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Scare Tactics Just Part Of The Political Game

March 1, 2013 by  

Obama’s doomsday scenarios. Even if every penny of the “sequestration” goes into effect, which I doubt, you can be sure that Washington will spend more money this year than it did last year. If the Feds would just hold spending for 2013 to 2012 levels, there would be more than $85 billion in budget cuts. But President Barack Obama and his allies want to frighten the public into opposing any reductions, thus the threats to cut back on police, firefighters, border patrols, teachers and emergency personnel. It’s all part of the game to frighten a gullible public and to intimidate conservatives in Congress.

The most political Oscars ever? In case you fell asleep before the Academy Awards finally announced which movie won best picture of the year (or never tuned in to the snooze-a-thon in the first place), the biggest surprise wasn’t that “Argo” won the top honor. No, it was that the broadcast switched to the White House, where Michelle Obama announced the winner. I guess it was just part of the payback for Hollywood, since its stars raised hundreds of millions of dollars last year to insure Barack Obama’s re-election.

This “no pass, no pay” measure won’t fly. In one of the first acts of the new Congress, conservatives in the House of Representatives pushed through a bill that will withhold the pay of lawmakers in either chamber of Congress, if that chamber fails to pass a Federal budget by mid-April. While I agree with the sentiment, I don’t think there’s a chance it will pass Constitutional muster. After all, the 27th Amendment states clearly that “no law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.” It seems pretty clear to me. Although, come to think of it, being unConstitutional hasn’t deterred many other Federal actions.

Reader’s Digest declares bankruptcy… again. For the second time in 3.5 years, one of the most iconic magazines in U.S. history has declared bankruptcy. Reader’s Digest Association and six affiliates filed for Chapter 11 protection in mid-February. The company, which listed more than $1.2 billion in liabilities, hopes to reorganize and continue operations. Based in New York and with operations in 41 countries other than the United States, the company publishes 75 magazines, including 49 versions of its namesake publication.   

–Chip Wood

Chip Wood

is the geopolitical editor of PersonalLiberty.com. He is the founder of Soundview Publications, in Atlanta, where he was also the host of an award-winning radio talk show for many years. He was the publisher of several bestselling books, including Crisis Investing by Doug Casey, None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham and The War on Gold by Anthony Sutton. Chip is well known on the investment conference circuit where he has served as Master of Ceremonies for FreedomFest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, Sovereign Society, and The Atlanta Investment Conference.

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  • Warrior

    Hello……….Hello…………….Anyone there?………………….Hmmm………………….maybe the sky did fall!

    • JimH

      Warrior, I can hear you, but I still can’t see you. I’m going to get my Obama compass to guide me and show me the way. I’ll try to find you.
      If we get to the bunker we can ride out “sequesageddon” together.
      Maybe we’ll find other “survivors” along the way, to help us rebuild.

      • Warrior

        Whew, for a minute there i thought I lost ya! LMAO.

  • Gary L

    They are all a bunch of manipulative, lying sacks of crap.
    We the people need to boot their asses out of office.

  • Dave67

    If anyone would know about scrae tactics and how to spot them, its conservatives…

    Your boy GWB used scare tactics and 9-11 to get us into a useless trillion dollar war in Iraq.
    Obama is taking your freedom and your guns.

    And on and on…

    Everyone uses it to get their agenda put forth. This site is no different… Obama is no different…

  • Uknowho

    So glad none of the writers here use fear tactics and no conservative presidents like GWB, Reagan and Nixon ever used scare tactics… Nope. They just all you cold hard data, never leave out, exaggerate, lie… Nope never…

    Please conservatives, lead us away from the scare tactics that are unique to Obama and the liberal horde.

    • Robert Smith

      And why did we go into Iraq?

      Rob

      • dan

        er…something about a madman gassing the Kurds with poison gas that he got from US

  • Uknowho

    Here is an interesting blog from Mother Jones.

    Where did the whole idea of sequestration originate?

    It goes back to 1985. The tax cuts of Ronald’s Reagan early years, combined with his aggressive defense buildup, produced a growing budget deficit that eventually prompted passage of the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Act. GRH set out a series of ambitious deficit reduction targets, and to put teeth into them it specified that if the targets weren’t met, money would automatically be “sequestered,” or held back, by the Treasury Department from the agencies to which it was originally appropriated. The act was declared unconstitutional in 1986, and a new version was passed in 1987.

    Sequestration never really worked, though, and it was repealed in 1990 and replaced by a new budget deal. After that, it disappeared down the Washington, DC, memory hole for the next 20 years.

    What about the 2013 version? Where did that come from?

