3/1/13 Sequestration Occurring Very High

Greenspan: Odds of Sequester ‘Very High’

February 18, 2013 By Jon Street – cnsnews

(CNSNews.com) Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said he thinks the odds of sequestration occurring are “very high” while adding that it’s “very difficult” to think through a scenario in which across-the-board, dramatic government spending cuts, also known as the sequester, will not happen.

Greenspan called sequestration a “pretty much expected” event while concluding that if the stock markets can hold up through it, the effect would be “rather minor.”

During a CNBC interview on Friday, Greenspan was asked, “If [sequestration] does, in fact, take effect on March 1 and those spending cuts take place, what kind of an impact would you expect on the broad economy?”

Greenspan responded, “Well, I think the odds of it occurring are very high. In fact, and I find it very difficult to even think through a scenario in which it doesn’t happen. The effect is not going to be horrendous, but it’s going to be marked.”

“At the moment, I think the critical issue is how does it affect the stock market, and he reason for that is the stock market is the really key player in the game of economic growth at the moment, because there are two factors about stock prices, which I think, are important to understand. The first is that the so-called equity premium that is, the rate of return that equity is required is a very high number – close to the highest number probably in American history,” he said.

For more: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/greenspan-odds-sequester-very-high

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gop quester

I don’t understand the Republican position on the sequester

2/25/13 Posted by Ezra Klein on February 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm

As I understand it, the GOP has five basic goals in the budget talks:

1) Cut the deficit.
2) Cut entitlement spending.
3) Protect defense spending, and possibly even increase it.
4) Simplify the tax code by cleaning out deductions and loopholes.
5) Lower tax rates.

The White House is willing to cut a deal with Republicans that will accomplish 1, 2, 3 and 4. But Republicans don’t want that deal. They’d prefer the sequester to that deal. That means they will get less on 1, basically nothing 2, 4, and 5, and they will actively hurt themselves on 3. So, rather than accomplishing four of their five goals, they’re accomplishing part of one. Some trade.

I’ve asked some Republicans sources to explain their thinking to me. But none of the answers quite seems to add up.

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/25/i-dont-understand-the-republican-position-on-the-sequester/

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A Balanced Plan to Avert the Sequester and Reduce the Deficit


President Obama believes that our guiding focus must be growing the economy and strengthening the middle class. That’s his North Star, and it’s why he won’t accept cuts that force the middle class to bear the burden of deficit reduction.

The President has put forward a specific plan that will avoid sequestration’s harmful budget cuts and reduce the deficit in a balanced way — by cutting spending, finding savings in entitlement programs and closing tax loopholes.

Both parties have already come together to cut the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion and today the deficit is coming down at the fastest pace since then end of World War II.

wh_sequester_plan4-3 - med

President Obama’s plan builds on this progress and would cut the deficit by another $1.5 trillion, bringing it below its historic average.

Learn More: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/21/balanced-plan-avert-sequester-and-reduce-deficit

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A Balanced Plan to Avert the Sequester and Reduce the Deficit

Jennifer Palmieri February 21, 2013  01:10 PM EST

In eight days, harmful automatic cuts are slated to take effect, threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cutting vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform.

Only Congress can avoid this self-inflicted wound to our economy and middle class families, and the only thing standing in the way of a solution today is Congressional Republicans’ refusal to even consider closing tax loopholes that benefit wealthy Americans and well-connected corporations. The President and Congressional Democrats have put forward solutions to avoid these cuts and allow time for both sides to work on a long-term, balanced solution to our deficit challenges.

The President is serious about cutting spending, reforming entitlements and the tax code to reduce the deficit in a balanced way.  The question is, will Congressional Republicans come to the table to get something done?

Let’s take a moment to look what we’ve done so far: The President has already reduced the deficit by over $2.5 trillion, cutting spending by over $1.4 trillion, bringing domestic discretionary spending to its lowest level as a share of the economy since the Eisenhower era [see below]. As a result of these savings, together with a strengthening economy, the deficit is coming down at the fastest pace of anytime in American history other than the demobilization from World War II.

And he’s laid out a specific plan to do more. His proposal resolves the sequester and reduces our deficit by over $4 trillion dollars in a balanced way- by cutting spending, finding savings in entitlement programs and asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share.As a result the deficit would be cut below its historic average and the debt would fall as a share of the economy over the next decade.  Just two months ago Speaker Boehner said there was $800 billion in deficit reduction that could be achieved by only closing loopholes and reducing tax expenditures.  So we know we can get this done. Let’s be clear: the President’s proposal to Speaker Boehner is still on the table. Here it is again

We can’t just cut our way to prosperity. Even as we look for ways to reduce deficits over the long term, we must grow the economy in a way that strengthens the middle class and everyone willing to work hard to get into it.

wh_deficit_chart_gdp

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/21/balanced-plan-avert-sequester-and-reduce-deficit-balanced-way

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“Congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite. It won’t help the economy, won’t create jobs, will visit hardship on a whole lot of people.

Here’s what’s at stake. Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion. More than two-thirds of that was through some pretty tough spending cuts. The rest of it was through raising taxes — tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. And together, when you take the spending cuts and the increased tax rates on the top 1 percent, it puts us more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.

Now, Congress, back in 2011, also passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach that $4 trillion goal, about a trillion dollars of additional, arbitrary budget cuts would start to take effect this year. And by the way, the whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth. And so this was all designed to say we can’t do these bad cuts; let’s do something smarter. That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration.

