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March 2, 2013
pol102:

“America’s fiscal union: The red and the black” | The Economist
The sequester is here! And this map is probably a good indication of what it means for you. The “redder” your state, the most likely you’ll be negatively affected by the sequester. Why? Because “redder” states get more money from the federal government than they send back in taxes.
I currently live in Mississippi. We’re going to be hit especially hard. Because, as this map shows, Mississippi runs a 254% deficit (as of 2009) in federal transfers. The state gets an estimated $2.47 for every federal dollar sent. 
Basically, think of the “redder” states as on a form of federal-to-state welfare. And since the cuts are going to all kinds of programs and services, they’ll likely hit those state hard. That means states like Mississippi will have two options: 1) Kick in more state revenue to make up for cut programs. 2) Lose the benefits of those programs. Since the many of the “redder” states are poorer than the “bluer” states (e.g. the median household income in Mississippi is $36,656 compared to $69,272 in Maryland), option #2 would simply mean falling further behind in terms of poverty, education, and health. But option #1 means collecting more taxes to make up the differences. And since states collect taxes less efficiently than the federal government, often through less progressive taxes, and will have to negotiate prices for goods and services from a weaker position, the pocketbook impact of taxes would be high. 
So let’s get our sequester on! Let’s find out just how little federal government voters really want. 

Feels like everyone’s heads have been spinning, to the point of fatigue, on the matter of the budget sequestration that went into effect with President Obama’s signature Friday night. It’s a nice change of pace, instead of arguing political benefits and machinations, to start getting some practical information about what sequestration will mean for the states.

pol102:

“America’s fiscal union: The red and the black” | The Economist

The sequester is here! And this map is probably a good indication of what it means for you. The “redder” your state, the most likely you’ll be negatively affected by the sequester. Why? Because “redder” states get more money from the federal government than they send back in taxes.

I currently live in Mississippi. We’re going to be hit especially hard. Because, as this map shows, Mississippi runs a 254% deficit (as of 2009) in federal transfers. The state gets an estimated $2.47 for every federal dollar sent. 

Basically, think of the “redder” states as on a form of federal-to-state welfare. And since the cuts are going to all kinds of programs and services, they’ll likely hit those state hard. That means states like Mississippi will have two options: 1) Kick in more state revenue to make up for cut programs. 2) Lose the benefits of those programs. Since the many of the “redder” states are poorer than the “bluer” states (e.g. the median household income in Mississippi is $36,656 compared to $69,272 in Maryland), option #2 would simply mean falling further behind in terms of poverty, education, and health. But option #1 means collecting more taxes to make up the differences. And since states collect taxes less efficiently than the federal government, often through less progressive taxes, and will have to negotiate prices for goods and services from a weaker position, the pocketbook impact of taxes would be high. 

So let’s get our sequester on! Let’s find out just how little federal government voters really want. 

Feels like everyone’s heads have been spinning, to the point of fatigue, on the matter of the budget sequestration that went into effect with President Obama’s signature Friday night. It’s a nice change of pace, instead of arguing political benefits and machinations, to start getting some practical information about what sequestration will mean for the states.

21:41 // 1 year ago
February 27, 2013
With one newspaper cover, The Washington Post Express wins sequestration. (via Newseum)

With one newspaper cover, The Washington Post Express wins sequestration. (via Newseum)

8:50 // 1 year ago
February 21, 2013
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
14:23 // 1 year ago
February 20, 2013
Because the sequester is (and is likely to continue to be) very ill-defined in the minds of most Americans, the politics of it will devolve into a popularity contest between the major players. Which gets us to the fact that Obama is at (or close to) his high-water mark in terms of job approval, while Congress sits in political reporter/used car salesman territory.
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, theorizing that there’s no way possible way Congress can win the sequester battle against President Obama. The thinking here is is based on three premises: One, that Obama believes the sequester ultimately will not be avoided, because Congress is dysfunctional and if they could have struck a deal on these cuts, there wouldn’t have been a sequester to begin with; two, that effects of the sequestered cuts will be felt by many Americans once they come into effect; and three, that Obama is significantly more popular than Congress. Given these three assumptions, it seems reasonable enough to conclude that if the sequester happens, Congress—and the GOP-led House of Representatives—will be blamed by the American public. It’s not a bad theory, though it’s still quite speculative given the assumptions. More information on the sequester here. source
19:32 // 1 year ago

The looming sequester could have serious consequences for federal employees

  • 800K civilian Defense Department employees have been notified of potential furloughs in the near future, should Congress not agree on a deal that delays/avoids the automatic sequester scheduled to take effect at the end of the month. The potential budget cuts have workers facing more than three weeks of unpaid leave and, should a deal not be reached in time, the Pentagon says employees will be asked to stay home one day a week for 22 consecutive weeks. source
15:06 // 1 year ago
February 19, 2013
Washington Democrats’ newfound concern about the president’s sequester is appreciated, but words alone won’t avert it,” he said. “Replacing the president’s sequester will require a plan to cut spending that will put us on the path to a budget that is balanced in 10 years. To keep these first responders on the job, what other spending is the president willing to cut?
Rep. John Boehner • Responding to a speech by President Obama this morning which blamed Republicans for #FiscalCliffPartThree the impending sequester cuts which could be triggered as early as next week. President Obama said that allowing the sequester to take effect was tantamount to taking a “meat cleaver” to the federal government. source
17:22 // 1 year ago