CBS: Sequestration not as bad as you think

posted at 8:03 am on February 20, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

In fact, they’re nowhere near as bad as people think, thanks to the fact that (a) we’re talking about a cut of less than ten percent of just this year’s deficit spending and only 2.2% of the overall federal budget in FY2013, and (b) Congress can undo them after they hit anyway. That’s the point of CBS’ web report, although their broadcast report from Scott Pelley and Major Garrett sounded a lot more dire last night:

Lots of warnings are going out now. A few months ago, the same White House tried its best to block those layoff warnings, when the sequester suited them.  CBS doesn’t think they’ll matter much, anyway:

But as the U.S. economy careens toward its second “cliff” in two months, realization that a third waits at the base of the crevasse has moved some to observe that while sequestration is far from an ideal way to budget, the darkly-cloaked March 1 is not likely to yield the decade-long nightmare that has attracted handwringing by Democrats and Republicans alike. …

During a discussion Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C., Mr. Obama’s former debt commission co-chairs Erksine Bowles – Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff – and Alan Simpson – a former Republican senator from Wyoming - laid out their proposal to achieve $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade. Bowles said that Congress is unlikely to coalesce before March 1, but will feel pressure to act once Americans begin to experience the effects of the sequester.

“When you guys have to go out here to [Washington, D.C.'s] Reagan Airport and you have to wait three hours to go through airport security, you are going to be pissed, and so is everyone else,” Bowles said, referring apparently to the sequester’s widespread furloughs expected to impact TSA and FAA workers.

That, by the way, would become an annual problem as Congresses in the future have no requirement to abide by the sequesters anyway.  I’ll have more later on the Simpson-Bowles plan and what it means.


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Can we sequestrate that Rachel Maddow ad? It’s getting annoying.

Oil Can on February 20, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Our government of the perpetual crises is a fully intentional strategy by this admin.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 20, 2013 at 8:08 AM

“When you guys have to go out here to [Washington, D.C.'s] Reagan Airport and you have to wait three hours to go through airport security, you are going to be pissed, and so is everyone else,” Bowles said, referring apparently to the sequester’s widespread furloughs expected to impact TSA and FAA workers.

I haven’t flown in years. One less thing I have to worry about federal intrusion into my life ….. and my private parts.

Bitter Clinger on February 20, 2013 at 8:11 AM

In fact, they’re nowhere near as bad as people think

I think that entirely depends on your point of view. If you are that defense worker, contractor, or other guy about to be furloughed because the rat-eared wonder’s plan backfired on him when the GOP didn’t rise to the bait of perpetual crisis then, you might be more than a little pissed off that the only concern of some is getting past the gate-rape portion of air travel.

Happy Nomad on February 20, 2013 at 8:15 AM

When you guys have to go out here to [Washington, D.C.'s] Reagan Airport and you have to wait three hours to go through airport security, you are going to be pissed, and so is everyone else,” Bowles said, referring apparently to the sequester’s widespread furloughs expected to impact TSA and FAA workers.

Typical rhetoric coming from government drones. On the local level, any cuts automatically start with police, fire, EMS for the desired outrage reaction.

turfmann on February 20, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Good. The President is campaigning against the sequester to make the GOP look bad. Embrace the sequester, GOP. Prove your own rhetoric of cutting spending, even if its this itsy-bitsy spending. If you can’t hold to a ultra-small cut, it means you’re not truly serious about the big spending cuts that are necessary, and I’ll never believe your rhetoric again. And defense hawks on our side ought to stop whining.

tommy71 on February 20, 2013 at 8:18 AM

When you guys have to go out here to [Washington, D.C.'s] Reagan Airport and you have to wait three hours to go through airport security, you are going to be pissed, and so is everyone else,” Bowles said, referring apparently to the sequester’s widespread furloughs expected to impact TSA and FAA workers.

I see this as a major argument FOR sequestration. If the D.C. chattering class has to suffer a bit of the indignities we peasants have to live with maybe it will change the whole approach to the TSA monstrosity. (which isn’t just limited to airports anymore)

tommyboy on February 20, 2013 at 8:19 AM

Disappointed with major

Just another shill

cmsinaz on February 20, 2013 at 8:20 AM

My husband is non-government. He’s been “furloughed” for 7 of the last 12 months. So, no sympathy for gov workers from here…

LouBob1980 on February 20, 2013 at 8:22 AM

On the local level, any cuts automatically start with police, fire, EMS for the desired outrage reaction.

turfmann on February 20, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Of course it does. Nobody is going to rally behind the barricades to protect the DMV worker or assistant county commissioner’s part-time secretary. Teachers and first responders are always the area of services to be cut in the “debate” leading up to cuts or requests for tax increases.