    In the summer of 2011, Republicans decided to hold the country hostage, insisting that they’d refuse to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama agreed to substantial deficit reduction. After months of negotiations over a “grand bargain” finally broke down in July, Republicans proposed a plan that would (a) make some cuts immediately and (b) create a bipartisan committee to propose further cuts down the road. But they wanted some kind of automatic trigger in case the committee couldn’t agree on those further cuts, so the White House hauled out sequestration from the dust heap of history as an enforcement mechanism. It would go into effect automatically if no deal was reached.

    In the end, no immediate cuts were made, but a “supercommittee” was set up to propose $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction later in the year. To make sure everyone was motivated to make a deal, the sequester was designed to be brutal: a set of immediate, across-the-board cuts to both defense spending and domestic spending, starting on January 1, 2013. The idea was that everyone would hate this so much they’d be sure to agree on a substitute.

    Needless to say, no such agreement was reached. So now we’re stuck with the automatic sequestration cuts.

    How big is the sequester?

    You’d think this would be an easy question to answer. In fact, it’s surprisingly complicated! Are you ready?

    The basic amount of the sequester is $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. But when you reduce spending, you also reduce interest on the national debt. This means that we only need $984 billion in actual program cuts. And since it’s for ten years, naturally that means we divide by nine to get annual spending cuts of $109 billion. For FY2013, this comes to $12 billion per month, because there are only nine months from January (when the sequester begins) through the end of the fiscal year in September.

    But wait! The fiscal cliff deal in January delayed the sequester until March 1, so it also lopped off two months of cuts. This means that the total amount of spending cuts for this year clocks in at $85 billion.

    So what gets cut?

    The sequester is split evenly between defense spending and domestic spending. The domestic half has two parts: Medicare and everything else. For Medicare, the sequester specifies a flat 2 percent cut in reimbursements. Doctors will continue to bill at their usual rate, but they’ll only receive 98 cents on the dollar. According to the Congressional Budget Office, here’s how the whole thing nets out (see Table 1-2):
    ■Defense: $42.7 billion
    ■Medicare: $9.9 billion
    ■Other domestic: $32.7 billion

    Aside from Medicare, how are the other cuts divvied up?

    The sequester legislation requires the cuts to come evenly from every budget account. This means everything (with a few exceptions) gets cut the same amount. This is an especially stupid way to cut spending, since everyone agrees that some programs are more important than others, but that’s the way it is. If you really want to torture yourself, you can read this OMB report, which contains 224 pages listing the sequester amounts from every single agency in the United States government. It’s followed by another 158 mind-numbing pages of agency accounts that are exempt from the sequester.

    But as stupid as this is, don’t get too excited about it. It’s only for FY2013, which lasts seven more months. After that, although the total amount stays in place ($109 billion, split evenly between defense and domestic spending), congressional appropriations committees have much more flexibility about how to juggle the cuts.

    Aren’t we still in a recession? What are these cuts going to do to the economy?

    Technically, we’re no longer in a recession, but there’s no question the economy remains weak. A big bunch of dumb spending cuts is about the last thing we need.

    That said, the actual impact of the cuts is hazy. Among private forecasting firms, Macroeconomic Advisers figures the sequester will cut GDP by 0.7 percentage points, while IHS Global Insight puts it at 0.3 percent. Back before the sequester was delayed, CBO estimated 0.8 percentage points. Given a consensus growth forecast of about 2 percent for this year, this is a fairly substantial headwind. In terms of jobs, it will probably increase the unemployment rate by about half a percentage point. This is why Fed chairman Ben Bernanke basically told Congress on Tuesday that they were nuts to let the sequester proceed.

    That’s all sort of bloodless. How about some horror stories? You know, three-hour waits at airports because of TSA cutbacks, food poisoning epidemics thanks to USDA cutbacks, that sort of thing?

    The White House has been making a lot of hay over its 50-state breakdown of cutbacks. California, for example, will lose 1,200 teachers, 8,200 Head Start slots, 49,000 HIV tests, $5 million in meals for seniors, etc. You can see the forecasts for your state here. Aside from that, WonkBlog seems to be the go-to site for alarmist coverage of the sequester. Brad Plumer has the impact on R&D spending here. In an interview with Ezra Klein, former NIH director Elias Zerhouni says it will be a “disaster for research.” Suzy Khimm interviews a former Homeland Security official here who says smuggling will increase. And MoJo’s own Zaineb Mohammed lists six ways the sequester will hurt the environment here, including higher risk of damage from wildfires.

    That’s terrible! Does anyone have a plan to avoid the sequester?

    Sure. Sort of. President Obama has proposed a substitute that includes about $1.1 trillion in spending cuts and $700 billion in new revenue. It was dead on arrival because Republicans are flatly unwilling to consider any plan that includes higher taxes. Back in December, Republicans in the House passed a bill that would have kept all the domestic cuts and replaced the defense cuts with yet more domestic cuts, mostly to anti-poverty programs. It was DOA too, for obvious reasons. House and Senate Democrats have plans as well.

