Obama wants to avoid the sequester?

posted at 5:01 pm on June 3, 2012 by Dustin Siggins

In [Thursday's] White House press briefing, Jay Carney was asked about House Minority Leader Pelosi’s proposal to extend the Bush-era tax rates for those making up to one million dollars. Carney’s response had three interesting components to it, three of which are standard liberal fare on taxes and the last an interesting admission regarding the sequestration heading Washington’s way.

First, the standard liberal fare on taxes. Carney said the following in his first response to the tax question:

And the question now is whether Republicans will vote to raise taxes on the middle class and hold the middle class hostage on the insistence that the wealthiest Americans continue to get tax breaks that contributed mightily already to our deficits, which in this economic environment they do not need.

This doesn’t need much repeating, but even if one accepts the notion that the Bush tax policies for those making over $250,000 contributed to our deficits (a debatable point), the fact is that in the last 11 years we’ve added $10 trillion to the national debt. The Bush tax policies for upper-income Americans will “cost” the government $829 billion over the next 10 years, according to the liberal Center for Budget & Policy Priorities, which means over the last 11 years we would have prevented 8.29% of our deficits. This is not “contributing mightily” to our deficits.

Second, Beohner’s press secretary released a one-line response to Pelosi’s proposal soon after it came out: “Speaker Boehner has already announced that the House will act to stop the tax hike on every American taxpayer.” For Carney to say Republicans want to raise taxes on the middle-class is absurd in light of this statement.

Third, Carney’s statement shows that this President still doesn’t get that income belongs to the person who made it legally and ethically. While taxes are necessary for a functioning society with the rule of law, property rights, a military etc. etc. this does not mean the government has a right to one’s income. Which is why we need to eliminate the income tax (including repeal of the 16th Amendment) and institute a national sales tax, though that’s a discussion for another time.

The most interesting thing Carney said was regarding sequestration:

Look, we’re continuing to work with leaders in Congress on how best to move forward to ensure that we not only protect middle-class families from a tax hike, but also how we achieve a balanced plan to reduce the deficit and avoid the sequester — to use Washington lingo. I apologize to anyone out there watching, but you know what I’m talking about. And these are — these obviously are ongoing discussions.

When the sequester was first announced in November 2011, the White House issued a veto threat against attempts to get around sequestration without cutting equivalently elsewhere, and said the automatic cuts were “a sword of Damocles” hanging over Congress’ head that were aimed to force Congress to find better alternatives. The Hill reported this was still Obama’s position as of yesterday, which is ironic in light of the new veto threat made early last month against House-passed legislation that avoided the defense cuts in the sequester by cutting social spending, enacting medical tort reform and cutting federal worker pay to offset the lack of defense cuts. However, this all indicates that the President wants to hold to the $1.2 trillion in spending reductions in the sequester.

The fact that Carney has admitted the President wants to avoid sequestration entirely is a new public angle on the debate, though the liberal The Nation says that the President’s FY2013 budget proposal got rid of the defense cuts in the sequester. However, this may be a formal new tactic for the President, as he sent his Deputy Defense Secretary to speak at the American Enterprise Institute earlier this week, where the Secretary commented that the sequestration cuts were “irrational,” and designed to be that way to force action from Congress.

Regardless of the President’s true objective, avoiding sequestration he signed into law is an unusual public tactic to take, especially in light of his proclaimed wish to achieve a “balanced” plan to avoid the sequester. Do such proposals exist? I seem to remember a few…

  • Senator Coburn’s Back in Black plan, which cut spending across the board and eliminated tax loopholes to balance the budget. This was introduced prior to the Budget Control Act, which created the failed Commission that led to sequestration.
  • Speaker Boehner’s offer to put $800 billion in revenues on the table prior to the Budget Control Act’s creation.
  • The Gang of Six’s plan, which was decidedly moderate but both reduced spending and had revenue increases. This was also introduced prior to the Budget Control Act.
  • The President-created Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission’s chairs proposed some solid (if, again, decidedly centrist) reforms to federal spending and taxation, which the President promptly ignored. Simpson and Bowles proposed these reforms in late 2010.

