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Sep 17 2012

GOP Can’t Imagine How Anyone Could Support Sequestration

Watching the Republican party flip out over the actual implementation of the sequestration deal has been rather amusing to me. Eric Cantor, who voted for the deal in August, 2011, tweeted recently that the deal will do terrible harm to everything we hold dear:

The sequester will harm important domestic priorities such as education, medical research, law enforcement, national security, and jobs.

Let us count the many levels of irony here. First of all, as noted above, Cantor voted in favor of sequestration. Secondly, about 2/3 of the votes in favor of the deal came from Republicans in the House, while about 2/3 of the votes against it were from Democrats (see the full vote here). Thirdly, Cantor himself, while complaining that the cuts will hurt everything, the other day demanded that the entire deficit be reduced solely through spending cuts and no tax increases:

BARTIROMO: So what are you willing to give on, Congressman? When you look at what the two sides are basically sticking to their guns, can it really be realistic to say taxes can never go up, that, you know, taxes should stay where they are forever in any environment? What are you willing to give on?

CANTOR: First of all, raising taxes is not the answer. We all know that. This problem is too large to think we can tax our way out of it. What we really need to be focused on is how big do we want the government to be, and begin to assess our priorities so we can manage down the deficit. That’s clearly how it is. Once we get a plan in place where, in fact, we’ve got a solution to the overspending, you know, we can begin to tell people their tax revenues will go to be paying off the deficit. But the problem is, Maria, there’s been an unwillingness to face up to the hard facts that there are obligations that have been assumed by the taxpayers, frankly, and there’s not enough money to satisfy those obligations. That’s what we have to sit down, iron out the differences, and go forward.

His version of “ironing out the differences” is that everyone do what he wants. But since what he wants is a trillion dollars in cuts and no consideration of higher revenues whatsoever, how does he propose making those cuts without creating the same harms he complains about above?

26 comments

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  1. 1
    matty1

    In the conservative universe there is a clear distinction between public spending, which provides vital things like new weapons systems and heavily armed police and government spending which is wasted on stuff like feeding hungry children. Clearly if you eliminate the wasteful government spending there will be plenty left for virtuous public spending.

  2. 2
    Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

    Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the party of personal responsibility.

  3. 3
    slc1

    He’s going to do it with mirrors, just like Heath’s hero Ronnie the rat did.

    Congressman Cantor is considered one of the “intellectuals” in the Rethuglican House majority. That’s a pretty low bar if he is compared with the likes of West, Bachmann, Barton, King, etc.

    For what it’s worth, I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s because he’s of the Jewish persuasion and therefore, ipso facto, must be a smart guy. It’s certainly not due to anything he has ever said or written.

    Intelligence falls approximately on a Bell Curve and even thought the median for those of that persuasion may lie to the left of the general population, Congressman Cantor seems to fall in the right tail of the curve.

  4. 4
    eric

    GOP emulator

    IF (year = odd) THEN print “Belling the cat is a great idea!”
    ELSE print “Belling the cat will get Alice, Bob, and Charlie killed!”
    END IF

  5. 5
    danielkast

    When counting ironies, don’t forget the part where government spending doesn’t create jobs, yet sequestration will cost thousands of jobs.

  6. 6
    trucreep

    We really need to get the American people back involved in politics…We need people that are willing to abandon the status quo and bring about some REAL change. It was great to see that happening with the Tea Party….unfortunately they’re not so much about facts and evidence guiding their principles.

  7. 7
    Area Man

    Also don’t forget that the entire sequestration thing was a Republican solution to a debt ceiling crisis that the Republicans had deliberately engineered. The lies and hypocrisy here are simply staggering.

  8. 8
    daved

    He’s going to do it with mirrors, just like Heath’s hero Ronnie the rat did.

    You know, slc1, your combined preoccupations with Heath and Israel make you enormously tiresome. If you can’t keep that crap out of your postings, how’s about you just STFU?

  9. 9
    TxSkeptic

    The sequester will harm important domestic priorities such as education, medical research, law enforcement, national security, and jobs.

    There is only one thing he really cares about on that list, it’s national security. If fact, it’s not even really that, it’s just the defense budget part they care about. The military industrial complex must be protected at all cost. When they agreed to sequestration, they honestly didn’t think it would ever get to that point, they thought they would be able to kill enough of the other budget items, and use scare tactics to keep the defense spending up. Their bluff has been at least partially called on the deal and now they are panicking. Expect more intense scare tactics soon.

  10. 10
    slc1

    Re Daved @ #8

    I can’t help it. The urge to rattle Heath’s cage is overwhelming. By the way, I don’t recall saying anything about Israel lately as the subject hasn’t come up.

  11. 11
    Randomfactor

    The sequester will harm important domestic priorities such as education, medical research, law enforcement, national security, and jobs

    And he wants to change that radically so that it only harms education, medical research, law enforcement and jobs, even worse than before.

    What a sweetheart.

  12. 12
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    What the heck does sequestration (or sequester somehow used as a noun) mean as used here?

  13. 13
    roggg

    When counting ironies, don’t forget the part where government spending doesn’t create jobs, yet sequestration will cost thousands of jobs.

    Which of course means there will eventually be NO jobs left in the USA as normal variations in spending level gradually ratchet down employment numbers.

  14. 14
    d cwilson

    The truly best part is that not only did the GOP create this problem for themselves when they manufactured the debt ceiling crisis, they initially crowed it as a huge victory for themselves. Remember when Boehner went on TV and said, “I got about 90% of what I wanted. I’m very happy.”?