Unfortunately, Congress didn’t compromise. They haven’t come together and done their jobs, and so as a consequence, we’ve got these automatic, brutal spending cuts that are poised to happen next Friday.

Now, if Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research. It won’t consider whether we’re cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day. It doesn’t make those distinctions.”

President Obama February 19, 2013 

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White House’s state-by-state reports (.pdf) of sequester damage

1. Alabama     2. Alaska     3. Arizona      4. Arkansas

5. California      6. Colorado     7. Connecticut

8. Delaware     9. District of Columbia     10. Florida

11. Georgia      12. Hawaii      13. Idaho

14. Illinois       15. Indiana      16. Iowa

17. Kansas      18. Kentucky       19. Louisiana

20. Maine     21. Maryland     22. Massachusetts

23. Michigan     24. Minnesota      25. Mississippi

26. Missouri     27. Montana     28. Nebraska

29. Nevada     30. New Hampshire     31. New Jersey

32. New Mexico     33. New York     34. North Carolina

35. North Dakota     36. Ohio      37. Oklahoma

38. Oregon     39. Pennsylvania     40. Rhode Island

41. South Carolina     42. South Dakota

43. Tennessee      44. Texas      45. Utah

46. Vermont     47. Virginia      48. Washington

49. West Virginia     50. Wisconsin     51. Wyoming

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Judges urge Congress to avoid more sequestration cuts

August 15, 2013 By Mark Sherman, washingtonpost

Top federal judges in 49 states are urging lawmakers to avoid another round of automatic spending cuts that they say would have a “devastating and long-lasting impact” on the federal courts.

The unusual letter from the chief judges of trial courts in every state but Nevada says that the $350 million reduction in the judiciary’s lower budget for this year has dramatically slowed court proceedings and jeopardized public safety. The judges say there are fewer probation and other law enforcement officers to deal with record numbers of convicts who have been released from prison or given alternative sentences.

The letter was sent this week to congressional leaders in both parties in the House and the Senate. Congress is not in session in August.

“We had to let people know that we’ve cut so far past the fat and so far past the muscle that we’re into the bone,” Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan said Thursday.

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/judges-urge-congress-to-avoid-more-sequestration-cuts/2013/08/15/64c4c30c-05f4-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html

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Contact your legislator Contact your Congress person to TELL THEM TO START WORKING WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA TO STOP THE SEQUESTER!!

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
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39 Responses to 3/1/13 Sequestration Occurring Very High

  1. CR says:

    WH

    Saturday, February 23, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
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  2. CR says:

    3/1/13 Sequestration Occurring Very High

    Greenspan: Odds of Sequestration Occurring Are Very High

    February 18, 2013 By Jon Street – cnsnews

    (CNSNews.com) – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said he thinks the odds of sequestration occurring are “very high” while adding that it’s “very difficult” to think through a scenario in which across-the-board, dramatic government spending cuts, also known as the sequester, will not happen.

    Greenspan called sequestration a “pretty much expected” event while concluding that if the stock markets can hold up through it, the effect would be “rather minor.”

    During a CNBC interview on Friday, Greenspan was asked, “If [sequestration] does, in fact, take effect on March 1 and those spending cuts take place, what kind of an impact would you expect on the broad economy?”

    Greenspan responded, “Well, I think the odds of it occurring are very high. In fact, and I find it very difficult to even think through a scenario in which it doesn’t happen. The effect is not going to be horrendous, but it’s going to be marked.”

    “At the moment, I think the critical issue is how does it affect the stock market, and he reason for that is the stock market is the really key player in the game of economic growth at the moment, because there are two factors about stock prices, which I think, are important to understand. The first is that the so-called equity premium that is, the rate of return that equity is required is a very high number – close to the highest number probably in American history,” he said.

    For more: http://cnsnews.com/news/article/greenspan-odds-sequester-very-high

    • CR says:

      February 19, 2013

      Remarks by the President on the Sequester

      South Court Auditorium
      10:50 A.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. Please have a seat. Well, welcome to the White House.

      As I said in my State of the Union address last week, our top priority must be to do everything we can to grow the economy and create good, middle-class jobs. That’s our top priority. That’s our North Star. That drives every decision we make. And it has to drive every decision that Congress and everybody in Washington makes over the next several years.

      And that’s why it’s so troubling that just 10 days from now, Congress might allow a series of automatic, severe budget cuts to take place that will do the exact opposite. It won’t help the economy, won’t create jobs, will visit hardship on a whole lot of people.

      Here’s what’s at stake. Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce our deficits by more than $2.5 trillion. More than two-thirds of that was through some pretty tough spending cuts. The rest of it was through raising taxes — tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. And together, when you take the spending cuts and the increased tax rates on the top 1 percent, it puts us more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances.

      Now, Congress, back in 2011, also passed a law saying that if both parties couldn’t agree on a plan to reach that $4 trillion goal, about a trillion dollars of additional, arbitrary budget cuts would start to take effect this year. And by the way, the whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth. And so this was all designed to say we can’t do these bad cuts; let’s do something smarter. That was the whole point of this so-called sequestration.

      Unfortunately, Congress didn’t compromise. They haven’t come together and done their jobs, and so as a consequence, we’ve got these automatic, brutal spending cuts that are poised to happen next Friday.

