We have moved a bill in the House twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.
President Obama has said that unless he gets a second tax hike in eight weeks, he will be forced to let criminals loose on the streets, the meat at your grocery store won’t be inspected and emergency responders will be unable to do their jobs. These are false choices. We are faced with the negative effects of the sequester because Democrats have not been able to take even the smallest step towards controlling spending.Rep. Eric Cantor • Painting President Obama as the primary cause of the looming sequester, and resulting budget cuts, which will take effect if Congress doesn’t act by next week. While neither party is particularly popular at the moment, a recent Pew/USA Today poll shows that the GOP is currently eating much of the public blame for the sequester debate, which we don’t imagine sits well with the House Majority. source
Last week, Republicans and Democrats talked about remembering 9/11 and unity all across the nation, and all that patriotic stuff, and now we’re getting this thrown on our lap.John Feal, founder of the FealGood Foundation advocacy group • Responding to the news that more than $38 million in previously approved spending, from the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, could be cut as a result of budget sequester legislation passed last summer. John Feal, a construction worker who lost half his foot in the Ground Zero cleanup efforts, is particularly incensed because the funds were already paid for by leveling a new 2 percent tax on certain foreign companies that receive federal contracts. “This is unacceptable,” said Feal, adding, “[It’s] just another slap in the face from Washington, D.C.” source
» A new study with broad ramifications: The results of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s study may seem obvious, but the debate on whether or not to cut funding for Medicaid has long rested on whether experts thought low-income people would actually use the public form of medical insurance. The new study proves this is the case, and does it in an interesting way — rather than comparing the insured to the uninsured (a common tactic used before), the study treated Medicaid the same way researchers might treat a drug. The result? Fellow researchers are hailing the study as “historic” and say it’ll shape national health care debates for years to come.
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» Only one silo gets the cuts: Obama wants to effectively limit all non-security discretionary spending for the next five years, an area which only accounts for 12 percent of federal spending, at the cost of doing something about defense spending or programs like Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security – which, as popular as they are, account for huge chunks of the pie. The cuts are also much lower than what Republicans want, although they’re also hoping to avoid defense spending cuts, even though that’s a huge chunk.
» Here’s the interesting part: Despite those numbers, the cuts to defense spending actually net about $165 billion more in savings than the non-defense cuts. Why? Simple: We spend a crapload of money on defense. (Bonus chart with more information here.)
» About those tax increases: They would extend a series of temporary tax increase implemented in 2009, which are set to expire in July. Californians are set to vote on the increases in June. And other changes are recommended too – certain services could be transferred from state local governments (such as prisons), and services for the poor are among the ones getting cut the most. However, K-12 schools will be protected from cuts (and just about nothing else).