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BET Politics Commentary: As the Sequester Looms, Obama Backpedals

Posted by on Mar. 1, 2013 at 4:46 AM
  • 3 Replies

Commentary: As the Sequester Looms, Obama Backpedals


After weeks of warnings about the financial cliff, President Obama pumps the breaks. 

Posted: 02/28/2013 06:11 PM EST
BET Politics

Unless Congress intervenes with a plan to reduce spending, mandatory, across-the-board federal cuts go into effect beginning tomorrow. It's known around Washington as "the sequester," but if you've been listening to the White House in the weeks leading up to the deadline, it sounds more like "Doomsday."

Administration officials painted an alarming picture of harmful, automatic cuts that would threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs and slash needed services for kids, the elderly, the disabled and the military. During a recent speech President Obama delivered at a State Governors' Meeting at theWhite House, he warned,"Companies are preparing layoff notices, families are preparing to cut back on expenses and the longer these cuts are in place, the bigger the impact will become."

And the impact on poor and minority communities has been emphasized as well. The automatic cuts would hit unemployment benefits and early child care programs which African-Americans disproportionately rely on. Subsequent federal and state job cuts would also strike a blow that the Black community would feel. 

In recent days, however, the White House has softened its message while stopping short of making a complete about face. President Obama told reporters Wednesday, "This is not a cliff but it is a tumble downward. It's conceivable that in the first week, first two weeks, first three weeks, the first month a lot of people may not notice the full impact, but this is going to be a big hit on the economy."

Education Secretary Arne Duncan sang from the same songbook Wednesday suggesting that it could be months before schools would feel the effects of the cuts. At the White House briefing, he urged, "The early childhood piece, the K-12 piece, the higher ed piece — those cuts are all cuts that would be hitting in the fall."

What happened to the shock and devastation that was supposed to ensue right away? Where is the hyperbole and saber-rattling that flooded the airwaves until now? Visions of starving children running the streets and military men and women without ammunition had, until this point, danced in some people's heads as the administration made the case for why Congress needed to act now.  

You're likely wondering, "Why the shift in tone? Why is it that the sky is apparently not going to fall after all?"

Conservatives believe that the president's warnings amounted to no more than hyped-up hysterics. But there may be a number of reasons why Obama changed his tune. Perhaps he was concerned that he had overplayed his hand in the hard press to put pressure on Congress. At the risk of appearing to be the boy who cried wolf, the administration cut off criticism at the pass by "clarifying" its message before the pending deadline arrived.

So it appears that the sky will not be falling tomorrow after all, or next week or next month for that matter. And whether we're facing a jump off of a cliff or simply a steady tumble downward, the end result is something that our lawmakers should work to avoid.  


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 http://www.bet.com/news/politics/2013/02/28/commentary-as-the-sequester-looms-obama-backpedals.html?ftcnt=HP_News

by on Mar. 1, 2013 at 4:46 AM
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Carpy
by Platinum Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 5:40 AM
1 mom liked this

But, I thought FOX just made that up?  Well of course they didn't, just the liberal news outlet that posted the story did not comprehend, and the sheep followed suit.  Guess, someone at BET isn't a sheep.

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 5:52 AM
2 moms liked this

 Split and divide..wasn't that Barry's re-election theme, guised as "move forward"?

Shocking he's backpedaling..maybe some of the 47% have used internet on their Obama phones and have learned Barry's blowing hot air..?..Doubtful..but sill a possibility.

I don't hear Barry now, touting his plan for public pre-school...how the hell did he expect to pay for that?

Can't hear you now Barry..........Barry?.............Barry?

Barry? Are we moving forward yet?

 

 

"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have."---Thomas Jefferson

MsDenuninani
by Bronze Member on Mar. 1, 2013 at 11:43 AM

My view (sorry for the cut and paste, but Mathew Yglesis is much smarter than me):

Now that sequestration is upon us, it seems like a good time to relink to my column about why sequestration will probably be a bust and most people won't notice. The key issue here isn't that 8 percent across-the-board cuts to domestic discretionary programs will have no impact on Americans' everyday lives. It's that they won't have much impact on American's everyday lives over the month of March.

Agencies have seen this coming, and even the very stringent terms of sequestration leave some flexibility in place. Life will go on today, and life will go on next week.

The real issue is that the Continuing Resolution that funds the discretionary functions of the government expires on March 27. If that expires with no replacement we get a government shutdown—you'll notice that. But if Democrats and Republicans reach an agreement on how much to spend in the replacement CR, then that legislation will almost certainly supersede the sequestration rules. Which isn't to say it'll eliminate the problems associated with sequestration. Republicans will presumably be trying to insist on very low levels of appropriations. So there's plenty to worry about. But don't expect anything in particular to happen this week. The game is whether we have a government shutdown in late March and whether avoiding a government shutdown involves entrenching very low levels of spending on things other than Medicare and Social Security. 

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