      Now, if Congress allows this meat-cleaver approach to take place, it will jeopardize our military readiness; it will eviscerate job-creating investments in education and energy and medical research. It won’t consider whether we’re cutting some bloated program that has outlived its usefulness, or a vital service that Americans depend on every single day. It doesn’t make those distinctions.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/19/remarks-president-sequester

      • CR says:

        A Balanced Plan to Avert the Sequester and Reduce the Deficit

        Jennifer Palmieri February 21, 2013 01:10 PM EST

        In eight days, harmful automatic cuts are slated to take effect, threatening hundreds of thousands of jobs, and cutting vital services for children, seniors, people with mental illness and our men and women in uniform.

        Only Congress can avoid this self-inflicted wound to our economy and middle class families, and the only thing standing in the way of a solution today is Congressional Republicans’ refusal to even consider closing tax loopholes that benefit wealthy Americans and well-connected corporations. The President and Congressional Democrats have put forward solutions to avoid these cuts and allow time for both sides to work on a long-term, balanced solution to our deficit challenges.

        The President is serious about cutting spending, reforming entitlements and the tax code to reduce the deficit in a balanced way. The question is, will Congressional Republicans come to the table to get something done?

        Let’s take a moment to look what we’ve done so far: The President has already reduced the deficit by over $2.5 trillion, cutting spending by over $1.4 trillion, bringing domestic discretionary spending to its lowest level as a share of the economy since the Eisenhower era [see below]. As a result of these savings, together with a strengthening economy, the deficit is coming down at the fastest pace of anytime in American history other than the demobilization from World War II.

        And he’s laid out a specific plan to do more. His proposal resolves the sequester and reduces our deficit by over $4 trillion dollars in a balanced way- by cutting spending, finding savings in entitlement programs and asking the wealthiest to pay their fair share.As a result the deficit would be cut below its historic average and the debt would fall as a share of the economy over the next decade. Just two months ago Speaker Boehner said there was $800 billion in deficit reduction that could be achieved by only closing loopholes and reducing tax expenditures. So we know we can get this done. Let’s be clear: the President’s proposal to Speaker Boehner is still on the table. Here it is again

        We can’t just cut our way to prosperity. Even as we look for ways to reduce deficits over the long term, we must grow the economy in a way that strengthens the middle class and everyone willing to work hard to get into it.

        For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/21/balanced-plan-avert-sequester-and-reduce-deficit-balanced-way

    • CR says:

      Effects Of Automatic Spending Cuts Become Clearer

      February 15, 2013 4:00 AM by BRIAN NAYLOR – NPR

      Summary: The clock is ticking on the sequester. That’s the Washington term for the across the board spending cuts that will take effect March 1st unless Congress acts to put them off.

      ——-

      NPR’s Brian Naylor reported:

      “Prepare for higher prices for meat, longer wait at the airport and (70,000) fewer kids in “Head Start”, those are some of the consequences outlined by Obama officials yesterday during a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting hearing. As they make clear cutting government spending by 5% for domestic programs and 8% for the Pentagon won’t be easy or painless.”

      “Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the committee her department will have to temporarily have to layoff or furlough thousand of employees including border patrol agents, airport screeners and customs agents. Furlough of transportation security officers will increase domestic passenger wait time at our busiest airports by more then one hour and on the southwest border our biggest land ports could face by five hours or more functionally closing these ports during core hours.”

      “Deputy Defense Secretary Aston Carter told senator that the wolf is at the door, not only will military training and maintenance be curtailed but the Defense Department will also have to furlough thousands of civilians not only at the Pentagon.”

      “Other employees face furloughs are USDA food inspectors, meat processing are forbidden to operate without inspectors on hand. That means billions of pounds of meat, poultry and egg products won’t get processed”

      For the audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2013/02/15/172078642/effects-automatic-spending-cuts-become-clearer

    • CR says:

      LaHood the Republican lobbyist

      2/22/13 1:17 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

      The White House trotted out Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood at a press briefing Friday, ostensibly to detail the impacts of sequester cuts on air travel. But LaHood said there’s another reason administration officials chose him to deliver the message.

      “I would describe my presence here with one word: Republican,” he said. “They’re hoping that maybe I could influence some of the people in my own party.”

      LaHood, the only Republican in Obama’s cabinet and a former congressman, said he was hoping to “wake up” his former colleagues and spur them to compromise with Democrats and the White House on a solution to avert to the automatic cuts.

      “I think Republicans need to step up here,” he said, adding that during his 14 years in the House, he and other Republicans, lead by Newt Gingrich, worked with then-President Bill Clinton to balance the budget five times.

    • CR says:

      Governors join White House to fight automatic cuts

      2/24/13 By STEVE PEOPLES AND KEN THOMAS | Associated Press – 2 hrs 4 mins ago

      WASHINGTON (AP) — Governors from both parties are warning of the damaging economic impact if the White House and Congress fail to reach a deal to stave off across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect Friday.

      “It’s senseless and it doesn’t need to happen,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley, D-Md., during the annual meeting of the National Governors Association this weekend.

      “And it’s a damn shame, because we’ve actually had the fastest rate of jobs recovery of any state in our region. And this really threatens to hurt a lot of families in our state and kind of flat line our job growth for the next several months.”

      Some governors were pessimistic about the prospects for a compromise. They said the budget impasse was just the latest crisis in Washington that is keeping business from hiring and undermining the ability of governors to develop state spending plans.

      “I’ve not given up hope, but we’re going to be prepared for whatever comes,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-Nev. “There will be consequences for our state.”

