Procrastination Nation: Budget Cuts Back on the Table

Obama Budget Cuts

Fresh off a three day golf weekend with Tiger Woods, President Barack Obama is now faced with another fiscal deadline (the budget cuts he put off dealing with in January…). Obama is urging congressional Republicans to accept more tax revenue in order to avert the looming, across-the-board- budget cuts due to take effect on March 1st.

The Sequester is the New Fiscal Cliff

The sequester (which is a terrible name for automatic budget cuts) was first set to begin taking effect on January 1st. However, as part of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations/shenanigans, the White House and Congress agreed to push it off for a couple months in order to work on a larger budget deal not deal with it.

The $85 billion in budget cuts, known as the sequester, will start taking effect on March 1st unless Congress acts. Or unless it gets put off again…

Fun fact: the sequester was never actually intended to go into effect. Rather, it was meant to be a threat designed to bring lawmakers together to figure out a mutually agreed path to deficit reduction. But surprisingly not surprisingly, Democrats and Republicans still can’t agree on a plan, despite knowing this day was coming for over a year.

What the Democrats are Thinking

Obama says the sequester would be detrimental to an economy still suffering from high unemployment and sluggish growth. Instead, the White House is backing a proposal unveiled by Senate Democrats that offsets the sequester through a combination of targeted spending cuts and increased tax revenue.

What the Republicans are Thinking

No increased tax revenues! Obama already won a revenue increase in the new year, when Congress allowed taxes to rise on families making more than $450,000 annually so he can’t have anything else. Boom. Also, no defense cuts, only non-defense cuts allowed.

What Reagan is Thinking

Given the little progress on the sequester front in recent weeks and the fact that Congress is now in some kind of Presidents Day recess, it will likely be delayed again. But eventually, a broader budget agreement will have to be put into place, right?

Via: The Washington Post 

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