Happy Nomad on February 20, 2013 at 8:23 AM

Hopey The Scare Monger In Chief!

canopfor on February 20, 2013 at 8:26 AM

My view is you can take ten percent off the top of anything. Government holds to that, too, in the form of tax hikes that decrease income. For too long government employees have been immune to what the rest of the country endures from our political overlords, ad it’s about time they paid as well.

I know Obama loved his own idea but it now against it because he can’t use the cudgel he intended against the Pubs. Hopefully this random act of journalism by CBS will become a trend, though I’m not holding my breath.

Liam on February 20, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Unless a government worker is working their a@@ off 40 hours a week, or even more, like those of us lucky enough to still have jobs, than some of them are expendable.

LouBob1980 on February 20, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Our government of the perpetual crises is a fully intentional strategy by this admin.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 20, 2013 at 8:08 AM

You think? Alinsky 101, that too many people are still ignorant of at this time. They can all suffer eternally in Gehenna.

tom daschle concerned on February 20, 2013 at 8:32 AM

Boehner should continue the current strategy. Refuse to negotiate, especially with Obama. Instead, force the Senate to pass something and then go through the normal reconciliation process. Let Reid negotiate with the White House – and if the Senate fails to act, well…the sequester stands.

The worst thing he could do is fall into Obama’s manufactured crisis trap yet again. Let the MSM howl all it wants. They’ll move on to another shiny object soon enough.

DRayRaven on February 20, 2013 at 8:32 AM

That’s the point of CBS’ web report, although their broadcast report from Scott Pelley and Major Garrett sounded a lot more dire last night:

Here’s s something I’ve noticed as of late. CBS TV and CBS online are giving two different interpretations of the NEWS. They show the usual anti-Constitution, pro-progressive bias in the TV broadcasts, but a less offensive face to the internet user. They obviously are aware that no conservatives watch their broadcasts anymore, but don’t like the idea of being frozen out of the online NEWS market.

It’s still a sham organization, though. I have chosen to recuse myself of all things CBS and ask all others to do the same. Starve the Progressive tools of attention and $$$ and make the U.S. a better country.

ROCnPhilly on February 20, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Our government of the perpetual crises is a fully intentional strategy by this admin.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 20, 2013 at 8:08 AM

I heard someone refer to the Obama administration as being the masters of “perpetual panic politics.” You’d think more people in the country would catch on to this deceptive tactic, but sadly… nope. It makes Obama the victim, and those who voted for him feel the need to protect him. It’s the soft bigotry of low expectations writ large. No one has the ability to exploit race, envy and greed and play the victim (both meanings) like community organizers. It’s what they do.

Regarding the sequester, as Jesse Jackson, Jr. so famously once said, “Bring it on!”

Hey, where’s that budget?

Fallon on February 20, 2013 at 8:46 AM

I’m relatively sure, the most divisive president in history, will try and make the cuts as painful as possible, assuming that, although it’s bad for the country, it’s good for him politically.

Rather than prove what a great executive he is, he’ll be trying to further destroy the country with unnecessary cuts to services, without attempting to trim the fat. I hope he proves me wrong, but with his ideological core I doubt it.

bflat879 on February 20, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Happy Nomad on February 20, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Have to agree.

I live in Virginia Beach…we are a big Navy town.
These cuts will have a big impact on our area…
Keep in mind that Defense has already dealt with two cuts in funding here recently with Bob Gates and then we also had the BRAC commissions.
So this sequestration will be very costly.

I have said before that the way it is done is unfair to Defense, because half of the cuts fall directly on Defense, while the other half of the cuts are on a bunch of other programs, so those cuts will not be as harsh as Obama and Dems make it out to be, since they can spread things out over a greater area.

We have two carrier groups the Eisenhower and Lincoln sitting at docks here in our area.
The Lincoln was supposed to go out to the Middle East, but that will not happen now (first time I can think of in our history that has happened).

The Eisenhower will forgo refueling and replenishing….and if it is stored like that, then I have heard that once it is needed, it will need a year to get it ready for duty.

They are cutting programs for training new recruits…

While I think the spending cuts are good thing, they do need to be made in a smarter, common sense way.

This is going to be drastic on a few states.

MityMaxx on February 20, 2013 at 8:53 AM

…the media has to help kick the can down the road to help JugEars.

