This won't be FP material everywhere, but it's the truth. That is, unless one just hasn't paid attention to the events and Congressional deals facilitated by this administration in response to said events that led up to the sequester. If one did pay attention, this conclusion is undeniable. The sequester was basically an invention of Gene Sperling and Jack Lew.
In case we all need a refresher, Gene Sperling was and still is the Director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama. In case the denial is too thick with regard to Jack Lew, Jack Lew was head of Obama's Office of Management and Budget when the first grand betrayal was written only to be fall apart by John Boehner's doing in 2011. For that, and his time on Wall St helping Citigroup as OCC crash our economy while denying that deregulation was a problem, he is insultingly being rewarded with a post as our next Treasury Secretary.
These are the people that were hired by and work in the Obama administration that wrote the damn Sequester! It's pretty hard to deny, but some will try.
This was during the debt ceiling debacle many of us warned about but were ignored in favor of 11th dimensional chess. In reality, this is a vile violent rigged chess game that makes seniors starve to death through lack of meals on wheels. This form of deficit terrorism also threatens many of my friends and their relatives through layoffs and furloughs while slowing all essential government operations down.
This, of course, is all in the name of deficit lies and propaganda so you will be scared. Therefore you must offer further sacrifices to the supply side job creator confidence Gods or the markets will not alleviate your suffering. I know some of you thought only the right believed in that. Well, in the words of Yves Smith, Quelle Surprise!
One of the economists who predicted the Housing Bust in 2002 (the biggest reason for the deficits, not that you would ever hear it from an administration blaming it on so called entitlements) agrees that the sequester is Obama's fault. His administration did everything they could to support craponomic frames on scary scary deficits (crucially needed for a long time and beneficial as a double entry accounting identity adding to the private sector) preaching overall economic ignorance to the masses. Economist at CEPR Dean Baker supports my thesis and he is right.
He apparently thought the best route to get more stimulus was to convince the deficit hawks that he was one of them. He proudly announced the need to pivot to deficit reduction after the passage of the stimulus and then appointed two deficit hawks, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, to head a deficit commission.
This set the ball rolling for the obsession with deficit reduction that has dominated the nation’s politics for the last three years. Instead of talking about the 9 million jobs deficit the economy faces, we have the leadership of both parties in Congress arguing over the debt-to-GDP ratios that we will face in 2023.
This would be comical if lives were not being ruined by the charade. The unemployed workers and their families did not do anything wrong, the people running the economy did. Now the sequester comes along throwing more people out of work, worsening the quality of a wide range of government services and denying hundreds of thousands of people benefits they need. Yes, this is really stupid policy and the Republicans deserve a huge amount of blame in this picture.
But it was President Obama who decided to play deficit reduction games rather than being truthful about the state of the economy. There was no reason to expect better from the Republicans in Congress, we had reason to hope that President Obama would act responsibly.
That last line is specifically important. Everyone barking at others to blame Republicans first and foremost have obviously been in a bubble since the 90s when the government shut down. On a practical level practical people should get this example; you have to get your own house in order before blaming others.
If one has a child who misbehaves, but their parents only look to who the child hangs out with and every outside factor but the house in which the child receives support and instruction, they are not being honest with themselves. When Democrats are not Democrats(as in protecting SS and the New Deal which defined the modern party) and you make excuses for that, the pox is as much on your house as it is on the House Democrats who do not stand up for what they believe at all and will lay down for the coming SS cuts.
Yes, we know by paying attention to facts now that this vile perverse 11th dimensional chess game is one with real pain to be felt by many, particularly the most vulnerable and immobile in our society. So here's a little advice for those still sticking to that story; I think by now you at least owe it to the people suffering from this sequester to tell them why you are a believer in bipartisan deficit terrorist magic. I think they deserve an explanation from you on why it's not happening for them. Please tell them when you think the free market Gods are coming to supplement the income and demand sucked out by "getting our fiscal house in order?"
A few weeks? A few months? A few years? When will the markets make them whole? How many more government employees need to suffer for the so called free market? Of course they won't be the only ones even if it won't be immediate.
People deserve to know if there is any consistency to these lies. They also deserve to know the difference between this kind of rhetoric coming from supposed Democrats and Republicans despite their basic differences. Deficit terrorism sold by Republicans or deficit terrorism lite sold by the Democrats is neither prudent nor right. If you claim to know that the end that justifies taking away peoples' means to live, do tell them. It will be a hard sell job though but it will show some concern to at least hold up the brand even though its' cruel and bland. You might also want to spread the word to the OFA email list to praise this as a victory like many of you did the Bush tax cut sellout that led up to all of this.