If the President wanted to avoid sequestration, he had plenty of chances to do so in what he would call a “balanced” fashion. Perhaps this is a sign he finally recognizes the American public sees across-the-board defense cuts as harmful and the domestic reductions as inadequate given the debt challenges facing the nation?

 

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obaka blinked…

ladyingray on June 3, 2012 at 5:05 PM

…everytime Carnival Carney says something…someone needs to shout out “YOU LIE!”

KOOLAID2 on June 3, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Wait a second … I thought deficits and debt did not matter. I am sure I was just reading that a little while ago. Again if debt doesn’t matter, than there is no reason to pay taxes. Paying taxes from what I read above brings down the debt. But debt doesn’t matter. And of course somehow millionaires paying taxes brings down the debt faster than if say poor people paid any taxes at all. So is someone saying the debt does matter, and we have to control debt? I’m confused.

Does it really hurt that much to think like a liberal?

When spending and watching the money go out … debt doesn’t matter, we can always print more money.

When looking at the money coming in … and especially when considering taxing anyone who might vote Republican, (and apparently they know who we are) OMG look at this debt we have to raise taxes!

You just can’t have it both ways when you live in Real World!

odannyboy on June 3, 2012 at 5:13 PM

hold the middle class hostage

Love the new civility. Hostage-taking metaphors. Nice. /sarc

ITguy on June 3, 2012 at 5:13 PM

No matter what happens, we can count on Orrin Hatch to get Obama’s job done! Watch the video here.

bloggless on June 3, 2012 at 5:18 PM

The President-created Simpson-Bowles Deficit Commission’s chairs proposed some solid (if, again, decidedly centrist) reforms to federal spending and taxation, which the President promptly ignored. Simpson and Bowles proposed these reforms in late 2010

…and when the MSM were quiet about it… I lost any hope for respecting MSM “journalists”

KOOLAID2 on June 3, 2012 at 5:19 PM

When the sequester was first announced in November 2011, the White House issued a veto threat against attempts to get around sequestration without cutting equivalently elsewhere,

Heh. He’s readin’ the polls. Obama,….Warrior- Poet- Priest.

a capella on June 3, 2012 at 5:23 PM

…Lord help me it is Sunday…but I’m starting to hate these people…every one of them…JugEars, Biden, Jackson, Boxer, Carney, Pelosi, Reid, Shumer, Waters, etc…I’m feeling that the way they act the term “loathe” is becoming inadequate.

KOOLAID2 on June 3, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Love the new civility. Hostage-taking metaphors. Nice. /sarc

ITguy on June 3, 2012 at 5:13 PM

Meh. Hostage-taking, ‘investing’ in our future, the democratIC party, all word games used to con idiots like urban elitist, et al.

Lanceman on June 3, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Are we at the point yet where any changes made by Obama (based on any realization from him that he has to do SOMETHING in order to be re-elected) are too late to have any beneficial effect? I’m starting to think there is nothing he can do in less than five months that will have any chance of working before November. That is when I will start to feel optimistic.

Night Owl on June 3, 2012 at 5:37 PM

tax breaks that contributed mightily already to our deficits

You LIE!

The second part of the Bush Tax Cuts were signed in 2003. Revenues went UP in FY 2004, UP again in FY 2005, UP again in FY 2006, UP again in FY 2007.

The Bush Tax Cuts INCREASED revenues, not decreased them. Look at the numbers yourself:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist01z1.xls

Table 1.1—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS (–): 1789–2017

Year Total Receipts (in millions of dollars)
2000 2,025,191
2001 1,991,082
2002 1,853,136
2003 1,782,314
2004 1,880,114
2005 2,153,611
2006 2,406,869
2007 2,567,985

Bush inherited the Dot Com bust and the 9/11 attacks, which caused revenues(receipts) to decline in FY 2001, 2002, and 2003.

