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White House Letting Down Their Constituents On Sequester Cuts!

JimofPennsylvan

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The White House is not acting optimally wise over the Sequester Budget cuts, they should be making more concessions and being more creative about getting a replacement plan because they lose more in this matter. The beneficiaries of the social service being cut are mostly Democrat constituents and the cuts to Defense programs overall hurt the Democrats more than the Republicans because Defense industry workers are mostly Democrat constituents but more importantly politically it will hurt the Democrat brand because these sequester defense cuts will dramatically reduce the capability of the U.S. military over time. What do you think Republicans are going to do in future elections with this result, you got it they are going to beat the hell out of Democrat candidates over it resurrecting the label that Democrats are lousy at handling the country's defense and these candidates especially Democrat Presidential candidates are going to pay for it at the polls!

Some of the strategies that the American public hears in the media about what the White House is doing on this issue is pretty stupid. If the White House is banking on the Democrats winning the House of Representatives in 2014 resulting in the Democrats being in total control of Washington where they can then pass whatever they please their banking on a real long shot for at least two major reasons. First, ordinary Americans think it is extremely wrong these $850 billion to a trillion dollar budget deficits that future generations of American will be stuck paying off and they want it stopped and secondly the Democrat economic message is a very weak message because it won't work it is not a viable solution. The Democrat message is America needs to dramatically increase investment in infrastructure, research and education and this will create the needed number of good paying jobs the American people want; this is fantasy thinking it is not sensible good judgment, improving infrastructure will increase good jobs but not in the numbers the country needs, increasing research will increase good jobs but not in the numbers we need (look at two of the greatest research breakthroughs of our time solar energy and battery technology for electric/hybrid cars, America manufactures less than five-percent of the solar panels it uses and Asia seems poised to be the leaders in manufacturing hybrid car batteries) and with respect to education the young men and women coming out of our colleges today can't find good jobs filling the college graduate pipeline won't help with the jobs problem. The Republicans have a much better and sensible economic message which is let us lower costs on businesses so businesses have the money to invest and thus hire people and pay better wages. Let us lower their taxes, let us stop with the prolific business choking EPA regulations that, in part, have the aim of eliminating the coal powered electricity generating industry thus raising power costs and let us stop with all the health insurance mandates above providing a truly good safety net so long as we still have out-of-control health care costs because these mandates are really putting the economic screws on business and causing so much disarray where job seekers are only being offered part-time work. If Democrats want a successful economic message they should adopt changing the free trade system throughout the world, the current system doesn't guarantee good paying jobs for a country's people; the laws should be changed to allow a country to use protectionist measure to protect forty to fifty percent of market share for domestic manufacturers thus protecting domestic jobs, this survival of the fittest ideology that underpins the current system results in too many people not surviving not finding a good paying job - this is at the core of the problems in the European Union those southern European countries and England will never be able to compete against Japan and Germany these latter two countries have too much of a cultural advantage culturally their more ordered for efficiency and effectiveness the critical elements of manufacturing industries! Does the White House really have as their sequester strategy to find enough Republican members of the House and Senate to agree to raise taxes as part of a Sequester avoidance deal has the White House staff and President lost their hearing over the last two months the Republicans are livid over the fiscal cliff legislation where Democrats raised taxes $625 billion with not a dollar of spending cuts, raising taxes is off-the-table for every good Republican!


If the Democrats were smart they would make some concessions and be creative to get an agreement to avoid a large part of the sequester budget cuts, it is not important whether this agreement is part of a separate piece of legislation or incorporated into the continuing resolution legislation needed by March 25. As common sense indicates clearly if your cutting $85 billion dollars from federal spending your eliminating hundreds of thousands of jobs but the Democrats should also be moved to act by looking at the House continuing resolution just released this week. In the CR these House Republicans are acting true to form looking out for their historic priorities, this House bill dials back the negative effects of the sequester on defense and security programs but largely does nothing for social service programs. Democrats if the beneficiaries of these social service programs are to be protected to any degree from sequester you're going to have to do it!

