Republican Party

Sequester Squeals: Republicans Get Their First Taste of the Recession and They Don’t Like It

Who would have guessed it would come to this.

Read: Samuel Alito Is The Insurrectionist Threat To Democracy On The Supreme Court

Republicans are a mess right now; coming face to face with the cuts they’ve championed in rhetoric for years is causing an utter collapse of purpose. Republican staffers are complaining that GOP leadership is giving them no clues about how they can prepare for the upcoming cuts, while leadership is complaining that without being able to pay their staff (public sector workers) a decent wage, including a raise, they can’t attract the best workers.

The Hill reported Monday:

One veteran chief of staff lamented that his office hasn’t given raises to its employees for several years — worrying that without a reward for their hard work, it will be difficult to attract bright individuals to Capitol Hill.

“What’s the incentive for smart talented people to come work for Congress?” the source said.

Head banging on desk. Yes, Republicans… Come to the water. Come slowly to the water. Now drink.

Guess what, Republicans? Most Americans aren’t getting raises right now, and it’s not because they suck at their jobs. Also, thanks for making the exact same argument that public sector unions have been making regarding cuts to teachers’ pay, etc.

A source told The Hill that no one is giving them any input about what they’re supposed to do. They have leases! They have people who were being paid x amount for years! You can’t cut their pay!

Good God, people, it’s almost like there’s a recession. A few concerned Republicans are consolidating two positions into one and offering to pay for their own postage when they write constituents. They love the idea of making due with a wee bit less. It’s like a dress up game. Look, I sacrificed something! SO CUTE!

Can you still eat? I’m not sure we’re on the same playing field yet. See, these cuts are going to take food from babies and seniors. Forgive me if I find that a little more troubling than Republican retention.

The White House has put together a list of how the sequester cuts will hit jobs and middle class families across the country. They kindly included the District of Columbia, so let’s see how this will break down for folks other than Republican staffers (I’m not against those staffers earning what they are worth; but it’s ironic that Republicans are making this argument given their attacks on public sector unions).

If sequestration were to take effect, some examples of the impacts in the District of Columbia this year alone are (I’ve edited the list for length; click here to find your state):

Teachers and Schools: The District of Columbia will lose approximately $533,000 in funding for primary and secondary education. In addition about 1,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 2 fewer schools would receive funding.
Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, the District of Columbia will lose approximately $925,000 in funds for teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 200 children in the District of Columbia, reducing access to critical early education.
Military Readiness: In the District of Columbia, approximately 13,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $111.3 million in total.
Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: The District of Columbia will lose about $80,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
STOP Violence Against Women Program: The District of Columbia could lose up to $13,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 100 fewer victims being served.
Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: The District of Columbia would lose approximately $191,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.

The White House notes, “Already, the President has worked with Congress to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion, but there’s more to do. The President has put forward a balanced plan to not only avoid the harmful effects of the sequester but also to reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion in total.”

See the President’s plan here. I know, it’s shocking- it includes both cuts and revenue, but somehow this is seen as not compromising because unless Republicans get everything they want, the media is very upset with the President. Squeaky wheel and all of that.

The White House countered that point, “Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes so that we can protect investments that are helping grow our economy and keep our country safe… The President is willing to compromise, but on behalf the middle class he cannot accept a deal that undercuts their economic security.”

BUT HOW ARE WE GOING TO SURVIVE IF OUR BUDGET IS CUT, ask the Republican staffers. We have leases! (Americans have these things called mortgages, FYI, that Republicans voted NO on helping them deal with in light of the recession.) HOW CAN WE LIVE LIKE WE ALWAYS HAVE IN THE MIDDLE OF A RECESSION IF THE SEQUESTER HITS?!? Cuts and deficits are for THEM. Not for us.

Meanwhile, lost Republican staffers wander aimlessly looking for a few pencils they can cross off the budget as panic sets in. This is but the beginning of the sequester squeals, and it’s coming from within the Republican Party. Getting what they wanted isn’t working out quite as they imagined.

Update: First paragraph, “of purpose” added after “utter collapse” for clarification.

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