      The White House booked several Cabinet secretaries on the Sunday talk shows to detail the potential impact of the spending cuts on the public, from airports to classrooms.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/governors-join-white-house-fight-automatic-cuts-094954200–politics.html

    • CR says:

      I don’t understand the Republican position on the sequester

      2/25/13 Posted by Ezra Klein on February 25, 2013 at 2:13 pm

      As I understand it, the GOP has five basic goals in the budget talks:

      1) Cut the deficit.
      2) Cut entitlement spending.
      3) Protect defense spending, and possibly even increase it.
      4) Simplify the tax code by cleaning out deductions and loopholes.
      5) Lower tax rates.

      The White House is willing to cut a deal with Republicans that will accomplish 1, 2, 3 and 4. But Republicans don’t want that deal. They’d prefer the sequester to that deal. That means they will get less on 1, basically nothing 2, 4, and 5, and they will actively hurt themselves on 3. So, rather than accomplishing four of their five goals, they’re accomplishing part of one. Some trade.

      I’ve asked some Republicans sources to explain their thinking to me. But none of the answers quite seems to add up.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/02/25/i-dont-understand-the-republican-position-on-the-sequester/

    • CR says:

      Teacher of the Year, Megan Allen’s Sequester Story

      Published on Feb 27, 2013
      2010 Florida Teacher of the Year Megan Allen talks about how the harmful automatic spending cuts — known as the sequester — will affect her students, her school and her community.

      • CR says:

        GOP WRONG WAY

        Reid offers GOP a new sequestration deal

        By Steve Benen – Wed Apr 24, 2013 9:10 AM EDT

        For the last couple of months, congressional Republicans were content to ignore the consequences of their sequestration policy, celebrating the deep budget cuts as a “victory.” Now that it’s causing several flight delays as the FAA begins furloughs, Republicans have suddenly discovered they don’t like the sequester after all. Indeed, they’re now blaming President Obama, suggesting some kind of conspiracy is afoot — the White House wants air travelers to suffer to make some kind of point about the value of government spending.

        The New York Times’ editorial board seems bemused by the cognitive dissonance.

        As it happens, the sequester law is clear in requiring the F.A.A. and most other agencies to cut their programs by an even amount. That law was foisted on the public after Republicans demanded spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling in 2011. Since then, the party has rejected every offer to replace the sequester with a more sensible mix of cuts and revenue increases. Mr. Boehner is so proud of that strategy that he recently congratulated his party for sticking with the sequester and standing up to the president’s demands for tax increases.

        But drastic cuts in spending carry a heavy price. Republicans certainly don’t want voters they care about — including business travelers and those who can afford to fly on vacation — to feel it.

        It is curious to see what captures the GOP’s attention. When Head Start centers are forced to adopt lottery systems, forcing children out of pre-K, and low-income families lose housing vouchers, Republicans are indifferent. When business travelers are stuck on tarmacs, Republicans launch a national p.r. campaign. It’s almost as if the party commends cuts that hurt the poor, but leaps into action when those with more resources are inconvenienced.

        Regardless, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has offered his GOP colleagues a way out of this mess: Congress can turn off the sequestration cuts for five months, restoring the funds to the various agencies, by drawing upon the Overseas Contingency Operation fund set aside for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fund contains several hundred billion dollars.

        So, is this the sort of offer that could help fix, or at least pause, the stupid and damaging policy? Of course not — Republicans immediately rejected the idea.

    • CR says:

      Why Sequestration Could Really Hurt Long-Term Research
      The U.S. budget cuts that take effect tomorrow will demoralize future inventors, researchers, and disease curers.

      February 28, 2013 Jessica Leber – technologyreview

      The across-the-board U.S. budget cuts scheduled to take effect on March 1, known as sequestration, will have ripple effects that hurt scientific and health research for years to come, the heads of two federal research agencies said this week.

      In a note distributed to research institutions, the National Science Foundation, which awards research grants on topics like climate change, materials science, and computing, anticipates it will issue about 1,000 fewer new grants than it had expect this fiscal year. And Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said the $1.5 billion cut from its $30 billion budget would slow research in diseases, specifically calling out a push to develop a universal influenza vaccine—”a project that is going extremely well,” he told reporters.

      Collins said his greatest concern is the effect on young scientists, because the NIH’s training grants would be cut. He noted the psychological effects to their dreams and visions, not just the monetary ones.

      This may sound mushy to someone not familiar with the world of research. But for students in or hoping to enter doctoral programs, it is a rough and long path to a career in science, one that many can’t sustain even in normal times. If a funding setback, a grant that should have come through, or the general uncertainy about the funding future is demoralizing for seasoned researchers, it has got to be worse for those in the early stages of their careers. Fewer grants means fewer opportunities and a leakier “pipeline” of scientific talent—and that, in the end, may be the worst effect of the series of budget crises that politics has left us.

    • CR says:

      March 01, 2013

      Statement by the President on the Sequester

      James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

      11:39 A.M. EST

      THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. As you know, I just met with leaders of both parties to discuss a way forward in light of the severe budget cuts that start to take effect today. I told them these cuts will hurt our economy. They will cost us jobs. And to set it right, both sides need to be willing to compromise.

      The good news is the American people are strong and they’re resilient. They fought hard to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and we will get through this as well. Even with these cuts in place, folks all across this country will work hard to make sure that we keep the recovery going. But Washington sure isn’t making it easy. At a time when our businesses have finally begun to get some traction — hiring new workers, bringing jobs back to America — we shouldn’t be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend on and workers depend on, like education, and research, and infrastructure and defense. It’s unnecessary. And at a time when too many Americans are still looking for work, it’s inexcusable.