Wisdom seems to me to call for the Democrats to view the Sequester problem in the following way. Several reputable experts have said that the military can probably live with $20 billion dollars of the sequester cuts per year going through without the military suffering major harm and if you reduce the sequester defense cuts to $20 billion/year than in all fairness you need to reduce the sequester social program cuts to $20 billion/year, so what Congress and the President need to do is find $70 billion/per year of federal spending cuts throughout the entire federal budget to replace the $110 billion/year of combined defense/social programs cuts mandated by the 2011 debt ceiling legislation. Many in the media and many members of the federal government present and past have identified huge amounts of wasteful and duplicative spending in the federal government that could be eliminated to make-up this $70 billion goal. If this goal can be reached by cutting waste alone great if Congress can reach this goal by also finding additional programs that can be responsibly cut great but probably prudence calls for the conclusion that if this $70 billion goal is to be reached entitlement programs need to be cut. Democrats should consider this "cutting entitlements" option; I know that the Democrat position has been that if their was to be any entitlement spending to be cut it would have to be part of a grand bargain which would have to include raising revenue through tax code changes. Tax code changes are truly a non-starter for the Republicans for reasons stated earlier but I don't think Democrats should take entitlement cuts off the table just because Republicans won't meet this requirement because the only way Sequester cut levels will be met is with entitlement program cuts. This is the key for a wise Democrat leadership here, Democrats should replace the revenue raising requirements with some other requirements the Republicans would find hard to swallow but advance their vision for America and is good!

One piece of legislation that seems to fit this bill and good Republicans should accept if it is framed right because it is the right thing is legislation that modifies this new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. The reason that Democrats should pursue this is because Republicans hate this new government agency and one day they will be in power in Washington when with almost absolute certainty one can expect them to eliminate or practically eliminate this agency unless this agency initiative is made thoroughly good and secondly the Director of this agency was never confirmed by the Senate as the law requires he was installed as a recess appointment when the evidence pretty strongly indicates the Senate was in session for at least one day when this man was appointed which puts all this agencies work in jeopardy and the banking industries reliance on this work in jeopardy risking a real disaster if a court would rule that this agencies policies are invalid because the director's appointment is invalid; a piece of legislation with a provision saying all this agency's regulations up to the time of this legislation enactment are deemed law would solve this issue The bottom line is that the work this agency is doing is really great and it is not unduly burdensome on banks; banks can't make home loans borrowers can't afford their is a limit on how much of a person's income can go to monthly debt payments its like in the high thirty percent, before a lender can foreclose the lender has to follow a certain fair protocol, credit rating agency have to have a good system for fixing errors on peoples credit report, etc.. The problem with this whole agency scheme is that one person shouldn't have this much power that the director currently has it should have a five person governing board like the Federal Trade Commission and the "Securities and Exchange" Commission. There hasn't been any discussion of this publicly and maybe this doesn't apply but I think modifying legislation should ban private litigation over any of this agency's policies unless the agency expressing gives individuals the right to sue and the agency can't give any individual the right to sue for monetary damages only injunctive relief; it just seems to me that this agencies regulations could be a gravy train for trial lawyers bringing lawsuits over the agency's regulation causing real financial hardship on banks therefore Congress should stop it now before the problem snowballs. Some Republicans have said they want the budget of this agency to be taken from under the Federal Reserve System and be treated like other financial oversight agencies subject to Congress's yearly budget process; terrible idea it will be too tempting for members of Congress to severely cut this agency's budget thus severely hurting the work they do, by law currently this agency's financing is limited to twelve percent of the Federal Reserve system's budget that is a good enough restraint on spending - if Washington wants to be perfect in this area in my mind they could do it by banning an advertizing budget for the Office of Federal Education in this agency if there is any compelling need for advertizing in this area this Office can make a specific request to Congress to fund such advertising this Office would seem to hold the potential of being a sieve for spending federal money! Currently, one could probably say the White House will never get enough Republican Senators to vote to stop a filibuster on confirming the director because they hate this agency so much so in this modifying legislation the White House could get a provision saying for say ten years Senate procedural rules are prohibited from blocking a confirmation vote for members of this agency's governing board this would provide valuable help in the Democrats getting this agency up a running well to undercut any Republicans effort to eliminate this agency.

