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Why The Congressional Majority Likes Sequester

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Why The Congressional Majority Likes Sequester


We hear that 800,000 civilian employees of the Department of Defense will get an automatic 20-percent cut in hours and pay. That’s a hell of a lot more than the percentage cut to the Department. Why? Because nobody is cutting the pay to contractors that are non-human “persons.” In fact, some defense contractors are going to enjoy a windfall, as they charge higher unit prices if the number of planes, jet engines or whatever being delivered on existing contracts is cut below volume discount levels.

And nobody really imagines the government won’t be back later to buy them, just that they’ll be delayed, and the government will pay a higher price per unit in the meantime. So there you have it — increased profit margins for corporations, all the real cuts applied to wage earners. What’s not to like?

If the cuts were to profit margins or across-the-board three-percent cuts to the price paid, then you’d see the House compromise to fix this.

A true skeptic might say that when the pain of budget cuts hits supporters of the PACs and the Tea Party astroturf outfits, the cuts will be more sensible, and we might even see a few unwarranted tax loopholes get closed to help narrow the deficit.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin


  1. Sand_Cat February 26, 2013

    Why not “sequester” the whole “Defense” department?

    After all, the NRA and other armed citizens can protect us. Instead of cutting people, just cancel all the contracts. That will save more than pretty much all other “cut” proposals put together. And we might even have to learn how to get along with other people instead of bullying them constantly and then being shocked, bewildered, and hurt when they respond by hating us.

    1. Daniel Jones February 27, 2013

      It’s an idea. cancel EVERYTHING and renegotiate the deals, nice and safe and out of Congressional pork.

    2. Dominick Vila February 27, 2013

      The first thing we should sequester, because of its symbolism, is the salaries of every single politician involved in the sequester until they find a solution that helps ALL Americans. Layoffs, furloughs, impacting the business community, impacting the middle class, and destroying our economy is not a solution, it is treason.

      1. Sheryl Livingston February 27, 2013

        The problem with that is, they made sure their pay was constitutionally protected. Unless they voluntarily turn over their pay back to the treasury, they can’t have their pay cut.

        1. MARK February 27, 2013

          Perhaps,but they are still human enough to have thier asses kicked all the way out of Washington D.C.

      2. MARK February 27, 2013

        Amen to that Dominick! You hit the nail squarely on the head when you call what they are doing,Treason. Shall we bring them up on charges? I and others,as I’m sure you know,are getting mighty impatient waiting for our votes to have the desired effect.The offenses seem to mount daily and the bastards look like thay are having thier cake and eating it too.Iam with you on sequestering the salaries but how do we make that happen in a way that doesn’t get all tied up in litigation and take a month of Sundays to accomplish?

      3. mah101 February 27, 2013

        Not only sequester their salaries, but since most of them are far more wealthy than the average American, we should start levying hefty fines on them as well – perhaps charge them $10 thousand a day for filibusters, recover the amount of money cut from worker’s salaries by fines on those who cause this pain. If they work for us, why can’t we fire them for not doing their job?

  2. Lynda February 26, 2013

    I believed that the fiscal cliff would never end up in a deal. I firmly believed that Congress would let the Bush Tax Cuts go away, as intended, so they would not have to take a vote that they would have to defend later. The current self-made debacle seems the same to me. The GOP is willing to let the economy suffer so they can claim the President did it, and that the GOP is somehow serious about cost cutting. Of course they are no more serious about cutting the deficit than anyone else. The Ryan Plan clearly showed the flaw in that kind of thinking.

  3. Dominick Vila February 27, 2013

    The sad part of that the game of brinkmanship being used, time and again, to discredit the administration and satisfy demands from influential donors, is not only affecting government services and the ability to govern, it is also impacting middle class America. If the proposed investment in infrastructure had been implemented our unemployment rate today would be at least one or two percentage points lower. If the Violence Against Women Act had been signed by now thousands of women would not have been abused, and the perpetrators would be serving time in jail. If the Veterans Jobs Act had not been ignored by the House, thousands of veterans would not be struggling to make ends meet. And the list goes on.
    Opposing views should always be welcomed and considered, unfortunately, what is happening in Washington today has nothing to do with the need to reach consensus, but with the need to pursue narrow partisan political goals. The solution is to clean house in 2014 and push for term limits.

    1. Wils February 27, 2013

      i can’t wait for the midterms bro! i have a list of repuglicans that must go!

      1. lana ward February 27, 2013

        You really want an all Hitler regeme!! Good luck with that

        1. Michael Cruise February 27, 2013

          You lost the moment you made the ridiculous, irresponsible and juvenile reference to Hitler. How incredibly tacky of you.