KOOLAID2 on February 20, 2013 at 8:54 AM

My husband is non-government. He’s been “furloughed” for 7 of the last 12 months. So, no sympathy for gov workers from here…

LouBob1980 on February 20, 2013 at 8:22 AM

Unless a government worker is working their a@@ off 40 hours a week, or even more, like those of us lucky enough to still have jobs, than some of them are expendable.

LouBob1980 on February 20, 2013 at 8:27 AM

Wow LouBob-

What hatred! Bottom line here is that you can agree that sequestration is necessary. That furloughs are going to be part of the deal and some people (not just government workers) are going to lose their jobs.

You can do all that without coming off sounding like vindictive shrew. I would think that somebody whose own husband has faced furloughs would at least have empathy for those families who will be effected. Instead you clearly want the victims of sequestration to be punished for some reason. Not a particularly healthy attitude. I’m guessing you must be one of the Obama-loving parasites if you can’t even muster up the least bit of compassion for your fellow human beings.

Happy Nomad on February 20, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Targeted cuts would be better: 50% of EPA, 25% Dept of Agriculture, 25% Dept of Education.

Dasher on February 20, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Umm maybe make that 50% of Dept of Energy, 50% EPA, this year, and get dept of Ag and Edu next year.

Dasher on February 20, 2013 at 9:03 AM

Disappointed with major

Just another shill

cmsinaz on February 20, 2013 at 8:20 AM

Hey, I thought Major left FNC for The National Journal because he wanted to get back to journalism.

So much for that notion.

BuckeyeSam on February 20, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Happy Nomad@8.55, I think you’re missing a sarc tag. At least, I hope so.

FirelandsO3 on February 20, 2013 at 9:10 AM

While I think the spending cuts are good thing, they do need to be made in a smarter, common sense way.

This is going to be drastic on a few states.

MityMaxx on February 20, 2013 at 8:53 AM

I live in the DC area where they are predicting close to 500K jobs will be lost. And that isn’t counting the residual effects to retailers, restaurants, etc.

Sequestration was supposed to be the doomsday scenerio that neither party was willing to see happen. The massive defense cuts was intentional to cow the GOP and further the Dem agenda of gutting the DoD to pay for the entitlement programs enjoyed by the parasites that vote for them. God forbid an illegal alien go without three meals at their local schools so that we can pay for national defense!

You’ve summed up the Navy’s position pretty well. The extras like the Blue Angel’s participation in air shows are going to be cancelled. But that is the least of it. Maintenance is going to be deferred. Flight and steaming hours will be cut to the bare minimum. Exercises will be cancelled. The Navy has stated that if sequestration goes for the next two fiscal quarters (when in theory the FY14 budget will have been passed by Congress and signed by the rat-eared wonder- HA!) I repeat, if sequestration lasts six months, then it will take another eight months to get the next battle group ready for deployment. Good thing the world is completely at peace, Iran doesn’t have nukes pointed at Israel, or anything.

I support sequestration in theory because we need to start cutting spending and though this doesn’t do it, it is a step in the right direction with an administration that claims it is making cuts while rolling out billions in new entitlement programs for the worthless parasites that feed off of society. Nevertheless, targeting the DoD for the lion’s share of the pain is wrong-headed and stupid. It only encourages our enemies. And this is all because the rat-eared Santa doesn’t have to say what needs to be said- we need to make cuts in Social Security and Medicare.

Happy Nomad on February 20, 2013 at 9:14 AM

How about getting rid of the TSA entirely? Put armed air marshals on all large planes. Cheaper and more effective.

rockmom on February 20, 2013 at 9:18 AM

Happy Nomad@8.55, I think you’re missing a sarc tag. At least, I hope so.

FirelandsO3 on February 20, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Not in the least. You can support sequestration without the “screw all the government workers! Let them and their families die in the streets” mentality expressed in the posts I cited.

Yes, federal workers and contractors shouldn’t be exempt from the kinds of cuts private sector workers have been facing for years now but the vindictive mean-spirited nature of those posts had to be called out.

Happy Nomad on February 20, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Peter Ferrara exposes Obysmal’s sequester hysterics.
http://spectator.org/archives/2013/02/20/sequester-hysterics

onlineanalyst on February 20, 2013 at 9:20 AM

FYI, Simpson-Bowles new plan is worse than before, before they had tax reform, now just increases.

Tater Salad on February 20, 2013 at 9:22 AM

Isn’t it interesting that those that voted for Obama and those that didn’t are now screaming about their jobs. In my are we have a huge Air Force Base and a lot of people are going to be impacted with furloughs. In fact, some will be significantly impacted as they are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Were they out there campaigning for conservatives? Nope.