      Now, what’s important to understand is that not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away. The pain, though, will be real. Beginning this week, many middle-class families will have their lives disrupted in significant ways. Businesses that work with the military, like the Virginia shipbuilder that I visited on Tuesday, may 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 at the Pentagon — all will suffer significant pay cuts and furloughs.

      All of this will cause a ripple effect throughout our economy. Layoffs and pay cuts means that people have less money in their pockets, and that means that they have less money to spend at local businesses. That means lower profits. That means fewer hires. The longer these cuts remain in place, the greater the damage to our economy — a slow grind that will intensify with each passing day.

      So economists are estimating that as a consequence of this sequester, that we could see growth cut by over one-half of 1 percent. It will cost about 750,000 jobs at a time when we should be growing jobs more quickly. So every time that we get a piece of economic news, over the next month, next two months, next six months, as long as the sequester is in place, we’ll know that that economic news could have been better if Congress had not failed to act.

      And let’s be clear. None of this is necessary. It’s happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit. As recently as yesterday, they decided to protect special interest tax breaks for the well-off and well-connected, and they think that that’s apparently more important than protecting our military or middle-class families from the pain of these cuts.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/03/01/statement-president-sequester

      • CR says:

        February 28, 2013

        Statement from the President

        Today, Republicans in the Senate faced a choice about how to grow our economy and reduce our deficit. And instead of closing a single tax loophole that benefits the well-off and well-connected, they chose to cut vital services for children, seniors, our men and women in uniform and their families. They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class.

        I believe we should do better. We should work together to reduce our deficit in a balanced way – by making smart spending cuts and closing special interest tax loopholes. That’s exactly the kind of plan Democrats in the Senate have proposed. But even though a majority of Senators support this approach, Republicans have refused to allow it an up-or-down vote – threatening our economy with a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts that will cost us jobs and slow our recovery.

        Tomorrow I will bring together leaders from both parties to discuss a path forward. As a nation, we can’t keep lurching from one manufactured crisis to another. Middle-class families can’t keep paying the price for dysfunction in Washington. We can build on the over $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved, but doing so will require Republicans to compromise. That’s how our democracy works, and that’s what the American people deserve.

        —————

        March 01, 2013

        Presidential Order — Sequestration

    • CR says:

      In Montana, an Indian reservation’s children feel the impact of sequester’s cuts

      March 21 By Lyndsey Layton- washingtonpost

      In Poplar, Mont. — The public schools on the isolated, windswept Fort Peck Indian reservation here are at the frontier of the federal sequester, among the first to struggle with budget cuts sweeping west from Washington.

      The superintendent can’t hire a reading teacher in an elementary school where more than half the students do not read or write at grade level. Summer school, which feeds children and offers them an alternative to hanging around the reservation’s trash-strewn yards, may be trimmed or canceled.

      And in a school system where five children recently committed suicide in a single year — and 20 more made the attempt — plans to hire a second guidance counselor at the high school have been scrapped, leaving one person to advise some 200 students.

      “The ones who are supposed to help us the most, hurt us the most,” said Floyd Azure, the 56-year-old tribal chairman, who views the sequester as another in a long line of promises broken by the federal government. “This is disgraceful.”

      Few schools in America depend more heavily on the federal government than those on Indian reservations, which have no private landowners to tax. Washington pays about 10 percent of the budget for a typical U.S. public school district; on federal lands, it contributes as much as 60 percent.

      While Washington debates the pros and cons of the sequester, the effects are already tangible in Poplar. Even marginal cuts can have a major impact on a reservation struggling with chronic substance abuse, unemployment and other ills, tribal leaders and residents say.

      “Five percent isn’t a lot when you have a lot,” said Florence Garcia, the president of Fort Peck Community College, which is looking to close two community wellness centers because of the sequester. “But when you don’t have much, five percent makes a big difference.”

      The school system — for which federal funding already had been reduced before the sequester — is looking for $1.2 million in additional cuts, partly by not filling jobs that go vacant. The Indian Health Service, the reservation’s main source for health care, will also be cut by 8 percent, and Head Start, which serves 240 toddlers, will be cut by 5 percent, officials said.

      For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/in-montana-an-indian-reservations-children-feel-the-impact-of-sequesters-cuts/2013/03/21/90b61722-916e-11e2-bdea-e32ad90da239_story.html?hpid=z1

    • CR says:

      As federal sequester cuts hit home, the Bay Area’s long-term unemployed brace for the worst

      5/03/2013 04:35:21 PM PDT By Patrick May – mercurynews.com

      Throughout the Great Recession, California’s One-Stop Career Centers have served as way stations of hope, places where safety nets fashioned from state and federal unemployment benefits have helped the jobless stay afloat as the storm swirled around them.

      This week, as word spread that the budget stalemate in Washington would mean a nearly 18 percent cut in federal extension benefits, these refuges seemed more and more like recessionary triage centers for the wounded. Slashing both benefits for claimants and operating budgets for the culled staff trying to help them, the federal sequester is now hitting home in a big way.

      “I’m begging the government: Please don’t cut these benefits,” said Rosa Sanchez, a 50-year-old single mother from Santa Clara desperately seeking work since she was laid off after 10 years as an English development specialist for a local school district. “I share my apartment with my teenage son and my elderly mother, and we simply can’t live without that help.

      “I’m willing to work,” Sanchez said during a visit last week to the Campbell center, “and they talk about a job boom in Silicon Valley, but there are no jobs available for me.”

