Posts Tagged sequester

Quote of the Day

When I was secretary, we had basically a two-war strategy. We had to maintain sufficient forces to be able to fight two wars at once. He switched that. Now we’re going to have a one-war strategy. And that’s all being done as a rationale to justify further deep cuts in the defense budget so he can allocate that money to food stamps or whatever else he wants to spend it on.

Dick-Cheney-1-300x214Dick Cheney criticizing President Obama for prioritizing feeding people over waging wars.

If there ever was any doubt that Republicans do not believe people are entitled to food, what Dick Cheney, former Vice President and eternal war mongering war criminal at large, had to say at an energy industry trade show in Billings, Montana should put all those doubts – and denials – to rest.

If I had not read it, I would not believe that someone is and can be so openly callous so as to state, as a matter-of-factly and with a straight face, that spending money to feed human beings is a waste as that money could be better used engaging in wars.

The thing that is truly disturbing is that he is so cavalier and smug about this. There is not even any pretense to caring about peoples’ lives and the human cost of war. I can almost picture him saying this with the demeanor of a bad cop with a wicked grin who just wants anyone to give him a reason.

Another thing to note, of course, is that President Obama does not and has not prioritized the poor and hungry over anything. He was the architect behind the Draconian sequester (thinking that if he makes it cut-throat enough, it would turn away even Republicans. Little did he know), he failed to close down Gitmo, he continues to support and sign off on the use of drones and, if I recall, he personally signed an $8.7 billion food stamp cut into law!!

So, on the one hand you got this sorry excuse for a human being named Dick Cheney declare, without shame and compunction, that spending money on feeding people as opposed to going to war was a waste and on the other hand you got him accusing the President for having done precisely that when the President has clearly not ever put the poor and hungry before any other cause, including war, the defense budget, Wall Street and private industry in general.

Thirty years ago Obama would have been a proud candidate for the Republican party, palling around side-by-side Ronald Reagan. He is not a liberal, no matter how many times people repeat that. It is just that the Republican party of yesteryear is gone and what has remained has moved substantially more to the Right, getting greedier and more Orwellian than ever, in turn making someone like Obama look like a Liberal.

Conservative hypocrisy and callousness truly have no bounds.

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Obama Calls Sequester Cuts ‘Dumb’ And ‘Arbitrary

Barack Obama

The much dreaded tumble over the fiscal cliff  is finally here and President Barack Obama blamed Republicans for the failure of Congress to reach an agreement to stave off the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, calling the cuts “dumb” and “arbitrary.” Cuts   that mandate that $1.2 trillion be slashed from the in budget over 10 years.

Dumb and Arbitrary? Justin Bieber’s Career is Dumb and Arbitrary

These cuts are callous and contemptible. And they are not arbitrary either. They are, in fact,  very specifically directed at hard working middle class wage earners, the poor, the elderly, children and just anyone but the wealthy, corporations and their CEOs.

There is nothing arbitrary about the cuts. They are very specific and, in fact, go hand in hand with the tone and direction this country has been taking since the late 50s. A tone and direction in which money and wealth are repeatedly favored over the welfare of the people.

 Obama’s remarks come a day after the U.S. Senate voted down opposing plans to avert sequestration, thus putting the spending reductions in effect Friday, upon the president’s signature.

While the outcome was expected, it was also a day many never expected would come. After all, the cuts were designed to be so draconian that lawmakers would be forced to compromise and avoid them. A gamble that did not pay off. 

The president criticized Republicans for rejecting a Democratic replacement package that included a combination of spending cuts and revenue-raisers, such as closing tax loopholes for oil and gas companies and implementing the so-called Buffett Rule. Republicans, who declared any new tax revenues off the table, because, god forbid, the wealthy should be asked to pay a dime more, filibustered the Democratic plan. 