    Of course, at the time, they thought they could ram through enough domestic spending cuts to make the defense cuts unnecessary. Now that they failed to do that, they’re terrified that there won’t be enough money available for President Romney to continue the Afghan war, re-invade Iraq, and start the war with Iran that they have planned.

  15. 15
    Area Man

    @12: It refers to the debt ceiling deal reached last summer after the Republicans nearly destroyed the world economy by threatening to cause a default on our debt unless their arbitrary demands for spending cuts were met, except they never really spelled out what would be cut. (There’s a reason for this: spending cuts in the abstract poll well, specific cuts to specific programs poll terribly.) They also refused to consider any deal that included revenue increases. So at the last minute, a deal was struck by which a debt commission would be formed, and if that debt commission could not formulate a plan to be voted on by the Congress, automatic across the board cuts would kick in. This is called “sequestration” for reasons that I’m not really clear on. Of course the debt commission failed, and now that the cuts are getting close to becoming a reality, the Republicans want to renege on the plan that was all their doing in the first place and undo the very budget cuts that they said they wanted.

  16. 16
    John Hinkle

    CANTOR: This problem is too large to think we can tax our way out of it.

    I ran that through the pablum-to-English expander: We will cut taxes for the job creators, pay for those tax cuts by eliminating unspecified loopholes, cut spending on “entitlements” for lazy, good-for-nothing, poor people, and increase defense spending.

    With a great deal of daily prayer, this will result in:
    1) shrinking the government
    2) growing the economy
    3) increasing revenues
    4) paying down the debt
    5) increasing jobs
    6) getting rid of the badder stuff
    7) keeping the gooder stuff.

  17. 17
    baal

    sequestration <– I think it's a House Republican newspeak. If funds are 'sequestered' (or hidden, taking a nap, what have you) then they cannot be spent. I think they mean it as something that happens by 'function of law' i.e. it just is. Absent authorization, sequestered funds (planned spending? they are really bizarre) go *poof*.

    As more ably noted above, they are flipping reality again. They came up with the insane idea and the crisis that fostered it was of their own making. Debt limit raises were a matter of course since 1917 when it was first passed. If they really wanted to stop the spending, they should have used the budget bill that they were responsible as the House majority party for creating the spending in the first place.

  18. 18
    shripathikamath

    Sequestration is the last test on which to evaluate Obama.

    When faced with brinkmanship in the past, he has almost always caved in. To the extent that we still have the Bush tax cuts, payroll tax holiday extensions, no public option, and Gitmo remains open, this is easily verifiable.

    The sequestration scheme through the Super Congress dog-and-pony show was a stroke of brilliance. It basically gained Obama an equalizer against the obstructionism and the game of chicken being forced by the GOTP with the debt ceiling.

    There are two scenarios under which the cliff comes upon us on Jan 2nd. And it depends on whether Obama wins or loses.

    If he loses, he really should let the sequestration take place. Let Romney deal with the headaches. There is NOTHING to be gained by letting the GOTP have a free ride. Because all it’ll take for the GOTP to repeat its excesses is to run roughshod when they are in power, and simply obstruct when they are not. Without opposition, they will simply govern as they wish, and ONLY as they wish.

    If he wins, he has two months to avoid it, and if he does not, we will fall into another recession.

    So either the GOTP compromises, or they continue with obstructionism. But this time, it costs them heavily as well.

    States like SC, Texas start getting affected by the sequestration massively.

    Obama therefore has two choices: force the GOTP to be held accountable by making them obstruct their way into a national recession, or cave-in.

    I am still betting on a cave-in.

  19. 19
    Christoph Burschka

    Cantor voted in favor of sequestration

    I guess he was for it before he was against it.

  20. 20
    williamgeorge

    It’s always easy to tell which politician that parasite Grover Norquist has his hooks in.

  21. 21
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    15

    Oh, that. This is called sequestration. Thanks.

  22. 22
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    17

    Thank you, too. Yeah , I just wanted to know what it was the word was being applied to. I know the game, I just somehow missed the appellation. “Sequestration of funds” – at least now I have an idea as to what is actually the object of sequestration as well. Makes sense (I mean, linguistically).

  23. 23
    democommie

    I’m all for shrinin’ gummint. I would like to start by shrinkin’ the House of Representatives. We could do it via the legislative process or by employing, in Sharon Angle’s words, “2nd Amendment remedies”. /s, no, SERIOUSLY, /s.

  24. 24
    eric

    Baal:

    sequestration <– I think it's a House Republican newspeak.

    Evidently not. You got the gist of the term right (funds are being sequestered and can’t be spent), but both sides of the aisle use it as a term of art. Also, the word as applied to Congressional spending predates the current Congress and administration – so it has little to do with Obama and the tea party specifically. See here.

  25. 25
    brucegee1962

    The original sequestration reminds of the dieter who cannot resist the cheesecake in the refrigerator, and therefore welds the refrigerator shut.

    What they’re doing now resembles the same dieter trying to pry the back of the refrigerator off with a crowbar.

    The first one was just ridculous. It has now passed that and become pathetic.

    The beauty of this, though, is that they’ve been saying ever since Obama took office that the deficit is the #1 national defense problem facing the country. Now that they’re running around squawking, it’s fun to see their hypocrisy exposed.

  26. 26
    baal

    Thanks eric – I do take Politico with a grain of salt, however. They tend to present the beltway views on things. Which in this case is the relevant one.

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