The Bush Tax Cuts turned the economy around and INCREASED revenues to the point that FY 2007 revenues were 44% larger than FY 2003 revenues!

What made revenues go up? Part of it was an increase in employment and a corresponding increase in the $ amount of payroll taxes collected.

The Democrats (Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Biden, Clinton, etc.) inherited a GOOD economy when they took over majority control of the House, Senate, and overall budgeting and spending process in January 2007.

What was unemployment in December 2006?
4.4%

The economy did not start getting worse again until the Democrats took majority control in January 2007.

Unemployment has skyrocketed since Democrats took majority control in January 2007, and under Obama, we’ve had 40 STRAIGHT MONTHS of unemployment OVER 8%.

Also look at the employment-population ratio correlated with the political party which held majority control

http://polination.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/2002-2011-employment-correlated-with-party-control1.jpg

The positive inflection point (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflection_point) was…
the signing of the second part of the Bush Tax Cuts in 2003.

The negative inflection point was January 2007…
… when Democrats took majority control.

It wasn’t Bush and the Republicans who drove the economy into the ditch… it was the Democrats who took majority control in January 2007 and who still hold majority control to this day.

Are you better off now than you were 5 and a half years ago?

ITguy on June 3, 2012 at 5:40 PM

I just posted a comment with 4 URLs in it… which sends it to moderation.

And given that today is Sunday, it probably won’t come out of moderation until tomorrow.

So, forgvie me but I’m going to submit it again with only 3 URLs so that it shows up now, not tomorrow…

ITguy on June 3, 2012 at 5:43 PM

tax breaks that contributed mightily already to our deficits

You LIE!

The second part of the Bush Tax Cuts were signed in 2003. Revenues went UP in FY 2004, UP again in FY 2005, UP again in FY 2006, UP again in FY 2007.

The Bush Tax Cuts INCREASED revenues, not decreased them. Look at the numbers yourself:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2013/assets/hist01z1.xls

Table 1.1—SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS, AND SURPLUSES OR DEFICITS (–): 1789–2017

Year Total Receipts (in millions of dollars)
2000 2,025,191
2001 1,991,082
2002 1,853,136
2003 1,782,314
2004 1,880,114
2005 2,153,611
2006 2,406,869
2007 2,567,985

Bush inherited the Dot Com bust and the 9/11 attacks, which caused revenues(receipts) to decline in FY 2001, 2002, and 2003.

The Bush Tax Cuts turned the economy around and INCREASED revenues to the point that FY 2007 revenues were 44% larger than FY 2003 revenues!

What made revenues go up? Part of it was an increase in employment and a corresponding increase in the $ amount of payroll taxes collected.

The Democrats (Pelosi, Reid, Obama, Biden, Clinton, etc.) inherited a GOOD economy when they took over majority control of the House, Senate, and overall budgeting and spending process in January 2007.

What was unemployment in December 2006?
4.4%

The economy did not start getting worse again until the Democrats took majority control in January 2007.

Unemployment has skyrocketed since Democrats took majority control in January 2007, and under Obama, we’ve had 40 STRAIGHT MONTHS of unemployment OVER 8%.

Also look at the employment-population ratio correlated with the political party which held majority control

http://polination.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/2002-2011-employment-correlated-with-party-control1.jpg

The positive inflection point was…
the signing of the second part of the Bush Tax Cuts in 2003.

The negative inflection point was January 2007…
… when Democrats took majority control.

It wasn’t Bush and the Republicans who drove the economy into the ditch… it was the Democrats who took majority control in January 2007 and who still hold majority control to this day.

Are you better off now than you were 5 and a half years ago?

ITguy on June 3, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Calling any of these tax increase plans ‘centrist’ is silly.