      There’s a lot at stake for these frustrated job-seekers. Under the law, the unemployed can collect up to 26 weeks’ worth of state benefits, and then another 47 weeks of federal extension payouts.

      But as part of the so-called sequester cuts mandated by Congress in 2011 as a way to force itself to cut the national deficit, California now will receive $250 million less from the federal government to hand out to those who have been out of work for more than 26 weeks. While another 500,000 Californians who have not reached their 27th week will continue to receive their state unemployment checks as usual, a nearly equal number of unemployed now face potentially drastic reduction in their personal budgets.

      The irony of the sequester cuts has not been lost on the long-term unemployed. While they watched lawmakers hustle to restore funding for airport security slashed by the stalemate, these residents now into their second year of job-hunting feel unfairly singled out as their benefit reduction starts to kick in this week.

      To people who’ve been unemployed for a long time and are already struggling to hold on to the little they’ve got left, these cuts will be devastating,” said Gay Plair Cobb, CEO of the Oakland Private Industry Council, which helps administer the Oakland One-Stop center. “Congress is essentially pushing people deeper into poverty.

      For more: http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_23166026/federal-sequester-cuts-hit-home-bay-areas-long

  3. CR says:

    Kerry heading to Europe, Middle East on first trip

    2/19/13 3:01 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

    John Kerry is preparing to head out next week on his first trip as secretary of state to Europe and the Middle East, the State Department announced Tuesday.

    Kerry will leave Sunday and return 10 days later after stops in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

    He will participate in numerous bilateral meetings covering a range of topics, including transatlantic relations, Syria and challenges in Mali and elsewhere in Africa, according to a statement from spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

    It may not be all diplomacy, though. “His visit to Berlin will also be an opportunity to reconnect with the city in which he lived as a child,” Nuland said.

  4. vitaminlover says:

    What I like is that President Obama calls their bluff and they STILL squawk!

  5. CR says:

    Evolution Of Mom Dancing (w/ Jimmy Fallon & Michelle Obama)

    Published on Feb 22, 2013

    In honor of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign, and to encourage parents everywhere to get up and get moving with their kids, Jimmy Fallon and Michelle Obama present the “Evolution of Mom Dancing.”

  6. CR says:

    February 23, 2013

    WEEKLY ADDRESS: Congress Must Act Now to Stop the Sequester

    Remarks of President Barack Obama
    As Prepared for Delivery
    The White House
    February 23, 2013

    Hi, everybody. Our top priority as a country right now should be doing everything we can to grow our economy and create good, middle class jobs.

    And yet, less than one week from now, Congress is poised to allow a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts that will do the exact opposite. They will slow our economy. They will eliminate good jobs. They will leave many families who are already stretched to the limit scrambling to figure out what to do.

    But here’s the thing: these cuts don’t have to happen. Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little compromise. They can pass a balanced plan for deficit reduction. They can cut spending in a smart way, and close wasteful tax loopholes for the well-off and well-connected.

    Unfortunately, it appears that Republicans in Congress have decided that instead of compromising – instead of asking anything of the wealthiest Americans – they would rather let these cuts fall squarely on the middle class.

    Here’s what that choice means. Once these cuts take effect, thousands of teachers and educators will be laid off, and tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find child care for their kids. Air traffic controllers and airport security will see cutbacks, causing delays across the country. Even President Bush’s director of the National Institutes of Health says these cuts will set back medical science for a generation.

    Already, the threat of these cuts has forced the Navy to delay the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf – affecting our ability to respond to threats in an unstable part of the world. And just this week, the Pentagon announced that if these cuts go through, almost 800,000 defense employees – the equivalent of every person in Miami and Cleveland combined – will be forced to take unpaid leave.

    That’s what this choice means. Are Republicans in Congress really willing to let these cuts fall on our kids’ schools and mental health care just to protect tax loopholes for corporate jet owners? Are they really willing to slash military health care and the border patrol just because they refuse to eliminate tax breaks for big oil companies? Are they seriously prepared to inflict more pain on the middle class because they refuse to ask anything more of those at the very top?

    These are the questions Republicans in Congress need to ask themselves. And I’m hopeful they’ll change their minds. Because the American people have worked too hard for too long to see everything they’ve built undone by partisan recklessness in Washington.

    I believe we should work together to build on the more than $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we’ve already achieved. But I believe we should do it in a balanced way – with smart spending cuts, entitlement reform, and tax reform. That’s my plan. It’s got tough cuts, tough reforms, and asks more of the wealthiest Americans. It’s on the White House website for everyone to see. And it requires Democrats and Republicans to meet half way to resolve the problem. That’s what the American people expect. And that’s what you deserve.

    We just need Republicans in Washington to come around. Because we need their help to finish the job of reducing our deficit in a smart way that doesn’t hurt our economy or our people. After all, as we learned in the 1990s, nothing shrinks the deficit faster than a growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs. That has to be our driving focus. That has to be our North Star. Making America a magnet for good jobs. Equipping our people with the skills required to fill those jobs. Making sure your hard work leads to a decent living. That’s what this city should be focused on like a laser. And I’m going to keep pushing folks here to remember that.

    Thanks.

  7. CR says:

    Obama administration urges justices to overturn anti-gay marriage law

    2/22/13 Lawrence Hurley – Reuters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration outlined its argument on Friday why the U.S. Supreme Court should strike down a federal law that defines marriage as between a man and woman.

    Solicitor General Donald Verrilli filed a brief with the court saying that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional, expanding on the administration’s approach to the controversial 1996 law, which it has formally opposed since February 2011.