          1. lana ward February 27, 2013

            Tacky? What happened to racist and bigot? those are the only 2 words dems know

          2. robert February 27, 2013

            Okay. You’re a racist, bigot, tacky ‘ho.

          3. lana ward February 27, 2013

            And you’re a master-baiter

          4. robert February 28, 2013

            And you’re a dic-taker.

        2. Wils April 3, 2013

          the mere fact that you compare the US president with Hitler says a lot about you lana. good luck with your ignorance and bigotry. this nation is moving past people like you.

          1. lana ward April 3, 2013

            Obama is like Hitler, he wants to be a dictator

    2. mah101 February 27, 2013

      Dominick, I used to be opposed to term limits, believing that our opportunity to vote was enough to impose appropriate limits on those in office and that arbitrary limits actually restricted our opportunity to select the candidates we prefer. However, since 1)the system now seems entirely rigged, 2) gerrymandering means that even though we vote democrat we still end up with republicans, 3) corporations are treated as people and campaign financing is a mess, 4) the media and the parties (I’m mostly speaking to republicans here) exploit people’s lack of information and confirmation bias to build support for idiocy, and 5) I am firmly of the opinion that many in Congress just don’t give a damn about the country, I’m not sure that We the People have much of a say in our legislature any more. Frankly, I’d like to term limit all the republicans right now.

  4. Jim C February 27, 2013

    All this is for really is so that the GOP congressmen and women can buy more houses for themselves.They do not care for the working man and women,the so called middle class (although I can’t see 100,00>200,00 dollars per year being middle class),nor the economy and jobs.The we the people elected them and a lot of them are up for reelction this year.

  5. batavier February 27, 2013

    The only folks that CRY and wallow in self-pity as soon as it becomes clear NO ONE is afraid of them anymore are BULLIES!
    Hence, Cantor and his fellow sympathizers can rejoice in their temporary numerical advantage, but they’ll meet with overwhelming contempt and disgust from AMERICAN VOTERS come November 2014, who, maybe aren’t “smart” or “astute” but who do have a finely-honed sense of fairness and sportsmanship….

    Mr. Cantor and fellow-members of the Judaeo-christian Choir….meet Lance Armstrong and his fate!

  6. Hillbilly February 27, 2013

    All the President has to do is to let it be known that no matter what the Republicans think the people that will be hurt will be the companies that have military contracts and they will be the first ones to feel the bite of the sequester not the middle class nor the poor like the Republicans are carving to happen. Void all contracts with people that do business with the military right now. When or if this sequester mess is cleared up, all the contracts that were voided should be put up for bid and the company that gets the contract is the lowest bidder not a friend or donor to a member of Congress, in that contract have a clause that says if the product or products go over budget then the company will be fined and can not bid on another government contract until a certain amount of time goes by. Since the Republicans and the defense businesses are counting on being able to charge higher prices when this Republican mess is cleared up, let it be know that the government will not pay any higher prices for anything and may even demand money back from the defense businesses for the over runs that the government has had to pay for that was the businesses fault. Start treating the people that do business with the government the way a business does, prices to high change companies and keep cost down. Republicans should realize that the election in 2014 isn’t that far away and that they are running up a debt with the voters that they would be able to pay come 2014 for we will remember their efforts to make the rich richer and the rest of us poorer and they could very well no longer be a political party after 2014 elections.

  7. ralphkr February 28, 2013

    Don’t you just love it when Boehner looks into the camera and states the “The Sequester is Obama’s idea” with a straight face. Yep, the Republicans had absolutely nothing to do with it and Obama did it all by himself.

  8. Robert Cruder February 28, 2013

    Many government jobs are done by contractors. The company makes a profit by charging more than the actual cost of the employee. Hiring contractors grants flexibility to the government because it is so expensive and time-consuming to fire a Federal civilian employee.

    I provide IT services to DoD through a “Defense Contractor”. I would be a civilian employee if offered the option but policy says to contract out IT services.

    When government commits to buy services and then does not buy them it creates a loss for the contractor. The company can sue for damages and recover the profit that they would have made plus some extra for the expense of terminating me. If the government expects to restart the contract later then it might also have to pay extra to re-hire or replace me.

    It is less expensive for the DoD to continue labor contracts than it is to shrink them and pay damages. DoD accounting staff proposed that DoD limit new contracts not renew or extend existing contracts and shrink only those contracts where DoD has been buying more than the agreed minimum.

    It may appear unfair that contractors remain full-time when civilians are furloughed. That is the price that the civilians pay for permanent employment. Regardless of how good a job I do, the contract under which I work might not be extended at the end of September.


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