Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Not-so-painful cuts

Daniel J. Mitchel wrote a column ("Earth to New York Times: Please Show Us These "Deep Spending Cuts" You Keep Writing About") that points out the absurdity of calling the budget adjustments resulting from sequestration "cuts."

I have to read the same nonsense day after day about “deep spending cuts” even though I keep explaining to journalists that a sequester merely means that spending climbs by $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years rather than $2.5 trillion.

For those more visually oriented, here's Mitchell's chart illustrating the budget "cuts."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Who owns sequestration?

Sequestration is the group of automatic budget cuts that go into effect if Congress and the White House are not able to reach a budget deal. It's part of the 2010 Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act.  

What's really funny is Obama railing against the sequester even though it's a Democrat rule signed into law by Obama. The bill passed the Senate 60-40 on strict party lines. It passed the House 233-187, with 233 Democrats and no Republicans voting Aye and 172 Republicans (and 15 Democrats) voting No. Republicans opposed the sequestration, saying it was just an excuse for Democrats to raise taxes. Lo and behold, look at what Obama insists on.

When you think of politicians who want to raise taxes, which party is it that automatically comes to mind?

Who's the bully?

Associated Press writer Connie Cass, in her story "Why can't Washington compromise? They're too human," chides House Republicans for "bullying" Obama and Democrats over the cuts scheduled if and when sequestration takes effect. She even quotes Barbara Coloroso, an expert on bullying. 

"Bullying is about contempt for the other person," Coloroso said. "Do you see how that fits with some of the people in Congress? Utter contempt, bullying, wanting to bring somebody down. You cannot resolve a major issue like a budget with name-calling, with disdain for the person you're supposed to be working with."

Some thoughts

  • Barack Obama to Republicans questioning his stimulus plan, 2009: "I won." 
  • Barack Obama to Republicans, 2009: "Shut up and get out of the way." 
  • Republican input into the Obama stimulus plan and Obamacare, orchestrated behind closed doors and rammed through by Democrats when they controlled both houses of Congress: Zero.

Obama's and other Democrats' contempt and disdain -- bullying -- of Republicans was on fine display the last four years. Like "bipartisanship," such terms only get tossed around in the media when Democrats don't automatically get everything they want.

Gripey Blog Readers

Both the readers of this blog have griped at me about not posting. I'm gonna start posting the webpages I write for the drug treatment center I'm working with. 
That'll show 'em.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Political Solution

Here's a thought: 
Why don't we take all the proposed solutions such as thorough background checks, mental health screening, severe penalties for providing false information, etc., and apply them equally to both gun ownership and voting? 

1. More harm has been done with votes than with guns. 
2. Law-abiding, honest citizens would have nothing to fear.
3. What's good enough for one constitutional right ought to be good enough for another.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Paying for tax cuts

Just a thought: In recent years, politicians have argued about tax cuts having to "pay for themselves." In this view, people keeping more of their own money is considered an "expense" to the government.  Every nickel of their own money that  taxpayers get to keep constitutes a debit on the government's account sheet.  What we get to keep ("take-home pay") adds to the federal deficit, so anyone who wants to keep more of what they earn must want to increase the national debt. This philosophy comforts politicians who insist on raising taxes to pay for government spending. It's much easier than dealing with the paradox of telling Americans they have to get by on less money because the politicians refuse to.