The low information voters are now scratching their heads wondering why they are getting impacted. They didn’t take the time to consider what they were voting for. The elections were another Amercial Idol feel good moment and they fell for it hook, line and sinker.

rsherwd65 on February 20, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Where in the law does it say that air traffic controllers will be cut? Or food inspectors?

How about we cut subsidies to green energy companies instead? Or foreign aid? Or Planned Parenthood? Is any money to the abortion mill being cut? I doubt it.

BKeyser on February 20, 2013 at 9:23 AM

*area

rsherwd65 on February 20, 2013 at 9:23 AM

How about getting rid of the TSA entirely? Put armed air marshals on all large planes. Cheaper and more effective.

rockmom on February 20, 2013 at 9:18 AM

We honestly can’t get rid of the TSA entirely. But DHS, the “coordinating agency” under which TSA falls, could be eliminated. Along with the Department of Education. Let’s tally up what that would save.

The real problem here is that the solution is obvious but the rat-eared wonder refuses to be the one to propose cuts to entitlement programs. So, we essentially have a stand-off going on.

I will say this. My DC area Democrat politicians are running scared. They know that they will feel the wrath of furloughed workers if they simply keep up the theme of their rat-eared leader and blame the GOP. Sequestration was Obama’s idea. Sequestration was passed by both houses of Congress including the one run by the filthy Democrats. Unlike the government closure of 1994, the Dems are going to get blamed for this impasse along with their Republican counterparts. It is a fact that registers with Dem politicians who unlike the rat-eared wonder have to run for reelection.

Happy Nomad on February 20, 2013 at 9:25 AM

One of the big problems is that the Obama administration is using the sequester to inflict as much pain as possible in their effort to destroy the GOP. The low information voter will believe that Congress and the GOP are to blame for going against Obama’s ‘reasonable’ offers. We all know that there are plenty of easy places to cut that would make up the same cost as the sequester, but Obama won’t make those choices. He will make the cuts where they are the most visible and most damaging, just to make the point that any cuts are bad.

For instance, both my son and my nephew, who are civilian military employees (and I might add, conservatives), will be furloughed 1 day a week and they say all federal employees are being told the same. Such indiscriminate cuts don’t make sense, but they make ‘good’ liberal politics.

mathgal60 on February 20, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Our government is the biggest bunch of jackasses I’ve ever seen.

AScott on February 20, 2013 at 10:33 AM

From Team Boehner:

• Updated February 19, 2013, 7:15 p.m. ET

John Boehner: The President Is Raging Against a Budget Crisis He Created

Obama invented the ‘sequester’ in the summer of 2011 to avoid facing up to America’s spending problem.

By JOHN BOEHNER
****************

A week from now, a dramatic new federal policy is set to go into effect that threatens U.S. national security, thousands of jobs and more. In a bit of irony, President Obama stood Tuesday with first responders who could lose their jobs if the policy goes into effect. Most Americans are just hearing about this Washington creation for the first time: the sequester. What they might not realize from Mr. Obama’s statements is that it is a product of the president’s own failed leadership.

The sequester is a wave of deep spending cuts scheduled to hit on March 1. Unless Congress acts, $85 billion in across-the-board cuts will occur this year, with another $1.1 trillion coming over the next decade. There is nothing wrong with cutting spending that much—we should be cutting even more—but the sequester is an ugly and dangerous way to do it.

By law, the sequester focuses on the narrow portion of the budget that funds the operating accounts for federal agencies and departments, including the Department of Defense. Exempt is most entitlement spending—the large portion of the budget that is driving the nation’s looming debt crisis. Should the sequester take effect, America’s military budget would be slashed nearly half a trillion dollars over the next 10 years. Border security, law enforcement, aviation safety and many other programs would all have diminished resources.

How did the country find itself in this mess?
(More….)
==========

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323495104578314240032274944.html?mod=wsj_share_tweet

canopfor on February 20, 2013 at 10:40 AM

John Boehner: The President Is Raging Against a Budget Crisis He Created

Obama invented the ‘sequester’ in the summer of 2011 to avoid facing up to America’s spending problem.

The GOP is doing the right thing IMO. Stand fast and demand to know what cuts the rat-eared wonder is willing to make to avoid sequestration. The Senate plan with some vague “balanced approach” of cuts and tax increases is an unserious attempt at running interference in the face of cold hard reality.