This is kind of a long shot but maybe the Democrats can get a deal on the gun control issue as part of this sequester mitigation deal. Probably only a deal on universal background checks and maybe a ban on high capacity clipps not a ban on assualt weapons because the pro-gun lobby is to strong! The Republicans incentive for doing this is the majority of Americans are for common sense gun control which these three regulation areas fall under and these areas of regulation are going to happen anyway because eventually all these assault weapons flowing into our society are going to fall into the hands of people with bad aims eventually there will be enough children and police officers who will lose their lives from these weapons the pile of bodies will be high enough that the American people are going to conclude enough is enough and demand they be taken out of our society, so if Republicans are smart they will cut this problem off at the pass and pass common sense gun reform. The Democrats incentive to do such a deal is they should really want to get this gun control issue off the table President Obama only has about nine months left to get significant legislation through before America goes into election mode for the 2014 elections and student of politics knows nothing legislatively significant is getting done during election season. If the Democrats are smart they would want to use the precious limited amount of legislative time left this year to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation and pass legislation reducing corportate taxes (which will create jobs probably big-time if the legislation significantly reduces the tax rate on foreign profits) which are both feasible!

On the entitlement cutting side there is three areas Democrats should agree to. First, agree to change the index that is used to increase Social Security recipient's pensions to account for the increase in the cost of living. Currently, the index that is used is some type of measure of how much wages on average in America increase on a yearly basis this is a high measure, a lot of talk has occurred about going to a chained consumer price index which is a lower rate than the basic consumer price index because what it assumes is that as the price of a good increases that people will switch to a lower price good like going from name brands to private labels in supermarkets. This theory behind chained CPI is too harsh its too inconsiderate to seniors, a lot of times when prices go up people go without. Social secuirty recipients should get an increase for the increase in the cost of living that is accurate thus Washington should go with the standard CPI and just a little observation for many years politicians of both parties have talked about changing the current wage based index to the CPI index, the chained CPI idea is a later development in this public debate let America stick with the older wisdom. Maybe as part of the deal for low to lower middle income seniors the system could stick with the wage based index. This initiative for the White House shouldn't be a big step for it has publicly on numerous occasions said it supports changing the index to help solve the deficit problem. Secondly, the Democrats should pursue changing Medicare to charge higher income seniors more for the insurance and its benefits. Agreeing to this at this time will take a big concessions on Republicans' part because this policy change burdens wealthy Americans, from the Republicans vantage point the White House and Democrats already got $625 billion from wealthy Americans with the fiscal cliff legislation now their going after wealthy seniors where is the balance where is the shared sacrifice Democrats talked about prior to the last election. Nevertheless, Republicans should sign on to this change because they know this is part of the ultimate solution to the country's deficit problem and this change is part of the Republican Party platform for what America needs to do to solve its deficit problem, the 2012 Republican Party candidate for President Mitt Romney unequivocally publicly supported this policy change which rank and file Republican members of Congress wanted to win the White House in the last election. Thirdly, the Democrats should agree to block grant Medicaid funding to the states that portion of the funding that goes to long-term care in "nursing homes" because it is the right thing to do. This medicaid program is essentially a back stop for the nursing home industry it pays nursing homes a stipend for those seniors in the nursing home whose personal assets have been depleted where they can no longer afford to pay the nursing home fee. It is completely indefensible and irresponsible with the humongous deficits this country has that it has such a program that offers a broad backstop to the nursing home industry it would be one thing if this program was limited to seniors because of the deterioration of their health they cannot live outside a nursing home but this program is not limited this way. This Medicaid program is bad public policy it pays for select seniors to have the benefit of living in a nursing home what about those seniors who would like to have the government pay for them to live in a nursing home but the government offers no such program for them. Actually furthermore this Medicaid program is probably morally if not legally discriminatory by this it is meant these participating nursing homes don't get their standard resident fee for seniors in this program they get a lesser program mandated fee so for a senior to get acceptance into a nursing home and into this program they have to have significant wealth to start to pay the nursing home costs for awhile and what has been well established by numerous studies is that non-minorities are wealthier than minorities in America so if the issue was studied probably it would turn out that with this program that offers a back-stop for nursing homes non-minorities have an advantage over minority seniors in getting accepted into nursing homes because they offer a better economic deal for nursing homes so in short this program probably supports discrimination against minorities in getting accepted into nursing homes. The Republicans should agree to this Medicaid block grant proposal because the Republican party's agenda has long been to change federal policy to block grant federal Medicaid funding!
 