    Section 3 defines marriage under federal law as being between a man and a woman.
    The law denies federal benefits to same-sex married couples that are granted to married heterosexuals.

    The administration’s position is that the law violates the guarantee of equal protection under the law.

    In the brief, Verrilli said there was a history of discrimination against gays and lesbians that required the Supreme Court to take a careful look at any law that specifically targets them as a group.

    He therefore urged the court to take an approach to analyzing the law known as “heightened scrutiny,” which, if adopted by the court, could make it more likely the court would find the law unconstitutional.

    “The law denies to tens of thousands of same-sex couples who are legally married under state law an array of important federal benefits that are available to legally married opposite sex couples,” he wrote.

    The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in the case on March 27, the day after it weighs the constitutionality of a California law, Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in that state.

    The administration has until Thursday to decide whether to weigh in on Proposition 8.

  8. CR says:

    10:00 AM ET
    National Governors Association | Annual Meeting
    Governors Jack Markell and Mary Fallin

    ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/Live/

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/Nations-Governors-Meet-in-Washington/10737438274/

  9. CR says:

    11:00 AM ET
    National Governors Association | Annual Meeting
    Employing People With Disabilities

    ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/Live/

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/Nations-Governors-Meet-in-Washington/10737438274/

  10. CR says:

    3:00 PM ET
    National Governors Association | Annual Meeting
    States and Cybersecurity

    ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/Live/

    CSPAN http://www.c-span.org/Events/Nations-Governors-Meet-in-Washington/10737438274/

  11. CR says:

    After Snafu, Mississippi Ratifies Amendment Abolishing Slavery

    February 19, 2013 5:44 PM by EYDER PERALTA – NPR

    The movie Lincoln inspired a Mississippi citizen to push the state to correct a clerical error that kept the state from officially ratifying the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery.

    NPR’s Debbie Elliott sent this report to our Newscast unit:

    “In 1865, Mississippi was among the states that rejected the 13th amendment. But in 1995 lawmakers voted to change that. Problem was the state never sent official word to the U.S. archivist, so the ratification was never recorded.

    “The paperwork snafu was discovered by Ken Sullivan after talking to a colleague at work about the movie Lincoln and the quest to abolish slavery. Sullivan contacted the Mississippi secretary of state, who agreed to send in the proper paperwork.

    Earlier this month the director of the federal register received the resolution, and declared that Mississippi had officially ratified the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

    The Jackson, Miss. Clarion Ledger spoke to Sullivan who said he was moved to tears by the film and that inspired him to act.

    The paper adds:

    “Why the copy was never sent in 1995 remains unknown.
    “‘What an amendment to have an error in filing,’ said Dick Molpus, who served then as secretary of state. ‘Thanks to Ken Sullivan for being a good citizen in bringing this oversight to light, so it can be corrected.’

    “That Lincoln played a role pleases him, he said. ‘It was one of the most inspirational movies I’ve ever seen.’ “

    • CR says:

      Getting The 13th Amendment Passed In Miss., Just A Little Late

      February 23, 2013 8:00 AM NPR

      Summary: After seeing the Oscar-nominated Lincoln in theaters, a curious Mississippi resident looked up the history of the 13th Amendment and discovered that his home state technically hadn’t yet ratified it thanks to a paperwork error in 1995. He told his friend Ken Sullivan, and the two set out to fix it. Weekend Edition guest host Don Gonyea speaks with the two men about their quest.

      For the audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2013/02/23/172756963/getting-the-13th-amendment-passed-in-miss-just-a-little-late

  12. CR says:

    Please join me in lighting a candle for the President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  13. CR says:

    WH

    Sunday, February 24, 2013

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:10 PM
    President Obama and First Lady Obama host a dinner for America’s Governors
    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden also attend
    State Dining Room

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  14. CR says:

    Sunday: President Obama, First Lady To Host 2013 National Governors Association Dinner
    First major formal affair of the second term…

    FEBRUARY 22, 2013 obamafoodorama.blogspot

    President Obama and First Lady Obama will host the first black tie dinner of the second term when they welcome America’s Governors to the White House this Sunday evening, Feb. 24. The event is a presidential tradition when the state executives come to Washington for the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA), and the First Couple have hosted the dinner each year since President Obama took office. The guests are typically treated to a command performance by a famous vocal artist during a post-dinner reception. (Above, the President and Mrs. Obama at the 2011 dinner, watching Gladys Knight perform)

    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden will also attend the dinner, Press Secretary Jay Carney announced on Friday. There are 55 Governors in the NGA, and they will bring spouses or significant others to the dinner. The event is closed to press except for toast remarks, and in past years has featured President Obama leading his guests in a rollicking Conga line across the East Room after dining on the White House version of surf & turf during the three-course feast.

    For more: http://obamafoodorama.blogspot.com/2013/02/sunday-president-obama-first-lady-to.html

  15. CR says:

    Please join me in lighting a candle for our President, First Family and the Nation.

    http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng&gi=PBO

  16. CR says:

    7:10 PM ET
    President Obama and First Lady Obama host a dinner for America’s Governors
    Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden also attend
    State Dining Room

    WhiteHouse.gov http://www.whitehouse.gov/live

    CNN http://live.cnn.com

    • CR says:

      February 24, 2013

      Remarks by the President at National Governors Association Dinner

      State Dining Room

      THE PRESIDENT: Welcome, everybody. It is wonderful for us to have you here at the White House. Michelle and I are so happy to host you, and I want to start by acknowledging your outstanding chair, Jack Markell — (applause) — and your vice chair, Mary Fallin. (Applause.) But more importantly, I want to recognize the First Lady of Delaware and the First Gentleman of Oklahoma because we know that the spouses put up with an awful lot. (Laughter and applause.) And we hope that you all get a chance to celebrate a little bit tonight.

