By Denise Simon – The ‘sequester’ is close to implementation and we may see exactly what happens when political wrangling trumps our security. The President blames the Republicans in the House of Representatives, but it was Obama and Jack Lew who came up with the idea of ‘sequestration’. He can deny it, or obfuscate, or change the focus, but it was done as a political ploy first and foremost.
FactCheck.com tries to sell that it was an agreement by the House, Senate and the President, but it was all done as ploy. The ploy had America’s back to the wall and they know it – it was a pressure tactic that was agreed upon to force Obama to lead in spending cuts, which have not happened.
The White House and its sycophants, apologists, and surrogates want America to believe its the Tea Party and and the entrenched Republicans who are causing the harm. That however is far from the truth. Harry Reid and Jack Lew made it happen at the behest of the Obama team and it was clearly part of reelection efforts.
John Boehner, speaking with Hugh Hewitt lays it out clearly (Read the whole interview here.):
Having first proposed and demanded the sequester, it would make sense that the president lead the effort to replace it. Unfortunately, he has put forth no detailed plan that can pass Congress, and the Senate—controlled by his Democratic allies—hasn’t even voted on a solution, let alone passed one. By contrast, House Republicans have twice passed plans to replace the sequester with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect national security.
The press is only recently understanding the machinations of the Obama team, albeit, four years late, but we can still hope that America will finally see that the king has no clothes on after all. Meanwhile, upon any level of inspection, Obama is clearly striving to destroy our military, and is scaring people by saying cuts will be severe.
Mark Levin lays out the argument here. This audio by Levin is a must listen piece on waste and big government and why Obama is lying to us. There have been almost zero cuts, yet Obama claims so much has already been done – its all lies.
Much has been mentioned in the last 18 months regarding the far and wide devastation of ‘Sequestration’.
A Super Committee was created to work through the process to avoid Sequestration but that measure also failed. The White House and the lobby groups have been on a loud and vocal quest to blame Republicans and the House of Representatives for what looms as Sequestration takes affect on March 1, 2013. The House has worked diligently to pass laws that stop the devastating cuts, most especially cuts in defense, while none of the measure by the House have been provided attention or vote by the Senate.
Lets take a look at what Sequester impacts on both sides. This is not a complete list and the depth of the cuts are not explained as that can be determined by a review of the associated links here and here.
What gets cut:
TSA, FDA food inspectors ,Head-Start, Defense, Parks Service, National Guard, Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Secret Service, FEMA, Air Federal Marshalls, FAA, Special Education Teachers, Center for Disease Control, NASA, Security and Exchange Commission, Foreign aid with particular emphasis on Israel and Mexico (130 countries affected), and among others, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (nuclear weapons)
What is exempt:
Social Security, Railroad employees retirement, Veteran’s Administration benefits, Unemployment, Tribal and Indian Trust Accounts, Child nutrition, Children’s Heath Insurance, Pell Grants, Medicaid, SNAP, food stamps, Highway Safety Grants, Motor Carrier Safety Operations, Federal pay, Child Support Enforcement, FDIC, Farm Credits, and among others, the Tennessee Valley Authority.
In a snapshot assessment of what stays and what goes, it is clear that programs related to National Security and Foreign Affairs are set to feel the the brunt in ‘Sequester’ while domestic programs geared to funding the indigent remain. In short, the dangerous world will be even more dangerous and education and healthcare remains protected. We have yet to understand the large numbers of those that will be unemployed and what our enemies will take advantage of regarding our homeland. But here is one area that will be effected immediately:
Pentagon informs Congress of plans to furlough 800K civilians
By Jeremy Herb – The Hill
The Pentagon notified Congress on Wednesday it will be furloughing its civilian workforce of 800,000 employees if sequestration goes into effect March 1.
Defense officials have warned lawmakers that sequestration will devastate the military and lead to a hollow force, but the civilian furloughs will be one of the first major impacts felt by the across-the-board cuts.
The Pentagon furloughs will affect civilians across the country. Pentagon officials have said that civilians could face up to 22 days of furloughs, one per week, through the end of the fiscal year in September. The employees would receive 30 days notice before being furloughed.
“We are doing everything possible to limit the worst effects on DOD personnel — but I regret that our flexibility within the law is extremely limited,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrote in a message to the department. “The president has used his legal authority to exempt military personnel funding from sequestration, but we have no legal authority to exempt civilian personnel funding from reductions.”
The Joint Chiefs also testified before both the House and Senate last week to lay out the dangers of sequestration, as the Pentagon has taken a much more proactive approach to the cuts than when they were set to hit in January.
The potential for furloughs was one of the few things DOD officials announced before the Jan. 2 deadline, which was delayed two months in the “fiscal-cliff” deal.
President Obama on Tuesday spoke to first responders who he also warned could be furloughed due to sequestration. He urged Republicans to compromise and stop the cuts.
Obama will be on the road again next week with campaign-style events arguing that Republicans are at fault for the cuts, while the GOP blames the White House for the sequester.
“Republicans in Congress face a simple choice,” the president said Tuesday. “Are they willing to compromise to protect vital investments in education and healthcare and national security and all the jobs that depend on them? Or would they rather put hundreds of thousands of jobs and our entire economy at risk just to protect a few special interest tax loopholes that benefit only the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations?”
But Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in response to the Pentagon furloughs that Obama has yet to put forward a plan to stop the across-the-board cuts, while the House has passed an alternative.
“I agree with the secretary of Defense that the impact of the president’s sequester would be devastating to our military,” Boehner said in a statement. “That’s why the House has acted twice to replace the president’s sequester with common-sense cuts and reforms that protect our national security, and it’s why I’ve been calling on the president for more than a year to press his Democratic-controlled Senate to do the same.”
The back-and-forth is part of a blame game between the White House and congressional Republicans as the cuts are less than two weeks out, with no apparent movement to stop them before March 1.
Preparations for cuts from sequestration and the department’s budget uncertainty are continuing in the defense industry.
BAE Systems notified 3,600 employees Tuesday that they could be laid off over a loss of work from the Navy, due primarily to the Pentagon facing a continuing resolution.
Bill Clifford, president of BAE Systems Ship Repair, told Ship Repair employees that the notifications under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act were going out to employees at four BAE locations in Norfolk, Va., Mayport, Fla., San Diego, Calif., and Hawaii.
“We do not take these decisions lightly, and we regret the anxiety it causes our employees and their families. I also recognize this news is unsettling, but rest assured we are working closely with our Navy customer and members of Congress to mitigate the impact of these proposed reductions,” Clifford wrote.
The WARN Act notices were a major political fight between Congress and the Obama administration during the 2012 campaign. After defense contractors threatened sending out mass notices before sequestration, the administration told contractors not to issue them 60 days before the cuts took effect — and also took the step of promising to cover layoff costs if contractors had to immediately fire workers.
In this case, BAE appears to be issuing the notices with enough time that it will follow the WARN law and not incur extra costs.