Obama owns this. Let him come up with some suggestions on how to change sequestration instead of the GOP putting forth ideas (they’ve done so twice now) and have the Dems pig pile on it and demonize the Republicans with wanting to kill grandma or let that poor little illegal alien leave school without three free meals in his belly.

Happy Nomad on February 20, 2013 at 10:51 AM

A tiny percentage of the federal budget or not, it’s not going to be the blowhard paper-pushers who got the job because they know somebody who get axed. My father (a USMC vet who retired after 22 years in the Corps) is facing a 25% pay cut along with the rest of the folks at the Marine Corps University. At least half of my neighbors are veterans who retired, mostly from the Marine Corps in Northern VA, and went to work for defense contractors to continue to keep this country safe. They’ve already got six week notices and very likely will lose their jobs. I’m finishing college this semester, I’m a veteran, and I wanted to continue working for the military in a civilian capacity, but that’s not going to happen. I don’t know what I’m going to do for work come May now.

This isn’t a joke or a political playing pawn to be sacrificed. These are my neighbors and my family and they’re not hardly desk jockeys sucking off the government. If you think the people getting cut are the ones who SHOULD be cut, think again. Our government doesn’t work that way. The productive and critical people who gave their youth to the military and then continued to defend it in retirement will be laid off, and the jackass political appointee that shoves paper around all day will still collect his overinflated paycheck.

Zoomie on February 20, 2013 at 12:47 PM

And when everybody gets on that page, it will be Obama’s idea again. Until then prattles like Matthews and Stephanopolus will try to make it sound like it’s a corner the Republicans are forcing the President into.

Axeman on February 20, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Wow LouBob-

You can do all that without coming off sounding like vindictive shrew….I’m guessing you must be one of the Obama-loving parasites if you can’t even muster up the least bit of compassion for your fellow human beings.

Wow “Happy”.
I come home from a long work day and find out I am a vindictive shrew, when all I was saying is that I don’t think government workers are more important than private sector ones, and if my family can still eat and be sheltered even after losing 70 percent of our income, than I don’t think it’s too much if government workers are asked to take a day off per week (20% less income)

Not in the least. You can support sequestration without the “screw all the government workers! Let them and their families die in the streets” mentality expressed in the posts I cited.

I don’t see where I implied families should die in the streets. You are demonizing ME as you describe the Dems:

the Dems pig pile on it and demonize the Republicans with wanting to kill grandma or let that poor little illegal alien leave school without three free meals in his belly.

Happy Nomad on February 20, 2013 at 10:51 AM

LouBob1980 on February 20, 2013 at 7:10 PM

LouBob, government workers aren’t more important than the private sector, but remember this is the Department of Defense getting cut, not the EPA Algae Preservation Consortium. The people losing their jobs are the people on the line defending this country. There is NO DOUBT that the DoD is as riddled with fraud, waste, and abuse as any other government agency. Unfortunately, the frauds get to keep 100% of their paychecks as far as I can see. The people who I KNOW are taking pay cuts because of this process or the people getting fired outright are training Marine officers, people doing hush-hush secret squirrel techy things, and people who are dealing with or are actively defense contractors with boots on the ground in Afghanistan. Read some of the posts above you where another one of my fellow Virginians talks about what’s going to happen at Norfolk, which is one of the biggest bases in the Navy.

I know we’re all booooooo government spending on Hot Air, but check your reflexive response here. My father, who’s getting the 25% paycut, is the sole provider for my family. You say, “suck it up, my family did it?” Gee, thanks. My neighbors–meaning half the neighbors in my neighborhood, literally; thirty-odd families–are amazing people who have dedicated their lives to the defense of this country, and they’re going to be jobless. Half the people on this damned site, on NRO, everywhere else I look is screaming BRING ON THE SEQUESTRATION, CUT THE LEECHES OFF! Are these the leeches you’re looking for?

This is what comes of letting liberals choose WHAT to cut. Of all the target-rich environments in DC, the people who are getting hurt here are the ones most likely to actually be doing something worthwhile, and hell, whose job is actually mentioned in the Constitution as a responsibility of the government. Bitch about DoD bloat all you want, it’s fair, but of all possible things to cut, this is NOT going to have the affect we want. It’s the toehold into doing what Obama and the Democrats always want to do, which is to cut the size and capabilities of our military to European levels. You think the Dept of Education, the EPA, Health and Human Services, the DOE, the IRS, pick your initials, are going to downsize? When hell freezes over or Obama leaves office, and not before. In the meantime we’re losing and hurting people who are doing the one damned job the federal government is SUPPOSED to do.

Zoomie on February 20, 2013 at 11:08 PM