      Last year, I got to see firsthand some of the great work that our governors are helping to accomplish all across the country. Now, it’s true that I had the chance to see some accomplishments in some states more than others — Ohio — (laughter) — Iowa –(laughter) — Colorado — (laughter) — Virginia. But I hope to see more of you this year, the rest of you.

      But all of you have helped to steer your states through some of the nation’s toughest times. You’ve had to make hard choices. You’ve had to make wise investments and mobilize the constituencies to do what needs to be done to grow your state. And that work is paying off. Companies are bringing jobs back to our shores. New homes are popping up in our neighborhoods. Small businesses are revitalizing our communities.

      And many of you also had to deal with some incredible natural disasters. And, obviously, it’s always painful to see the loss and the hardship that our families have suffered, but it’s always wonderful to see the way in which governors in particular are able to lead and mobilize their states and their communities, rallying around neighbors, friends in communities.

      So we know we’ve got more work to do — more jobs to create and more children to educate, and more roads to repair. The task before us is to find smart, common-sense solutions to each of these challenges that we can move forward on. And I’m looking for good partners. Because while nobody in this room sees eye to eye on everything, we know that when we work together –- Democrats and Republicans, North, South, East and West — we can accomplish so much more than we can on our own. Whether it’s helping our citizens rebuild from a horrific hurricane or a turbulent economic storm, we’re stronger when we work together as a team.

      For more:

    • CR says:

      White House seeks to ratchet up pressure with state-by-state impacts of sequester

      By DONOVAN SLACK | 2/24/13 8:00 PM EST

      As President Obama hosted governors from across the nation at the annual White House governors’ dinner on Sunday, the White House released state-by-state reports outlining the predicted impacts of sequester cuts.

      It a statement, the White House said the reports show the “devastating impact the sequester will have on jobs and middle class families across the country if Congressional Republicans fail to compromise to avert the sequester by March 1st.”

      The reports cover everything from cuts to education, mental health services, law enforcement and fish and wildlife protection.

      The White House has already trumpeted the effects nationally of the cuts and is now seeking to ratchet up pressure on GOP lawmakers even further with the state-by-state numbers.

      Republicans so far are not budging. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner noted in a statement Sunday that the House has twice passed bills replacing the sequester.

      “The White House needs to spend less time explaining to the press how bad the sequester will be and more time actually working to stop it,” spokesman Michael Steel said.

      Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed those sentiments and called for Obama to put forward a specific plan.

      “Surely he can put forward a plan to cut 2-to-3 percent from a $3.5 trillion budget. Rather than issuing last-minute press releases on cuts to first responders or troop training or airport security, he should propose smarter ways to cut Washington spending,” McConnell said.

      “…There are smarter ways to reduce the size of government. And with the national debt well over $16 trillion dollars, it’s time for the White House to stop spending all its time campaigning, and start finding smarter ways to reduce the deficit.

  17. CR says:

    White House directs agencies to maximize free, public access to scientific research

    2/22/13 5:50 PM EST By DONOVAN SLACK – POLITICO44

    The White House on Friday ordered federal agencies to come up with plans to maximize free, public access to the results of federally funded scientific research.

    In response to a petition on the White House web site, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said he issued the order Friday.

    “[T]he Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that the results of federally-funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community,” wrote John Holdren, who is also assistant to the president for science and technology. “Moreover, this research was funded by taxpayer dollars. Americans should have easy access to the results of research they help support.”

    The petition, created by J.W. of Oakland, Calif. in May 2012, drew more than 65,000 signatures and asked that all federally funded research be posted on the Internet. The petition noted that the National Insitutes of Health already has a public-access policy that has not hindered the research process.

    Continue Reading: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/02/white-house-directs-agencies-to-maximize-free-public-157658.html

  18. CR says:

    Michelle Obama announces ‘Argo’ as best picture

    By JENNIFER EPSTEIN | 2/24/13 11:56 PM EST

    First lady Michelle Obama appeared live at the Oscars via video Sunday night to introduce the best picture presentation and to rip open the envelope to reveal “Argo” as the winner.

    “I am so honored to help introduce this year’s nominees for best picture and to help celebrate the movies that lift our spirits, broaden our minds and transport us to places we have never imagined,” Obama said, appearing in a silver gown from the White House.

    “These nine movies took us back in time and all around the world they made us laugh, they made us weep and they made us grip our armrests just a little tighter,” she continued. “They taught us that love can endure against all odds and transform our lives in the most surprising ways, and they reminded us that we can overcome any obstacle if we dig deep enough and fight hard enough and find the courage to believe in ourselves.”

    For more: http://www.politico.com/politico44/2013/02/michelle-obama-announces-argo-as-best-picture-157746.html

    ——————

    Oscars 2013 Michelle Obama Announcing Best Film ARGO – Academy Awards

    Published on Feb 24, 2013

    Michelle obama oscars argo | The Academy Awards suddenly turned into the Michelle Obama Oscars when Jack Nicholson told the audience a special guest was joining him to present Best Picture.

  19. CR says:

    ********************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: “Ilinois House 2nd CD Special Election ”

    ********************

    To get to the newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the thread

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