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Monday, September 26, 2016

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
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Republicans spent the first few weeks after the so-called sequester went into effect accusing President Obama of exaggerating its consequences. And as soon as the cuts began to affect them and their donors, they blamed the president for not cutting “fairly.”

When that didn’t work, they just restored the cuts they didn’t like — the ones that made their planes late.

But the real joke of the sequester, as the Daily Show‘s Aasif Mandvi shows, is that it mostly affects poor people. Defense contractors can shift budgets, but homebound seniors can’t find affordable alternatives to Meals on Wheels.

In all 50 states, the sequester is making life more miserable for the most vulnerable. And if that’s funny to you, you must read the Ryan Budget for laughs.

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  • Sand_Cat

    No, the real “joke” of the sequester is that Obama SIGNED the bill ending the cuts that inconvenienced the hypocrites in Congress.

    • Independent1

      Yes and No! If you’re going to blame someone, it’s my feeling that it was that enough Dems in the Senate voted for the bill that it put Obama in the position of being the “bad guy”; had he not signed the bill he would have gotten a ton of negative press for months because of the turmoil that would have been created for the traveling public – the majority of whom are not congressional people. And unless the Dems could figure out a way to transfer the blame for the increasing aggravation that would have been created for millions of travelers, the dems then would have been blamed from making travel a real hastle had the disruptions to travel in general gotten as bad as it was starting to look like they could. The aggravation of flying could have detered many people from traveling which could have had a really negative affect on the recovery – the sequester has already dampened the recovery, I don’t think it needed to be dampened further by heightened travel disruptions, especially with summer travel coming up. It was really a no-win situation for the Dems; hopefully, come 2014, voters will remember which party was really the cause for the problem in the first place – the GOP.

      • Allan Richardson

        Remember, the sequester was supposed to be a “poison pill” that would SCARE both parties into working out a compromise. The only members of Congress who really preferred the sequester to compromising on a budget are the Tea Party. And there are, unfortunately, enough of them to stop a compromise, so it was stopped, and the sequester went into effect because of the lack of a compromise budget.

        Voters need to realize that austerity is no more a valid prescription for the economy than bleeding with leeches cures the flu! Herbert Hoover tried to fix the Depression with austerity for 3.5 years, which meant that FDR had a much bigger Depression to work on that he would have had otherwise. Austerity did not fix the 1970’s “stagflation”, did not fix the 2007 crash (which would have been worse than the 1930’s if it had happened with three more years of Bush before the next election), has not fixed any of the European economies that were forced to enact it, did not fix Argentina’s economy, and now we have learned that the math behind the latest “research” was corrupted by programming errors!

        Our choice is either Keynes or Dickens; please Sir, may I have some more gruel?

        • Independent1

          Your point is well taken, but unfortunately, the Sequester had been implemented and had already begun slowing down our recovery; the Sequester was no longer the “poison pill” that was suppose to SCARE both parties into a compromise; it was already creating damage to our economic recovery by implementing a meat axe type of austerity (which is even worse since as you pointed out, austerity was the wrong solution to fix our economy in the 1st place).

          And actually, I would argue that the economic disaster of Bush’s Great Recession, dwarfed the stock market crash of 1929 and whatever economic disaster occurred in the early 1930s. I think if anyone looked at the economic devastation created by the Great Recession, even considering inflation, Bush’s disaster was multiple times worse than the Great Depression. In addition to not having Bush make things worse for another 3 years as you mentioned, I see another big differences being that America today has a much more diverse economy than it had back then, which gave the counry more resilience and American’s were not dumb enough this time to vote back in another Republican just after a Republican in office had devastated the economy (Coolidge had pretty much allowed the economy to run amok in the late 1920’s just like Bush did in his second term).

          And although many see Obama signing the legislation that has eliminated the hastles sequestration created for travelers (many like myself) as being nothing but a perk to Wealthy People, I see it as Obama chipping away at the damage Sequestration will cause in slowing down the economy. Despite what many people think, the travel industry (arilines, hotels, including mom & pop shops all over the country that benefit from travelers) is just one more key factor in getting America back to normal (if we can keep it from sliding any further)..

      • Paynotaxes

        You forget the whole idea of the sequester was from Obama.

        • Independent1

          Sorry but you’re wrong: it was not Obama’s idea at all, the idea of Sequestration was developed by the committee that was suppose to come up with spending cuts back in 2011. Here are some recaps of what went on then from USPolitics and Mother Jones (note that the GOP wholeheartedly endorsed the idea of Sequestration):

          In 2011, Boehner was among the Republican leaders who expressed support for the Budget Control Act and voted in favor of it. “When you look at this final agreement that we came to with the White House, I got 98 percent of what I wanted,” Boehner said in 2011. “I’m pretty happy.” The Budget Control Act including the sequestration cuts passed in the House with 174 Republicans voting in favor, including Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and U.S. Rep. and 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Ryan, in fact, soon boasted about getting automatic spending cuts in the Budget Control Act.

          “What conservatives like me have been fighting for for years are statutory caps on spending, literally legal caps in law that says government agencies cannot spend over a set amount of money and if they breach that amount across the board sequester comes in to cut that spending. You can’t turn it out without a supermajority. We got that into law,” Ryan said on Fox News in 2011.

          Mr. McConnell called Mr. Biden early Saturday afternoon….The deal they were discussing, this person said, resembled the bill that Mr. Boehner won approval for in the House on Friday….set up a new bipartisan committee….A failure of the new committee to win enactment of its proposal could then set off automatic spending cuts across the board, including to entitlement programs.

  • I don’t think they believe the sequester is a joke, I believe they consider it an acceptable policy to achieve their goals since the only ones affected by it are the ones that can least afford austerity. Don’t forget, the sequester, a step forward towards a broader austerity program was championed and implemented while objecting to the elimination of loopholes and subsidies that benefit the wealthy, and while larger threats to our economy were put forth if it did not pass and signed.

    • the only GOP objection was that it affected the War Department. they wanted to move the cuts from their defense contractors to other sectors (i.e. public services).

  • David Turrentine

    The poor do not contribute to their campaigns and the elections, and reelections so the poor do not count. They also believe that the poor do not vote.

    • Allan Richardson

      And are continuing to take steps to ensure the poor CANNOT vote.

    • I think Romney found out the 47% of the poor do in fact vote, his stupid comment cost him the election

  • Paynotaxes

    What a line of garbage this article is.
    Obama authored and authorized the sequester.
    This like many of the prolems belongs to Obama but he refuses to own anything in the negative.

    • Independent1

      Absoluetly NOT TRUE!!!! Sequestation was an idea born in the committee that was suppose to come up with spending cuts but couldn’t!!!!!!!!