waltky

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Granny says dey oughtn't do dat - dey gonna have planes flyin' into each other...
:eek:
FAA to close 149 air traffic towers under cuts
March 22, 2013 — Under orders to trim hundreds of millions of dollars from its budget, the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday released a final list of 149 air traffic control towers that it will close at small airports around the country starting early next month.
The closures will not force any of those airports to shut down, but pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency with no help from ground controllers. Those procedures are familiar to all pilots. Since a preliminary list of facilities was released a month ago, the FAA plan has raised wide-ranging concerns, including worries about the effect on safety and the potential financial consequences for communities that rely on airports to help attract businesses and tourists. "We will work with the airports and the operators to ensure the procedures are in place to maintain the high level of safety at non-towered airports," FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said in a statement.

Airlines have yet to say whether they will continue offering service to airports that lose tower staff. The trade group Airlines for America said its member carriers have no plans to cancel or suspend flights as a result of the closures. The FAA is being forced to trim $637 million for the rest of the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. The agency said it had no choice but to subject most of its 47,000 employees, including tower controllers, to periodic furloughs and to close air traffic facilities at small airports with lighter traffic. The changes are part of the across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, which went into effect March 1. The airports targeted for tower shutdowns have fewer than 150,000 total flight operations per year. Of those, fewer than 10,000 are commercial flights by passenger airlines.

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Airport directors, pilots and others in the aviation sector have argued that stripping away an extra layer of safety during the most critical stages of flight will elevate risks and at the very least slow years of progress that made the U.S. aviation network the safest in the world. One of the facilities on the closure list is at Ogden-Hinckley Airport in Utah, where air traffic controllers keep planes safely separated from the F-16s screaming in and out of nearby Hill Air Force Base and flights using Salt Lake City International Airport. "There's going to be problems," said Ogden airport Manager Royal Eccles. "There will be safety concerns and ramification because of it." Opponents of the closures are also warning of possible disruptions to medical transport flights and flight schools training the next generation of pilots.

The 149 air traffic facilities slated to begin closing on April 7 are all staffed by contract employees who are not FAA staffers. There were 65 other facilities staffed by FAA employees on the preliminary list of towers that could be closed. A final decision on their closure will require further review, the FAA said. The agency is also still considering eliminating overnight shifts at 72 additional air traffic facilities, including some at major airports like Chicago's Midway International and General Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee. There was no word Friday on when that decision will come. The targeted towers are located in nearly every state. Hundreds of small airports around the country routinely operate without controllers. Pilots flying there are trained to watch for other aircraft and announce their position over the radio during approaches, landings and takeoffs.

More FAA to close 149 air traffic towers under cuts | CNS News
 
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BreezeWood

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White House Letting Down Their Constituents On Sequester Cuts!

the Republicans are having their way at present ... the blame will be on their shoulders by September amid the new budgetary legislation.
 

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