Tell them to have trust in you for having unyielding trust in a President who had the full faith in the word of Republican House Speaker John Boehner that he would not take and use the full faith and credit of the United States as a hostage. One has to wonder if the President wanted this to happen, because his faith never wavered even when he was pressed by the WH press on the possibility of a debt ceiling debacle; the one I predicted would happen in 2010. That was either some strong faith, stupidity, or downright corruption, let me tell you.
All the hacks that defended that decision including Joy Reid and other hacks at MSNBC(excluding Chis Hayes) as well as everyone at the CBPP owe people an apology. I take neither seriously anymore, because that kind of religious faith in a politician denied all reason and facts. There is a reason. The President and John Boehner really wanted to get together to show "the extremists" in their respective parties how awesome it would be to betray them cutting our safety net while raising some taxes.
So all of this really can be laid at the feet of the White House working with the Republican House leadership while everyone else was cut off. It's not easy to figure out why. After all, House Democrats will sell out their principals as soon as they get that call from the White House. Yet, either way you look at it, even taking in the Obama naivete story-line which I don't believe anymore, he is one of the main players directly at fault.
But yes, if you still believe, tell the people having to suffer through this sequester to have faith and believe like you do, but do please me a favor; tell these lies to their face this time. Tell them why President Obama is not interested in Democratic House Representative John Conyers simple short bill to repeal the sequester altogether. I think you owe them that. Thank you to those that do. It's the only decent thing to do by now if one has any decency left at all while lying to others and themselves while pretending to be on the left and taking this position.
You see, reasonable people actually will all admit to these basic recent historical facts unless they defy reason. The literate among us do not even have to pay attention to Bob Woodward, and can read the excerpt in the email Gene Sperling sent to him to prove the thesis of this diary.
"The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand bargain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start."
And now the grand betrayal continues to be on the table and actively pursued by this administration.
Such a move by the president is one that many progressives foresaw and warned against, saying that deficit fear-mongering would only pave the way for an inevitable "grand bargain."
According to White House senior economic official Gene Sperling, Obama "reached out" to lawmakers from both parties on Saturday floating a proposition to cut spending in order to appease Republican demands and the 'deficit scolds' who claim, despite evidence to the contrary, that cutting such programs is somehow fiscally responsible.
"I can tell you for a fact the President was working the phone, talking to Republicans and Democrats who he thought were willing to be part of the type of bipartisan compromise [...]" said Sperling during his Sunday appearance on CNN's State of the Union. Without naming any names he added, "he's reaching out to Democrats who understand we need to make serious progress on long term entitlement reform."
And if one doesn't think this is a grand betrayal because nothing has been signed finalizing any of this, it just shows how little they know about anything that has happened in the last 3 years. It shows that they don't have any idea that there hasn't been a budget passed in years or that this grand betrayal began in 2010 to 2011 to Dec. 31st, 2012 selling out on taxes to right here and right now. This still going in front of their face, but some still don't get it and prefer the illusions and the delusions.
This is all part of the same grand betrayal just extended in a game of sellout kick the can with stop gaps, fiscal cliffs, sequesters, and more government shut down fights and debt ceiling debacles every 3 months coming up. To think this isn't going to endanger SS and Medicare is being utterly clueless. Yes, those preaching about civics in order for people to "Leave the President alone!" should probably learn what a stop gap is.
They should also learn that the inadequate stimulus they boast about couldn't exist in a legislative environment like this having to be re-appropriated every few months. Miniature appropriations in multiple miniature 3 month crisis to crisis increments is what this bipartisan sellout filibuster loving do nothing Congress is all about (wonder how that vacation was last week?). No one should buy this crap that sellout deals every few months are necessary to keep government running. Wrong.
It's only necessary to have competent politicians that know how to govern. It's only necessary to have politicians who want to govern instead of enriching themselves. It's only necessary for this White House and Congress to have constituents that understand what good government is instead of letting it be spun to them in a fairy tale.
It's a fairy tale with partisan warriors acting out a play like a A Midsummer Night's Deficit Terrorist Dream except the author is not Shakespeare. It's just some confused constituents controlled and acting out of deficit fear while writing Obama fan fiction to the masses. Many whom will die from the resulting lack of resources stolen by the upper classes.
Terrorizing the public with deficit lies belies any real recovery since the discovery that 121% of the gains since 2009 have all gone to the 1%. Deficit terrorism kills when people cannot pay their bills, get meals on wheels, or the rent. How does that make you feel?
I've had enough of this shit. We could at least collectively acknowledge reality at this point.