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Obama: Sequestration Crisis Will 'Inflict Pain,' Congress Should Help With Compromise

Posted by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 3:47 PM
  • 11 Replies

 By Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON, March 2 (Reuters) - Just hours after across-the-board spending cuts officially took effect, President Barack Obama pressed Congress on Saturday to work with him on a compromise to halt a fiscal crisis he said was starting to "inflict pain" on communities across the United States.

Obama and a bipartisan group of congressional leaders failed on Friday to avoid the deep spending reductions known as the "sequester," which automatically kicked in overnight in the latest sign of dysfunction in a divided Washington.

If left in place without legislative remedy, government agencies will have to hack a total of $85 billion from their budgets between Saturday and Oct. 1, cuts that over time could cause economic harm, slash jobs and curb military readiness.

"These cuts are not smart," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. "They will hurt our economy and cost us jobs. And Congress can turn them off at any time - as soon as both sides are willing to compromise."

Obama signed an order on Friday night that started putting the cuts into effect.

At the heart of Washington's persistent fiscal showdowns is disagreement over how to slash the budget deficit and the $16 trillion national debt, bloated over the years by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and government stimulus for the ailing economy.

The Democratic president wants to close the fiscal gap with spending cuts and tax hikes - what he calls a "balanced approach." But Republicans do not want to concede again on taxes after doing so in negotiations over the "fiscal cliff" at the New Year.

"The discussion about revenue, in my view, is over. It's about taking on the spending problem," John Boehner, the Republican House of Representatives speaker, said on leaving the talks between Obama and congressional leaders on Friday.

As Obama and his aides have done for weeks, the president in his radio address offered a litany of hardships he said would flow from the sequester, saying, "Severe budget cuts ... have already started to inflict pain on communities across the country."

"Beginning this week, businesses that work with the military will have to lay folks off. Communities near military bases will take a serious blow. Hundreds of thousands of Americans who serve their country - Border Patrol agents, FBI agents, civilians who work for the Defense Department - will see their wages cut and their hours reduced," he said.

"The longer these cuts remain in place, the greater the damage," he said. "Economists estimate they could eventually cost us more than 750,000 jobs and slow our economy by over one-half of one percent." Despite that, financial markets shrugged off the stalemate on Friday.


NO SIGNS OF NEGOTIATIONS

While Obama has put the blame for the cuts on Republicans' intransigence and their determination to protect tax breaks for the wealthy, Republicans insist he is responsible for the fiscal predicament. They also accuse him of exaggerating the expected impact.

Obama appealed for Republicans to work with Democrats on a deal, saying Americans were weary of seeing Washington "careen from one manufactured crisis to another." But he offered no new ideas to resolve the situation, and there was no immediate sign of any negotiations planned over the weekend.

"There's a caucus of common sense (in Congress)," Obama said. "And I'm going to keep reaching out to them to fix this for good."

One reason for the inaction in Washington is that both parties still hope the other will either be blamed by voters for the cuts or cave in before the worst effects predicted by Democrats come into effect.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday showed 28 percent of Americans blamed congressional Republicans for the sequestration mess, 18 percent thought Obama was responsible and 4 percent blamed congressional Democrats. Thirty-seven percent blamed them all, according the online poll.

by on Mar. 2, 2013 at 3:47 PM
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143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Mar. 2, 2013 at 3:51 PM

 Here's the link:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/02/obama-sequestration-_n_2795749.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmaing7%7Cdl4%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D277719

 

 

 

 

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

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 11:04 PM
1 mom liked this

Obama needs to look in the mirror, point at himself, and say, "Compromise starts with you, Mr. President."

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 11:06 PM
4 moms liked this

A compromise means that, since he already got his tax increases, Obama needs to give on spending cuts. Otherwise he is eating all the cookies and not sharing.

I have a feeling Obama may have been sharing-challenged in kindergarten.

29again
by Gold Member on Mar. 3, 2013 at 11:10 PM
1 mom liked this

Balanced and compromise:  2 words that he does not understand the meaning of.

pvtjokerus
by Gold Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 7:51 AM
1 mom liked this

Yesterday the Repubs hinted that they would be will to close the loop holes AS LONG as ALL OF THE SAVED MONEY goes to bringing down the deficit.  CRICKETS from the demos.

143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Mar. 4, 2013 at 11:54 PM

 Not surprising.

When their leader won't negotiate and only wants HIS way..crickets will be ALL we hear for the next 4 years...

Shameful really.

Quoting pvtjokerus:

Yesterday the Repubs hinted that they would be will to close the loop holes AS LONG as ALL OF THE SAVED MONEY goes to bringing down the deficit.  CRICKETS from the demos.

 

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

wastrox
by New Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:06 AM
1 mom liked this
Our President has been clear all along. Whatever deal there is must include revenue increases. He's prepared to compromise with cuts and even entitlement reform. The Republicans are prepared to hold hostage economic growth to preserve tax advantages for the wealthy. Plain and simple. They need to remember that Obama was re-elected with the plan he has put forward and stop ignoring the demands of the electorate. BTW, deep cuts are harmful to economic growth. That's what Europe did and they are in worse shape now.
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mommom2000
by Bronze Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 8:35 AM

 

You keep saying Obama already got his tax increase,then I should say the republicans already got their spending cuts. It obviously needs to go further with more cuts and more revenue.  One side is willing to compromise and do both and one side refuses any revenue once again. Obama didn't get the tax increase  he wanted, the only tax increase that happened was an expiration of the existing Bush tax cuts for people making over a million dollars, that wasn't even what Obama was asking for.

    The Republicans campaigned on closing tax loopholes, and now they are refusing to put them on the table. A balanced approach is what the people voted for, and that would mean both sides give, not just one side.

Quoting SallyMJ:

A compromise means that, since he already got his tax increases, Obama needs to give on spending cuts. Otherwise he is eating all the cookies and not sharing.

I have a feeling Obama may have been sharing-challenged in kindergarten.


 

mommom2000
by Bronze Member on Mar. 5, 2013 at 9:20 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Don't fall for it when they are talking out of both sides of their mouths.  They say they will be willing to close loopholes and that will go to the deficit, but they also want the rate to go down at the same time, making this proposal deficit neutral.  Meaning this will bring in zero dollars of revenue into the government. 

Quoting pvtjokerus:

Yesterday the Repubs hinted that they would be will to close the loop holes AS LONG as ALL OF THE SAVED MONEY goes to bringing down the deficit.  CRICKETS from the demos.


 

JustCJ
by on Mar. 5, 2013 at 10:35 AM
2 moms liked this

Sequester my ass lol. 400 new fed jobs posted smh.

Quoting SallyMJ:

Obama needs to look in the mirror, point at himself, and say, "Compromise starts with you, Mr. President."


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