Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
House Republicans Embrace Sequester Dirty Bomb In their Economic War on America
America’s military supremacy assures that the danger of destruction from an invading foreign army is virtually impossible, and yet a devious enemy could bring the country to ruin by decimating its economy. Massive unemployment, civil unrest driven by crushing poverty, and internal subversives fomenting discontent among the disaffected have been the death knell of many countries throughout history, and key to causing the collapse of a nation from within is inside operatives eroding the stability necessary to the maintenance of a stable government and prosperous society. The Founding Fathers created safeguards against internal governmental subversion with a Constitution that features a balance of power to assuage the possibility of one party deliberately creating economic volatility with devastating consequences for the nation’s fiscal health.
As the deadline looms for Congress to act to avert Republicans’ across-the-board sequester spending cuts that economists warn will destroy baseline one million jobs and throw the economy into a recession, leading Republicans have embraced the idea of allowing the sequester to take effect on March 1st. The Republican line in the sand is their aversion to new revenue, and according to a deputy majority whip, Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), “I’m all against raising any additional revenue on this. Look, these are written into law.” Cole echoed the position expressed by John Boehner and failed vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who reacted to President Obama’s call for Congress to act to “delay the economically damaging effects of the sequester for a few more months” to allow more time to work out a comprehensive plan to address the deficit without austerity cuts Republicans know will severely impact middle and working class families in the manufacturing industry.
A few months ago, the GOP categorized the sequester’s defense cuts as unacceptable and, in October, Cole himself warned that “the military will face devastating spending cuts accompanied by massive lay-offs to the defense industry” if a deal to avert the sequester fails. Last month Boehner said using the sequester to hold the economy hostage would be “as much leverage as we’re going to get” to force Democrats to acquiesce to Republican spending cuts on safety nets, Medicare, and the rest of the detrimental Paul Ryan budget. Cole parroted the Republican hard line that there are preferable ways to make the sequester cuts that he is open to, but new revenue or defense cuts will not be part of the equation.
Republicans are still reeling after being outmaneuvered in the fiscal cliff debt limit deal that raised taxes on the richest Americans. Cole continued that “We just had additional revenue for the federal government, so I don’t see any way the sequester won’t happen either as written or renegotiated.” Either Republicans are using the sequester as a hostage, or they will hold firm and be responsible for killing millions of jobs, drastic defense cuts, and Draconian cuts to domestic spending that will affect every American, but especially the poor, elderly, and working class. Cole said he is open to other ways to avoid the sequester, and Progressive Democrats offered a proposal that reduces the deficit, avoids the sequester, and strengthens the economy, but Republican aversion to a balanced approach automatically dooms the plan before they even consider it.
Democrats Keith Ellison, Raul Grijalva, and several others proposed a new budget plan called “The Balancing Act” as an alternative to sequestration that uses a novel approach to how the nation reduces the deficit by removing harsh austerity cuts and replacing them with closing loopholes, and entails three phases of deficit reduction, two of which are already in place. Besides deficit reduction, “The Balancing Act” contains much needed infrastructure investments in roads and schools that will stimulate economic recovery, create jobs, and avoid sequester domestic and defense cuts. The plan’s three phases are; $1.7 trillion in spending cuts from the Budget Control Act sequestration, $737 billion in new revenues as part of the fiscal cliff’s American Taxpayer Relief Act, and replaces the $948 billion sequester cuts with an approximately equal amount in new revenue from closing loopholes and income tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy.
The plan’s primary goal is eliminating the burden of cuts from Republicans’ austerity plan to a fair balance of 50% in revenue and 50% cuts that reduce the deficit by $3.3 trillion over the next decade. Republicans will reject the plan because it is balanced between revenue and spending cuts, but they will explode over injecting stimulus into the economy for infrastructure spending and aspects of the American Jobs Act paid for with $278 billion in defense cuts by relocating troops from Europe to the United States, limiting contractor compensation, reducing troop levels by 4 percent through attrition, and ending unnecessary spending for production of equipment the military does not want.
The $948 billion sequestration cut replacement involves closing corporate and the wealthy’s favorite loopholes and decreasing deductions that over time cancel out Republican’s ten year automatic austerity cuts. The downside of the brilliant, balanced, and fair “Balancing Act” budget is it will garner absolutely no support from even one Republican because new revenue, infrastructure investment, job creation, and aid to economic recovery are toxic to the GOP that is wont impose damage on the poor, seniors, children, Veterans, and middle class families. Actually, there is nothing in the Democratic plan that will appeal to Republicans for primarily three reasons; revenue, eliminating tax loopholes, and no austerity.
There is little debate that the sequestration cuts will devastate the economy, and austerity will bring the fragile economic recovery to a screeching halt and cost at least a million jobs immediately and more downstream jobs in the ripple effect. The defense cuts alone will impact manufacturing jobs middle and working class Americans depend on and at best delay a full recovery by at least a year if not initiate full-blown a recession. It is the perfect hostage for Republicans to enact their other economy-crushing austerity plan (Ryan Budget) and either way, they get to decimate the middle class and spare, if not increase, the wealthy and their corporations’ tax breaks.
That Republicans are now embracing sequestration cuts they decried as devastating to defense and jobs just a couple of months ago informs that to avoid new revenue, they will decimate the economy to protect the wealthy and wreak havoc on the rest of the population. It is undoubtedly their worst assault on America over the past four years, and it is retribution against the people for re-electing President Obama and supporting the fiscal cliff, debt limit deal in the waning days of 2012 that brought in new revenue.
Boehner’s admission that using the sequester as “leverage” to force Democrats to accept their preferred austerity plan of drastic social program and safety net cuts is par for the Republicans, but it appears they are intent on breaking the economy one way or the other. Of all the threats America has faced in its 237 year existence, next to the Civil War, the current group of Republicans is undoubtedly the worst, and at least when this nation was imperiled by military might, be it foreign or domestic, the country’s superior armed forces were the greatest defense. However, when the enemy is in the halls of Congress, and is openly calling for economic destruction to avoid revenue, it is safe to say Republicans have declared open war on America and its people.