Specifically the effects will be cuts to:

– Teachers and Schools
– Work-Study Jobs
– Head Start Programs
– Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water.
– Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution
– Job Search Assistance to Help find Employment and Training
– Vaccines for Children
– Childcare
– STOP Violence Against Women Program
– Nutrition Assistance for Seniors
– Cuts to education
– Cut to small business
– Cuts to food safety
– Cuts to research and innovation
– Cuts to mental health programs
– Aviation safety
– Aviation security
– NIH research (so we can all enjoy our cancers)
– NSF research
– Small Business assistance
– Economic development
– Food Safety
– Veterans services
– National parks
– Title I education funds
– Special education (IDEA)
– Social Security applicant and beneficiary services
– Senior meals
– Nutrition assistance for women, infants and children
– Rental assistance
– Emergency unemployment compensation
– Homelessness programs
– Mental health and substance abuse services
– AIDS and HIV treatment and prevention
– Tribal services

Instead of asking the wealthy,  certainly who can afford it, to pay more or at least their fare share (by closing tax loopholes etc.), we go to the poor and middle class wage earners and ask them to pay more so the rich can maintain their privileges.

Not to mention that when clean ,ir and water and public health programs are cut, we are all affected, not just the poor.

That is precisely the problem with wealthy people who do not believe that they should pay taxes. They seem to think that such things as roads and infrastructure, law enforcement, military security and readiness, food and drug safety, clean air, clean drinking water and uncontaminated soil and food just happen by themselves. As if there wasn’t a government agency behind them, employed by people who need to be paid and who need to have the resources and tools available to them to implement those things and do their jobs.

Such as keeping your food and drugs safe, such as ensuring that the food you eat, water you drink and air you breathe is not contaminated, such as ensuring that the roads you drive on are built, maintained and safe,  such as ensuring that law enforcement is available and ready…

Let me remind all those who actively evade their taxes that such things do not just happen in a vacuum and they do not spontaneously come into existence. No one swings a magic wand creating safe roads or cleaning up contamination that has seeped into your food, air and water sources.  There are people behind these actions and they and their works and tools as well as resources are paid for by tax dollars. Not magic, not wishful thinking, not lofty speeches but tax dollars. Tax dollars the wealthy refuse to pay thinking that they are, in fact, entitled not to pay while still taking advantage of the things taxes pay for and which have allowed them to occupy those privileged positions.

Asking poor people to sacrifice more (higher taxes, less benefits, less assistance and so forth) while keeping the wealthy exempt is unconscionable

The GOP Loves Draconian Cuts

The radical cuts to the budget are said to have been purposefully drafted this way so that lawmakers would be forced to compromise and avoid them.

What he seems to have missed is that draconian budget cuts are the explicit objectives of the likes such as Mitch McConnell, House Speaker John Boehner and the GOP overall.

As Republican messiah Grover Norquist once said: “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

This does not sound like someone who is averse to draconian budget cuts.

Shame on Obama for gambling with the lives and livelihoods of so many people.

While I understand that this is not entirely his doing, I do know that as the POTUS he has had a big part in it and also in ensuring that it does not happen. Proposing contemptible cuts in the hope that the opposition – which has never given him any reason to believe that they would not applaud those cuts  – will bolt and back off is not just bold, it is contemptible.

The man himself doesn’t have to worry about any of that affecting him. He doesn’t have to worry that his kids won’t be able to go to school, or won’t have enough to eat or that he will loose his house or retirement. In fact, none of these lawmakers who freely gamble with the lives of so many and easily throw around words like “shared sacrifice”, will be affected by any of this.

Just as no one in the 1% was affected by the economic meltdown.

I challenge Obama and his family to live a middle class wage earner lifestyle for a month and then still hold lofty speeches about how we are all in this together ans shared sacrifice.

Shared sacrifice my ass.

Yes, I understand, Obama has been a middle class wage earner himself. But that was a long time ago and wealth tends to bestow people with immense amnesia. It’s easy to be a saint in paradise expecting people to make the kind of sacrifices you would never dream of or imagine making yourself.

The wealthy in the from of banks, corporations, hedge funds and corporate raiders ruined the country, pocketed billions and the poor are paying the price.

There is nothing arbitrary, silly or surprising about that. Calling it dumb and arbitrary makes it sound like he was talking about Justin Bieber and his career.

Republicans and their minions believe America should go back to being a land of opportunity.

Where everyone has the opportunity to be born into wealth.

Where everyone has the opportunity to take advantage of taxpayers, to
become even wealthier.

Where everyone has the opportunity to make money by firing their neighbors. Where everyone has the opportunity to take other people’s business, built with sweat and sacrifice over decades, and sell them off and bankrupt them, for personal gain.

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