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The Sequester - John Stewart Beats Me to the Punch in Blaming Republicans

MoneyAs the title of this blog suggests, I only have a limited amount of time to write these entries. If there are a few ideas bouncing around in my head, I have to pick one to write about that day and postpone the other one till later. Yesterday, I wanted to write about both the sequestration and a TV show from the History Channel. I decided on the TV show, and postponed the sequestration post until today.

There was one main point I wanted to make about the sequestration, but after watching the Daily Show last night, I see I was beaten to the punch (and honestly, I'm sure others have already made this point, as well). Here's the video from last night's The Daily Show. Below that, I've pulled out the quotes concerning the point I wanted to make.

Now in the President and Speaker Boehner's statements, we do get a hint of why the sequester is happening. The sequester, the penalty for not finding a way to balance revenue and spending, consists entirely of cuts in spending. How do Republicans feel again about cuts in spending?

This was followed by the obligatory montage showing a series of Republicans calling for spending cuts, after which Stewart continued.

I wish I was there when Democrats said to Republicans, 'Look, if we can't come to a deal, there's going to be massive, across the board spending cuts.' I'm sure the Republicans were like, [mocking reservation] 'Okay...If that's what you want.' Basically, the sequester amounts to catching your kid smoking, and forcing him to smoke a whole carton of cigarettes. Only your kid is Dennis Leary.

This is exactly the point I had told some of my friends when the fiscal cliff law was first passed. Republicans never had any strong reason to try to fix the problem, because in many of their minds, there was no problem.

I know a lot of people are blaming Obama for a lack of leadership in this, and maybe there's something to that. But what can you do when many of your opponents wanted the sequester to take effect. Here are just a few quotes from Republicans expressing desire for the sequester to carry on and for the budget cuts to occur.

Rand Paul, R-Kentucky (source: Politix)

Not only should the sequester stand, many pundits say the sequester really needs to be at least $4 trillion.


Jim Jordan, R-Ohio (source: NPR)

The sequester should happen. That's going to happen in two days. That is good. First significant savings for the American taxpayer in a long, long -- since I've been here.


Scott DesJarlais, R-Tennessee (source: The Gavel)

Sequestration needs to happen...Bottom line, it needs to happen and that's the deal we struck to raise the debt limit.


That last one was from a page listing 22 Republicans politicians calling for the sequester.

And if the politicians don't get their heads out of their nether regions and fix this problem soon, it's going to hurt our still struggling economy. I mentioned a good story on the budget in a previous blog entry, Good Commentary on the Fiscal Cliff, which explained that right now is still not the time to balance the budget. You can't go on deficit spending forever, but in the short term, that's what the government needs to do to give the economy a boost. Just look at all the problems Europe is having with their austerity programs. And now, we look set to repeat Europe's mistakes and risk putting our economy back in a recession again. This isn't just me opining. The Congressional Budget Office has said that the sequester could cost 750,000 jobs by year's end (source: Buzzfeed).

This whole thing is just so damn frustrating. Why in the hell are Republicans being so obstructionist? And why can't politicians just get things done?

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