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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | U.S. | Health, Housing, and Public Services
Sequestration budget cuts reveal Democrats as the party of fear
Democrats continue to allow their fear to get in the way of bringing the brutal on-going $1.2 trillion in sequestration across-the-board spending cuts to an end. Meanwhile 140,000 in HUD's housing programs face homelessness as a direct result, and millions more are being crushed by the catastrophic budget cuts to food programs, head start, homelessness programs, AIDS and HIV treatment services, Community Development Block Grants, our public education system, mental health programs, emergency responders, Native American programs and many other vital programs!
Sequestration budget cuts reveal Democrats as the party of fear
By Lynda Carson - October 21, 2013
Oakland - Despite the never ending depression that keeps wages depressed for people in Oakland and across the nation, including the on-going massive $1.2 trillion in sequestration across-the-board spending cuts that have devastated federal agencies and shredded the safety-net, Democrats continue to allow their fear to get in the way of bringing these brutal budget cuts to an end.
According to the census bureau in 2012 around 19.6 percent of the population in Oakland (2007 - 2011) had an income below the federal poverty level. Additionally, in recent days the Democrats have joined the media in Oakland to bash our local unions that are involved in a B.A.R.T. strike. The Democrats and media have been bashing and pressuring the local unions because union members are struggling against B.A.R.T. management proposals in contract talks that involve more wage concessions, more health and pension costs, safety concerns, and the loss of good union jobs in the future.
As recent as September 2013, survey data exclusive to the Associated Press reveals that 4 out of 5 adults in America struggle with joblessness and poverty, and are in need of assistance because of the deteriorating economy and widening gap between the rich and the poor. The data reveals that the globalized U.S. economy creates poverty all across the nation because of the massive loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs.
According to the latest data presently 46.2 million Americans are living in poverty (being 15% of the population) due to a lack of work or good-paying manufacturing jobs. Additionally, there is a plethora of policies and federal tax dollars being used to offer even more incentives to small businesses and fortune 500 companies for more good American manufacturing jobs to be shipped over seas.
The Democratic Party has become the party of fear and terror
Time after time in recent years the Democrats have joined the Republicans and their extremist right-wing Tea Party allies in voting on continuing resolutions or measures that result in deeper spending cuts to our nation's domestic social programs. Budget cuts that result in more job losses for local, state, and federal union workers, and further weakens the economy and labor unions in the process.
Just in recent weeks on two separate occasions the Democrats made huge concessions to Republicans by allowing the catastrophic sequestration across-the-board budget cuts to continue. The first time was when the Democrats were afraid that if they did not cave in to Republican demands to vote on a continuing resolution that allowed the sequestration budget cuts to continue, that they would be blamed for a government shutdown that occurred on October 1st, a shutdown that happened regardless of their fear.
The second time was on October 16, when the Democrats were afraid that if they did not cave in to Republican demands and vote on a continuing resolution that allowed the sequestration budget cuts to continue even further, that they would be blamed for not allowing the debt ceiling to be raised, or the federal government to be reopened.
Now President Barack Obama and some Democrats are anxious to join the Republicans and their fascist Tea Party allies in agreeing on a political deal by December 13, that would result in an attack on Social Security and Medicare. An attack that would include even steeper budget cuts to the nation's domestic discretionary programs in the next federal budget or continuing resolution, or perhaps in a so-called grand bargain.
The latest continuing resolution that President Barack Obama signed in to law that ended the government shutdown a few days ago only funds the federal government through January 15, 2014, and only extends the debt limit until February 7, 2014.
The Democrats want us to believe that they are afraid that another federal government shutdown may occur again, or that the debt limit may not be raised again, if they do not join the Republicans and their Tea Party allies in passing a federal budget or continuing resolution that results in another round of massive budget cuts to downsize the federal government.
Meanwhile, the Democrats and Republicans jointly want to protect the over-bloated military/pentagon budgets from any further spending cuts, and Republicans want all of the sequestration across-the-board budget cuts to be pushed onto the backs of the poor, elderly and disabled that are already crushed by the catastrophic budget cuts.
During the latest political feud to reopen the federal government, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid caved in to the demands of Senate defense hawks that are pushing for flexibility in the sequestration across-the-board budget cuts when he stated that the continuing resolution about to be voted on would contain language allowing pentagon officials the authority to decide what gets cut under sequestration. But cooler heads prevailed, and removed the language from the continuing resolution right before it was voted on.
Other Democrats believed that if federal agencies including the pentagon were allowed the flexibility to decide what gets cut under the sequestration across-the-board spending cuts, that there would be a lot of cherry picking as a result and that the on-going catastrophic budget cuts would appear to be much more tolerable. So tolerable that the House and Senate might agree to allow the disastrous $1.2 trillion in budget cuts to run it's course on a path that continues to rip apart our nation's federal agencies, and completely destroys all of our domestic programs.
The Democratic Party needs to stop being the party of fear
It was during his inaugural address in 1934 that President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) said, "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and of vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. And I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days."
On August 14, 1935, FDR signed into law the Social Security Act during the great depression. It was only one part of the new deal programs which also included the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) to help pull this country out of the great depression.
Social Security is an earned benefit, bought and payed for through decades of difficult, harsh, and at times punishing work that leaves people disabled, scarred, emotionally trashed, injured, traumatized, dead or mortally wounded on occasion.
Since President Barack Obama and some Democrats are anxious to join the Republicans and their fascist Tea Party allies in an attack on Social Security and Medicare, they should consider that it would hurt tens of millions of seniors, widows and orphans, and the disabled if they instituted the proposed chained-CPI formula, or raised the age limit on seniors that are ready to collect their Social Security earned benefits.
Even though the Democrats control the White House and the Senate, they still want us to believe that they are afraid of Republicans, the Tea Party, and their own shadow as they allow the catastrophic sequestration budget cuts to continue when voting on short term continuing resolutions to fund the federal government.
Budget cuts that are destroying the Meals on Wheels Program that feeds senior citizens. Massive budget cuts that are shredding our public education system, food programs, small business programs, food safety, mental health programs, emergency responders, Native American programs, the Section 8 housing choice voucher program, public housing, head start, homelessness programs, AIDS and HIV treatment services, Community Development Block Grants, and many other vital services or programs meant to protect society from the ravages of greedy capitalists.
It is up to the public at large to speak-up immediately and pressure the politicians to enact new legislation that will make the rich pay their fair share of taxes to do business in America, and to persuade the lawmakers to reverse the sequestration budget cuts that have shredded the nation's safety-net.
Unless the public at large is willing to sit back and allow the right-wing extremists in the Republican party to have it their way and frighten the Democrats until the federal government has shrunk so small that it can be drowned in a bath tub.
Below is a list of the committee members required to come up with a spending plan for a federal budget by December 13, 2013.
The House of Representatives appointed the following conferees to the committee: Representatives Paul Ryan (R-WI), Tom Cole (R-OK), Tom Price (R-GA), Diane Black (R-TN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), James Clyburn (D-SC), and Nita Lowey (D-NY). Senate conferees comprise the entire Senate Budget Committee, whose members are: Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Coons (D-DE), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (D-ME), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Charles Grassley (R-IA), Mike Enzi (R-WY), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Rob Portman (R-OH), Pat Toomey (R-PA), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Lynda Carson may be reached at tenantsrule [at] yahoo.com
Click on link below for more on Sequestration and lasting effects of the government shutdown...
Sequestration and lasting effects of the government shutdown
By Lynda Carson - October 20, 2013