Regardless of the tax rates, as long as everyone is paying something, we can expect no more than 18% of gdp to be collected in revenues.

Government spending must be reduced to 18% of gdp REGARDLESS of the rhetoric is used to describe tax policy.

Freddy on June 3, 2012 at 5:45 PM

In unrelated news of the weird, there was an ad just now at the top of the HotAir home page that said only:

HOT PRODUCTS FOR 2011

GET THE SCOOP

Curious, I clicked, & was sent here:

http://www.thenetsbestthing.net/hot-products-for-2011/

Were those products hot in 2011?

itsnotaboutme on June 3, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Are you better off now than you were 5 and a half years ago?

ITguy on June 3, 2012 at 5:43 PM

lester claims to be.

Lanceman on June 3, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Barry’s not serious about solving these problems, or else he WOULD HAVE.

No, this will be grandstanding to aid his sagging campaign, he won’t put forward anything serious, this is just a ploy to have another “Lucy pulling the football away” moment with our blundering Republican leadership and the “reach across the aisle” “Gang Of” usual idiots (McCain, Lugar, Graham, Coburn).

Obama’s not the least bit serious about actually DOING HIS JOB. He started running for re-election 15 minutes after he got to the White House. Just like his 15 minutes in the Senate.

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Democrat administrations do absolutely nothing but lie and it’s a waste of time to even try and to interpret the sewage that comes out of the silly and ignorant pie holes of their flacks.

Democrat babbling is completely meaningless. Watch what they do, which is always either corrupt or incompetent, unless it manages to be both at the same time.

NoDonkey on June 3, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Are you better off now than you were 5 and a half years ago?

ITguy on June 3, 2012 at 5:43 PM

No, my last raise came right before Obama got elected. I’ve not had one since and I’ve spent most of this year handling the IT side of closing down locations of my company. Indeed, I’m on the road RIGHT NOW working on one that is closing.

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 5:56 PM

If the President wanted to avoid sequestration, he had plenty of chances to do so in what he would call a “balanced” fashion.

It’s never about avoiding the problem with this guy… It’s always about finding someone to blame when the sh*t hits the fan… and then having his minions shout how the ‘blamed’ are ruining America.

I no longer expect anything less from Barry. EVER.

RalphyBoy on June 3, 2012 at 5:59 PM

It’s never about avoiding the problem with this guy… It’s always about finding someone to blame when the sh*t hits the fan… and then having his minions shout how the ‘blamed’ are ruining America.

I no longer expect anything less from Barry. EVER.

RalphyBoy on June 3, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Yep. Barry Hussein Soetoro has had 3.5 years to prove that he’s capable of something other than destruction and blame. He’s proven that all his ideas are destructive and he refuses to take ANY responsibility for it. If this POS were given 10 terms (40 years) as President the economy would be so bad that we’d look back at 2012 as “the golden age” and he’d STILL be blaming Bush, Republicans, ANYONE but himself!

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 6:03 PM

obaka blinked…
ladyingray on June 3, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Dumb Con. He is only saying that to please the naive swing chicken hawk voters. You should pay more attention to what Reid has said. The sequester stays unless the bought and paid for rep pols decide their campaign funders pay their fair share in taxes.

Uppereastside on June 3, 2012 at 6:09 PM

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

HA tends to avoid controversial subjects.

slickwillie2001 on June 3, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Dumb Con.

Uppereastside on June 3, 2012 at 6:09 PM

That is your excuse for another 0bama failure?

More like dumb lib.

cozmo on June 3, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Are you better off now than you were 5 and a half years ago?

ITguy on June 3, 2012 at 5:43 PM

lester claims to be.

Lanceman on June 3, 2012 at 5:46 PM

The mo-lester just got a raise from Soros – so he is one of the few who indeed is better off.

honsy on June 3, 2012 at 6:20 PM

You should pay more attention to what Reid has said. The sequester stays unless the bought and paid for rep pols decide their campaign funders pay their fair share in taxes.