    But the truth is that there’s probably no deal to be made. Republicans won’t accept tax hikes, Democrats won’t accept any bill that’s exclusively spending cuts, and neither party is willing to just kill the sequester outright, which is the most sensible option. For now, all that’s really happening is that both sides are barnstorming the country blaming the other guys. Obama seems to be winning that battle at the moment.

    • Warrior

      This is ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGEOUS and something must be done to curb the “cuts”. Let’s take more of “taxpayer” money and they won’t have as much to spend. Those idiots spend it all on the worng things anyway. It’s GUBMINT SPENDING that makes this ECONOMY GROW! FOOLS.

    • Vigilant

      Uknowho says, per Mother Jones: “The sequester is split evenly between defense spending and domestic spending.”

      Dollar-wise perhaps, percentage-wise not at all. $42.7 billion per annum hits the defense portion MUCH greater than it does the domestic portion.

      Military expenditures are less than 20% of the budget, social welfare programs consume over 60%. Contrary to the propaganda of the left, military expenditures have remained steady at 4-5% of GDP for decades, while the wealth redistribution programs have skyrocketed way above this percentage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/darwan.winkler.3 Deerinwater

    No stranger to hard times, I’m looking forward to the company.

    Since the GOP sees no way to defeat Obama, they have decided all of America needs to feel some pain and just maybe people will see things “their way” in their attempt to secure the oval office in 2016.

    Will it work? Maybe!

    Hard times is when I enjoy applying 42 years of experience in my trade field. ~ people will refuse to do without air & heat and waste water systems no matter what. I will do less and make more.

    The Tea party should be celebrating, ~ less spending is on it’s way.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/03/the-sequester-explained

    • Robert Smith

      And the 1% don’t pay their fair share.

      Rob

      • vicki

        Robert Smith says:
        “And the 1% don’t pay their fair share.”

        How much is their “fair” share Robert? 5%? 10%? 50%?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=661pi6K-8WQ

      • Buster the Anatolian

        Vicki, it (enough) is every cent he and the government can soak them for.

      • Nancy in Nebraska

        The 1% don’t pay anything at all! And they NEVER will!!! Does that mean that the middle class should pay more?!? Because THAT’S what happens everytime people complain about the rich not paying enough!!! I am sick and tired of the government and the federal reserve STEALING my money!!! Look up the definition of STEALING!!!! THAT’S what they’re doing!!! I’m tired of them stealing MY money to kill innocent people in Syria, Lybia, Iraq, Afghanistan etc… I’m tired of them stealing MY money to spray poisonous chem trails above my head! I’m tired of them stealing my money to build bunkers for themselves! I’m tired of them stealing my money to give to corporations to put toxic chemicals in and on my food and water!!! I’m tired of them stealing MY money so that they can live like kings! I’m tired of them stealing my money to buy their two trillion bullets which they plan on using on us!!! I’m tired of THEM telling US what we can do!!! THEY work for US!!!!!! I’m tired of them racking up debt in my name and the names of my children and grandchildren!!! Message to the government: I’ve had enough, NO MORE!!! You don’t represent ME!!! I’m NOT paying YOUR debts!!! They’re NOT MY DEBTS!!! You’re a bunch of LIARS, CHEATERS, and STEALERS!!! I’M DONE!!! You NO longer have my permission to spend ONE dollar of MY MONEY!!! You do NOT have MY CONSENT!!!!!!!! You belong in JAIL!!!

      • Vigilant

        Rob’s worn out communist mantra: “And the 1% don’t pay their fair share.”

        The mathematically-challenged leftists will never own that if you taxed the 1% at a rate of 100% of their income, you’d barely make a dent in the debt.

        Any other bleeding heart on this site wish to challenge my statement?

  • Grandpa Frog

    If $84B ($0.084T) is 2 percent of the Fed 2012 spending, than the 2013 spending would be $4.2T. Now subtract out the $0.084t, and you get $4.116T.

    This is an increase of $0.116T. The CBO’s estimate is $0.110T.

    And where is this increased spending going?

  • Carol M Kite

    Obama should worry that either his nose is going to grow a tree or his tongue turn black, or both, from his inability to tell the truth, just happens automatically, can’t help himself.

  • ibcamn

    Obama’s just not doing a thing.he’s lazy and just want’s to bully everyone!!if i can do the math on this,anyone can!it’s not anywhere near as life ending as he said,as usual,he lied,again but this time,it slapped him in the face!he just bullies congress to get his way.kinda like a little kid in a sandbox with toys!a spoiled brat that wants everybody to play his way!

  • TML

    “No, it was that the broadcast switched to the White House, where Michelle Obama announced the winner.”

    I’ve always said that celebrities are like America’s royal family. Pick up any celebrity magazine and you will see Princess Kate just as you would see Princess Diana. Michelle’s inclusion is right on par to her and her husband acting as if they are royalty.

  • Newspooner

    Government is out of control at all levels.

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