White House proposed the idea of a compulsory trigger, with Sperling calling it an “automatic sequester,” though initially it was to include tax revenue, not just spending cuts. Boehner was “nervous” about using it as a budget tool.
Am I correct in understanding that now the President is blaming the Republicans for this sequester?
As I said in my State of the Union address last week, our top priority must be to do everything we can to grow the economy and create good, middle-class jobs. That’s our top priority. That’s our North Star. That drives every decision we make. And it has to drive every decision that Congress and everybody in Washington makes over the next several years.
And that’s why it’s so troubling that just 10 days from now, Congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite. It won’t help the economy, won’t create jobs, will visit hardship on a whole lot of people.
Here’s what’s at stake. Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion. More than two-thirds of that was through some pretty tough spending cuts. The rest of it was through raising taxes — tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. And together, when you take the spending cuts and the increased tax rates on the top 1 percent, it puts us more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.
Now, Congress, back in 2011, also passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach that $4 trillion goal, about a trillion dollars of additional, arbitrary budget cuts would start to take effect this year. And by the way, the whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth. And so this was all designed to say we can’t do these bad cuts; let’s do something smarter. That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration.
Obama owns this sequestration. He fought to keep it in there. The Congress passed the fiscal cliff by agreeing to his tax hikes. Now what Mr. President no spending cuts?
I wonder if anyone at all remembers during the campaign that the Speaker of the House last August asked Congress to review all of this before it was too late. In case you did not here is a letter from him and other leaders.
GOP Leaders: House Will Return in August if Senate Votes to Stop All the Tax Hikes, Stop Defense Cuts
Posted by Speaker Boehner Press Office
August 1, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC – House Republican leaders sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) today urging him to follow the House and bring legislation to a vote stopping all of the coming tax hikes that threaten our economy – including President Obama’s tax hike on small businesses – and replacing the ‘sequester’ defense cuts that threaten our national security.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) pledge that if Senate Democrats take action to address these threats, the House will be called back into session during August for the purpose of sending solutions to the president’s desk.
NOTE: The House passed legislation in May to replace the ‘sequester’ with common-sense spending cuts and reforms, and will vote this week to stop all of the tax hikes which threaten more than 700,00 jobs. You can read the letter from House leaders below or click here for a PDF.
August 1, 2012
The Honorable Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
522 Hart Senate Office Bldg
Dear Senator Reid,
The House passed legislation in May to eliminate the threat to our nation’s security by replacing the defense sequester cuts with common-sense spending cuts and reforms. This week the House will pass legislation to eliminate the threat to our economy posed by the approaching small business tax hike that Ernst & Young estimates will cost our economy more than 700,000 jobs. We write to notify you of our readiness to bring the House back into session in August for the purpose of sending legislation to the president in the event the Senate should follow the House in passing such bills to eliminate these looming threats.
The defense sequester is, as you know, the result of President Obama’s desire to avoid an additional vote on raising the nation’s debt limit before the presidential election. We passed it reluctantly, at your urging, after receiving a commitment that the president and the Democratic leadership in the Senate would work with Republicans to avert the sequester by enacting a deficit reduction package built on pro-growth tax reform and much-needed changes to strengthen and stabilize our entitlement programs.
The president and Senate Democrats failed to make good on this commitment, and it is now essential that the defense sequester be replaced with common-sense spending cuts and reforms. Replacement is necessary to avoid harmful cuts to our military at the beginning of 2013 that President Obama’s own Defense Secretary has warned will be “devastating” to national security. House Republicans remain committed to the full savings required by the Budget Control Act, and we passed a plan to replace the arbitrary cuts to our defenses with responsible spending cuts and reforms. If the Senate passes its own package of alternative cuts and reforms to replace the defense sequester, it is our commitment that the House will reconvene to either consider it or to go to conference to produce a consensus package that can be sent to the president for his signature. However, in order to avert the threat to our nation’s security that is posed by the defense sequester, the Senate must act. A Senate vote to simply postpone the sequester, rather than replace it with common-sense cuts and reforms, is unworkable and unacceptable.
On the tax front, the House this week will act to stop the tax increase on small businesses favored by President Obama and lay the groundwork for fundamental reform of the tax code. It is in the interest of our economy to quickly remove the threat of the entire tax hike. As you are aware, the measure passed by the Senate last week does not stop the small business tax hike. If the Senate follows the House in passing legislation to stop the entire tax hike — including the small business tax hike — in a manner that requires House approval before it can be sent to the president, it is our commitment that the House will reconvene immediately to ensure the measure is enacted at the earliest opportunity. But in order to avert the threat to our economy, the Senate must join the House in acting to stop the entire tax increase.
Congress must take action to eliminate both the threat to our economy posed by the looming small business tax hike and the threat to our security posed by the defense sequester. By the end of this week, the Republican-led House will have acted to eliminate both threats. The Democratic-controlled Senate must follow suit. In the event the Senate takes action, we stand ready to bring the House back into session for the purpose of enacting solutions.
If anyone remembers this plea it was little heard or fell on deaf ears.
Not sure about anyone else. In this household when a debt is looming we do all we can to cutback and save to pay the bill. Guess the government is lacking in common sense? Dare I even think it might be a lack of leadership?
…..ONWARD TO MORE MISADVENTURE…