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Reuters Frets: No Crisis Over Sequestration Cuts

From Reuters:

No sense of crisis in Congress as automatic cuts loom again

By David Lawder | January 31, 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Big automatic cuts in federal spending are fast approaching again, alarming the defense sector but generating little activity in Congress to avoid them.

The cuts, known as a "sequestration," were postponed for two months as part of the legislation that ended the standoff over the "fiscal cliff" on January 1.

But the sense of crisis that accompanied the thought of across-the-board reductions then has all but vanished, replaced by a widespread sense of inevitability

Rats! And the news media and the rest of the Democrat Party know that they need a crisis to get things done their way.

But, apparently, Reuters has forgotten that Obama promised us in the final Presidential debate that there will be no sequestration. So why should anyone in Congress be worried about it? They know they can always take Obama at his word.

The defense industry’s concern stems from the fact that half of the $85 billion in spending reductions will come from the budget of the Department of Defense, with the other half hitting a wide array of other government programs…

How come we always hear about the ‘defense industry’ but we never hear about the ‘welfare industry’ or even the ‘entitlement industry’?

Congress’ lack of urgency as it hurtles toward the launch of spending reductions on March 1 may be affected by Wednesday’s news that the U.S. economy contracted in the fourth quarter.

The GDP report showed government spending tumbled at a 6.6 percent rate, with defense outlays plunging at a 22.2 percent pace, the largest drop since the third quarter of 1972.

In other words, the news media is trying to blame the ‘contraction’ entirely on defense cuts. (Cuts which they have studiously ignored reporting about hitherto.) Obama’s re-election had nothing to do with the sudden downturn.

But this is probably the first and last time you will ever see Reuters even suggesting that cutting defense spending isn’t a wonderful thing.

But failure to find replacement savings by the March 1 deadline is not expected to spark a financial crisis because the cuts, split evenly between military and domestic programs, would start to bite gradually.

What a laugh. The military cuts will happen. The cuts to ‘domestic programs’ won’t.

Unlike the "fiscal cliff" cuts, these are not accompanied by the threat of massive tax hikes, ultimately imposed only on the wealthiest taxpayers as a result of the legislation that ended the fiscal cliff standoff.

Blow me down. Is Reuters implying that "massive tax hikes" can be "expected to spark a financial crisis"?

Worry runs deep through the defense sector, from weapons maker Northrop Grumman Corp to President Barack Obama’s nominee for defense secretary, Hagel…

Nonsense. Chuck Hagel was specifically chosen because he is almost as eager as Obama to gut the Pentagon.

Hagel said the cuts would be "devastating" to the Pentagon.

"It would harm military readiness and disrupt each and every investment program," he said in written answers to senators’ questions before a confirmation hearing on Thursday. "I urge Congress to eliminate the sequester threat permanently and pass a balanced deficit reduction plan."

That’s what he said during his confirmation hearings. It does not match anything Mr. Hagel has said about military spending in the last twenty five years.

While there are no public signs of negotiations between Republicans and Democrats to avert the cuts, the blame game is well under way.

Republican House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said earlier this week he believed the automatic cuts "will probably happen" because Democrats were not willing to accept further cuts to domestic programs to shield military spending.

Top Senate Democrats have put the onus on House Republicans, saying they are unwilling to accept higher tax revenues as part of a balanced approach to replacing the cuts…

And never mind that the Republicans have just accepted higher tax revenues and the Democrats still are refusing to accept any cuts to ‘domestic programs.’

Reuters and the rest of the news media continue to push this ‘moral equivalency’ lie.

[F]iscal conservatives believe Obama will not negotiate with them or agree to any significant cuts in social programs…

Gee, could that be because Obama has repeatedly said he will not negotiate or agree to any cuts in social programs? But of course the Republicans and the Democrats will be equally to blame if sequestration happens.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, January 31st, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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