Uppereastside on June 3, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Please enlighten us oh elite one. What exactly is a “fair share” these days? Apparently 35% (more than 1/3, i.e, one in every three dollars earned after earning ~$380K, 1/3 between $174K and $380K) is not a “fair” share of one’s income? So, what is “fair”? 39% or almost four out of every ten dollars those people make? 50%, 60%, 75%? Define “fair”.

Seems to me, “fair” is everybody paying the same rate for some amount over some basic level of income. Deciding that those who make more money for some reason should pay a larger percentage of their income rather than just a larger amount doesn’t strike me as “fair”; it strikes me as envious, jealous, and covetous to the point of using the government’s power to take more from people of whom you are jealous and from whom you desire some form of vengeance.

AZfederalist on June 3, 2012 at 6:22 PM

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

HA tends to avoid controversial subjects.

slickwillie2001 on June 3, 2012 at 6:15 PM

That is disgusting AND COWARDLY if that is the case. Yes, I’m calling you out on this, Ed, AP, et all. You’re better than that!

Practically everything that came out in discovery exonerates Zimmerman. This is Duke Lacrosse II except with a mob that wants to murder this man.

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 6:26 PM

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

HA tends to avoid controversial subjects.

slickwillie2001 on June 3, 2012 at 6:15 PM

This.

Adjoran on June 3, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Seems to me, “fair” is everybody paying the same rate for some amount over some basic level of income. Deciding that those who make more money for some reason should pay a larger percentage of their income rather than just a larger amount doesn’t strike me as “fair”; it strikes me as envious, jealous, and covetous to the point of using the government’s power to take more from people of whom you are jealous and from whom you desire some form of vengeance.

AZfederalist on June 3, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Repeal the income tax amendment. Replace it with a national sales tax amendment that also places a CAP of federal spending at 18% GDP (where it has been historically) except in times of DECLARED WAR (ie: in the way the Constitution demands). A national sales tax is the fairest way to do this, and it means that EVERYONE pays something.

The only people who’s taxes I am interested in raising are the free riders, the 47% who pay nothing. If the cost of big government touched you every time you bought anything you might be less inclined to believe that government “free stuff” exists.

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 6:29 PM

I wonder if Obama thinks he can sequester the election results this coming November?

Khun Joe on June 3, 2012 at 6:32 PM

I wonder if Obama thinks he can sequester the election results this coming November?

Khun Joe on June 3, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Frankly I don’t think anyone can predict what he’ll do. This move indicates that there IS panic going on, over the polls, the weak fundraising, and the fact that NONE of his attacks on Romney gain traction.

Obama’s reaction to impending defeat could range from anything between accepting it to dropping bombs on red states. And I do mean that.

He’s a sick self absorbed narcissist and everyone around him worships him like he’s a god or something. Defeat may well be a blow that destroys his whole psyche, meaning he will be capable of anything.

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 6:36 PM

campaign funders pay their fair share in taxes.

Uppereastside on June 3, 2012 at 6:09 PM

How much more is their hide worth than yours?

OldEnglish on June 3, 2012 at 6:49 PM

He’s a sick self absorbed narcissist and everyone around him worships him like he’s a god or something. Defeat may well be a blow that destroys his whole psyche, meaning he will be capable of anything.

I suggest spontaneous human combustion.

garnkikaloid on June 3, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Why does that picture look like he’s saying “Excuse me, I’m not done lying yet.”

Lanceman on June 3, 2012 at 6:58 PM

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

I agree it should be covered here.

But he will not be killed in Prison. Florida is not that stupid. He will most likely be released on bail again this week and keep in solitary in prison.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Good article.

Just more proof that Obama is making no attempt to win the Election.

There is no way he could take the house or 60 Senators and he would need both to get anything done. Better to just lose. Besides Mitt is Obamas Ace in the Hole.

