Cuts in place, Obama and GOP brace for next fight

Various sectors hit with spending cuts
Associated Press
Mar 3, 2013


Severe spending cuts now the law of the land, President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans refused Saturday to concede any culpability for failing to stave off what both parties acknowledged was a foolhardy way to slash $85 billion in federal spending.

The still-fragile economy braced itself for the gradual but potentially grave impact of the across-the-board cuts, which took effect Friday night at the stroke of Obama's pen. Hours earlier, he and congressional leaders emerged from a White House meeting no closer to an agreement.

Even as they pledged a renewed effort to retroactively undo the spending cuts, both parties said the blame rests squarely on the other for any damage the cuts might inflict. There were no indications that either side was wavering from entrenched positions that for weeks had prevented progress on a deal to find a way out: Republicans refusing any deal with more tax revenue and Democrats snubbing any deal without it.

"None of this is necessary," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address Saturday. "It's happening because Republicans in Congress chose this outcome over closing a single wasteful tax loophole that helps reduce the deficit."

The president said the cuts would cause "a ripple effect across the economy" that would worsen the longer they stay in place, eventually costing more than 750,000 jobs and disrupting the lives of middle-class families.

In the Republican-controlled House, GOP lawmakers washed their hands of the mess, arguing that bills they passed in the last Congress to avert the cuts absolved them of any responsibility. Those bills passed with little to no Democratic support and were never taken up by the Senate.

"We've done the work and shown that these choices can be made in a responsible, thoughtful way," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington in the GOP address.

Obama was holding out hope that as Americans start feeling the effects of the sequester — the term used for the automatic spending cuts — public pressure will force lawmakers back to the table. Ever wary that such fiscal fiascos could jeopardize the rest of his second-term agenda, Obama vowed in his weekly address to keep pushing reforms on immigration, preschool, gun violence and transportation.

But attention was already turning to the next major budget hurdles, with less than a month to negotiate a plan to fund the government beyond March 27 and a debt-ceiling clash coming in May.

Hopes that a measure to undo the spending cuts could be wrapped into a March deal to keep the government running dimmed Friday when both Obama and House Speaker John Boehner said they'd prefer to keep the two issues separate.

"I'm hopeful that we won't have to deal with the threat of a government shutdown while we're dealing with the sequester at the same time," Boehner said.




Yea, it's just easier for Pres. BHO to simply campaign and demagogue rather than actually act like a leader.

John Harville

Lowering deficit by $300 billion during his first term is not the action of a leader?

Reducing the deficit in January is not the action of a leader?

Darwin's choice

Or, how about cutting foreign aid? That in itself would more than likely wipe out a massive amount of our debt!!!


Actually we spend about 70B in foreign aid, had to look it up because I had no clue how much we give away. 56B for foreign aid and diplomacy and 14B to train armies and acquire weapons. I thought it would be a lot more.


As a campaign pledge, Pres. BHO promised to DOUBLE the amt. of funding for foreign aid.

"If elected, he said, he would double foreign aid to $50 billion by 2012, which would be the final year of his first term."

"An increase, but nowhere close to double":


Let's cut foreign aid and the defense budget. We spend as much on defense as the next 14 countries COMBINED.


coasterfan writes:

"Let's cut foreign aid and the defense budget."

Ain't gonna happen under your pal, Pres. BHO.


Yeah, but a guy can hope. We know for certain that it wouldn't happen under a Republican president, since they see warmongering as a birthright. Luckily, we won' t have to worry about that until at least 2020.


coasterfan writes:

"Yeah, but a guy can hope."

Still waitin' for the ol' "hope and change" eh? lol

Pres. Obama is and has sent troops to Africa, Poland and he's opening a new base in Australia.

Reads more like fantasy.

Why won’t you reveal what you taught? Enjoy your taxpayer guaranteed health and welfare bennies.

Pay attention to IL - comin' to a state near you.


The Dems own this fiscal cow pie lock, stock and barrel.


Funny how libs only want the cuts focused on one of the only things the Constitution mandates the federal govt' to oversee. The cuts should come from welfare programs.


no new tax increase until prezo gives a detailed report as to just how he will spend those dollars. it is very simple, make a budget. we all know, even the lefties, that the more money gets the more foolish spending he will do.

the aid bill for hurricane sandy was a prime example.

maybe prezo can make jesse jackson jr a member of his cabinet as he has all of the requirements that prezo looks for!!!