Now hopefully I am wrong. Hopefully the real Mitt will turn out to actually want America to return to it’s roots. Return to the America that brought more progress than any one imagined possible. But his record is exactly the opposite. An Obama lite.

Steveangell on June 3, 2012 at 7:16 PM

He’s a sick self absorbed narcissist and everyone around him worships him like he’s a god or something. Defeat may well be a blow that destroys his whole psyche, meaning he will be capable of anything.

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 6:36 PM

If your goal was to get elected so as to loot the treasury for you and all your cronies, what would you have done differently than BHO has already done?

He knows exactly what he is doing, it’s been a scorched earth policy since day 1. He’s going to ride off into the sunset laughing.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 3, 2012 at 7:17 PM

Third, Carney’s statement shows that this President still doesn’t get that income belongs to the person who made it legally and ethically. While taxes are necessary for a functioning society with the rule of law, property rights, a military etc. etc. this does not mean the government has a right to one’s income.

Try not paying your income tax and you’ll see who has the right to your income. The IRS will find it and take it.

It’s not the way it’s supposed to be, but it’s the way it is.

The Rogue Tomato on June 3, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Are you better off now than you were 5 and a half years ago?

ITguy on June 3, 2012 at 5:43 PM

Heck, no. I lost my job for the first time in my life last August at age 49. After being unemployed for six months, I found a job as a temp, paying 40% less than what I was making. I’m still a temp, and grateful to have the job. Since I lost my job during Obama’s watch, as far as I’m concerned, he gets the blame, just like Republican presidents get the blame when bad things happen on their watch.

El Salsero on June 3, 2012 at 8:00 PM

If your goal was to get elected so as to loot the treasury for you and all your cronies, what would you have done differently than BHO has already done?

He knows exactly what he is doing, it’s been a scorched earth policy since day 1. He’s going to ride off into the sunset laughing.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 3, 2012 at 7:17 PM

I think he’s too incompetent to be that efficient even in malevolence.

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 8:13 PM

I think he’s too incompetent to be that efficient even in malevolence.

wildcat72 on June 3, 2012 at 8:13 PM

That may be all that saves us.

slickwillie2001 on June 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

You forgot the Business Roundtable Meeting with newly appointed Chief of Staff, Daley. He was astounded by the regulations that businesses described as problematic. I guess the two didn’t talk or the issue was summarily dismissed.

djaymick on June 3, 2012 at 9:17 PM

Methinks he now sees avoiding sequestration as a means to avoid that downward sucking sound in the US markets due to our reluctant pseudo-capitalists in Europe.

FerdtheMoonCat on June 4, 2012 at 1:01 AM

If the President wanted to avoid sequestration, he had plenty of chances to do so in what he would call a “balanced” fashion. Perhaps this is a sign he finally recognizes the American public sees across-the-board defense cuts as harmful and the domestic reductions as inadequate given the debt challenges facing the nation?

Yeah, right! LOL!

Obama & the dem’s will do anything to avoid goring their ox and don’t care what happens as long as the opposition gets trampled and tagged with the blame, it is the only game left to them.

The bigger question is are the Pubbies going to punk out again or not in this showdown. The emphasis has to be on spending cuts in entitlements and discreationary, period.

insidiator on June 4, 2012 at 7:35 AM

If Obama knew how to lead, he’d have done it already. He has no clue what the right thing to do is, in this situation, and he has no one around him who can tell him. All he wants to do is get re-elected and do an absolute minimum that distracts from his primary goal of re-distribution of wealth.

bflat879 on June 4, 2012 at 7:51 AM

You mean to tell me that Barry “The Destroyer” Obama wants to spend the money but make no cutbacks on spending?

I’m SHOCKED, I tell you, shocked.

jukin3 on June 4, 2012 at 10:24 AM

You should pay more attention to what Reid has said.

Uppereastside on June 3, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Reid: “I’m not going to allow anything to come to a vote.”

dominigan on June 4, 2012 at 10:48 AM