@ mikel:

JJ, jr.? Maybe when he gets outa the slammer. ‘Course he could always pardon him.

He's already gotten sleaze ball Jack Lew for Treasury Sec'y. Heck, the only Dem that didn't vote to confirm was Bernie Sanders! lol.

For one he obviously supports Cayman Is. accounts.

The Big Dog's back

Let me know when President Obama even comes close to the Bush crime family.

swiss cheese kat

When are you losers gonna quit blaming Bush?


It's not blame when it is true. They are called facts, you just don't like hearing them. Truth hurts!

swiss cheese kat

The truth is Bush is long gone and is history and you liberals just cant seem to understand that fact.


They blame Bush because thats what liberals do. Obama has given them nothing to hang their hat on so instead of admitting he's been a bust as president, they deflect. Man up liberals!!!!!!


Reason is beyond the reach of a liberal. They rely on the flip of a special coin they each carry. One side says "Blame Bush" and the other side says "Blame Republicans".


wikipedia? must be gettng desparate huh doggie? anyone can make/add/change/delete something on wikipedia. very weak doggie.


Ok, Mikel's post is just silly. If you want an example of foolish spending, the last Republican president wrote the book on that, with two unfunded, unpopular wars on the company's credit card. Furthermore, it's not like Obama hasn't submitted budgets for approval. He indeed has done so, but Republican filibustering and intransigence have kept his budgets from passing. The aid bill for hurricane Sandy was stupid? Congrats, you couldn't possibly be more Republican, could you? (they all want to cut funding to FEMA, until the hurricane hits THEIR house)


@ coasterfan:

How about cuttin' federal flood ins.? The rich get a new house on a flood plain and taxpayers get the bill.


The Revolutionary War was unfunded.
Mr. Lincoln's War was unfunded.
FDR's WW2 was unfunded
Truman's Korea was unfunded
Johnson's Vietnam was unfunded.

Name me a U.S. war which was pre-funded.

The Big Dog's back

Name me a U.S. war that taxes were cut.


As of Jan. 1 - about 99% of those tax cuts were made permanent by Pres. BHO. Is the U.S. still fightin' wars?


Pooh, the Iraq war of course. Remember, the Iraqi riches were suppose to pay for it. NOT!


Answer the question: Name for me a U.S. war which was pre-funded.

The Big Dog's back

During World War II, federal revenues roughly tripled as a share of the gross domestic product (GDP) and the number of people paying income taxes expanded tenfold, from 3% of the population in 1939 to 30% by 1943. In 1940, a family of four needed close to $80,000 of income in today's dollars before it paid any federal income taxes at all. By the war's end, it saw its effective tax rate rise from 1.5% to 15.1%. (Today such a family only pays a federal income tax rate of about 6%.) But taxes weren't the only way the war was paid for. Spending on nondefense programs was cut almost in half, from 8.1% of GDP in 1940 to 4.4% in 1945.

Even during wars closer in magnitude to those in which we are presently engaged, significant sacrifices were made. In 1950 and 1951 Congress increased taxes by close to 4% of GDP to pay for the Korean War, even though the high World War II tax rates were still largely in effect. In 1968, a 10% surtax was imposed to pay for the Vietnam War, which raised revenue by about 1% of GDP. And there was conscription during both wars, which can be viewed as a kind of tax that was largely paid by the poor and middle class--young men from wealthy families largely escaped its effects through college deferments.


Got it: You're arguing for federal marginal tax rates to be raised on everyone.

Why did Pres. BHO make 99% of the Pres. Bush era tax cuts permanent?


I just did! Oh and did you know they had WMD? Who knew? Who found them? Who lied?


@ deertracker:

Iraq was NOT pre-funded.

Love it how you choose to obfuscate and attempt to divert attention from the "facts" about the incompetency and the lying of Pres. BHO by bringing up the past.

He's begun his fifth yr. in office, when's he gonna take some responsibility?


Yes it was. They just expected Iraq to pay for it. You have to remember that! The lie was that there was WMD and the mushroom cloud is coming! Still waiting. I know I know, it's better to only remember what you want to. You make no sense really because Obama was against the war in Iraq. What's the name of that alzheimers drug again? Stop chasing it with Kesslers!